{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "What is a good way to find a mentor at my firm? There are a couple attorneys/partners I think would be open to mentoring but how can I make it happen? Is it better to choose a senior associate vs a partner? I often feel like people are so busy I hate to bother them with extraneous things. How have you been able to develop a mentor-mentee relationship? Any advice esp. during wfh times would be much appreciated!", "post_id": "5f89cc75e575c0001a6f9dfe", "reply_count": 4, "vote_count": 4, "bowl_id": "5df70ed2f7169f002b172d3f", "bowl_name": "Big Law" }

What is a good way to find a mentor at my firm? There are a couple attorneys/partners I think would be open to mentoring but how can I make it happen? Is it better to choose a senior associate vs a partner? I often feel like people are so busy I hate to bother them with extraneous things. How have you been able to develop a mentor-mentee relationship? Any advice esp. during wfh times would be much appreciated!

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My mentor relationships have been developed through actual work, just me being very annoying about asking endless questions/promoting my learning etc and latching on to partners that supported that and appreciated my hard work and substantive skills. Agree that you should probably have a more senior associate as well as a partner mentor. You never know with associates, you may think they’re an all-star but secretly they’re in trouble. Flip side is partners can be a little one track with only knowing how to teach you to become a partner. But partnership is not the only route to be a successful lawyer, so you can hear from a senior associate about alternate forms of success (counsel track, inhouse, govt etc) and just how to get by day to day in your firm and make it to senior associate. Do not be overly worried about bothering folks. Since they’re senior to you, they will just ignore you or blow you off if they don’t want to do it, but you’d be surprised how many folks are delighted to be asked. People love feeling smart and wise by giving simple advice to a junior as a break from their hard day taking it on the chin from partners/clients. My main suggestion is that you should try not to make this like “hey be my mentor” and expect them to come up with a plan. However if you proactively lead and manage the relationship that can be great, e.g., “hey senior associate, I got this complex assignment for partner x and I have a few basic questions I didn’t want to bug him with. You seem like you’re really knowledgeable on this topic, could I pick your brain for a few minutes?” Or ask about their experience at this firm vs their prior firm. Or ask about their experience/tips for working with a particular client or partner. Etc etc. Doesn’t matter too much what, point being, come up with some general agenda (not that you need to stick to it) so that you’re not getting this person on zoom and then staring at each other for 10 minutes.

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Really helpful advice, thank you!

Ask a Partner and an Associate. If you think there are people who can serve in that capacity ask them. Most people love being asked to serve as mentors, sometimes we are just not asked.

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