Mentor in Law is a biweekly newsletter for law students, recent grads, and lawyers about everything law school doesn’t teach you (particularly all the practical aspects). Newsletters will feature advice on how to get into different fields of law from practicing lawyers, how to maximize your law school experience from law professors, how to navigate opportunities beyond the law from non-practicing lawyers, and how to build a successful career both in and out of the law. It will be a self-contained email newsletter, so the advice will be succinct, actionable, and to the point, without fluff or long-form narratives. The inaugural issue came out on June 20, 2020, and subsequent issues will be published on the 1st and 15th of every month.

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VOLUME 1 | JUNE 2020

Practice area spotlight: Public International Law

Topic: Mentorship

Contributors: T. Michael Peay, Aneesh Mehta, and Riya Kuo

Why Mentorship Matters

men · tor
/ˈmenˌtôr, ˈmenˌtər/
noun, an experienced and trusted adviser

Whether you’re a law student or already a lawyer, one of the best things you can do for your career is to seek out a mentor/group of mentors. In the legal profession, I cannot emphasize enough the importance of having a mentor. Law school teaches you to understand and apply the law, but it does not prepare you adequately to practice law or teach you how to be a lawyer. The right mentor can provide advice, connections, and support that can help you reach heights that would be impossible alone. Mentorship is an even more important asset in today’s down market because the world is not operating under “business as usual.” 

  1. Assemble your personal dream team. There are different types of mentors, and you should consider seeking out the different kinds. A few to consider: connector, coach, challenger, champion, and role model. But focus on quality over quantity. I consider 5 as my magic number of mentors at any given time. Everyone has an opinion but be discerning about whose advice you take. Cultivate a small group of people who will always be in your corner whenever you need support or help in your career. Find people whose work you respect, who you may want to be like, and who you feel comfortable with. As you change jobs and move different directions in your career, this “dream team” will likely change as well. While you should have at least one mentor who directly understands your work and field, consider also finding mentors outside of your practice area or industrySometimes, all you need is a completely fresh perspective. 

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