Mentor in Law is a biweekly newsletter for law students, recent grads, pre-law students, and lawyers about everything law school doesn’t teach you, particularly the practical aspects. With a focus on diversity & inclusion and the future of work, newsletters 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’s a self-contained email newsletter, so the advice is succinct, actionable, and to the point, without fluff or long-form narratives.
I frequently receive requests for coffee, phone calls, and/or mentorship from law students and lawyers. In speaking to hundreds of law students and drawing from my own law school experience, I realized there is so much law schools don’t teach you about the practice of law and being a lawyer in general. I wish I had sought out a mentor in law much earlier to help guide me through OCI, interviews, jobs, networking, and general lawyering, so I hope this newsletter bridges that information gap for others and serves as another resource to learn the practical skills to thrive as an aspiring or practicing lawyer.
I am a fierce advocate of impactful mentorship, and having been both the mentor and mentee (and a first-generation, female, minority lawyer), I know firsthand what magic can come from people believing in you, your abilities, and your potential, and people providing proper guidance and access to opportunities that may not have hit your radar otherwise. We are all the byproduct of the collective wisdom of our family, friends, teachers, and mentors, and the best way to honor that is to pay it forward.
In addition to providing an opportunity to scale the advice and pay it forward, my goal for this newsletter is to crowdsource perspectives and amplify diverse voices in the legal profession, particularly first-generation and minority lawyers. Representation matters, and different things resonate with different people.
While the primary audience of this newsletter is law students (and recent grads), much of the content will be relevant to all lawyers in general, particularly those that are looking to move jobs, change careers, or switch practice areas. So all lawyers are welcome to sign up. Pre-law students are also welcome to sign up – it’s never too early to be informed.
In addition, I’ve seen law professors sign up so that they can stay up-to-date with what skills employers and practitioners value and accordingly, teach those skills in their classrooms.
A few of the topics covered:
- Mentoring and sponsoring;
- Recruiting and interviewing;
- How to network in the age of Covid-19;
- First-generation student struggles;
- Power skills, or “soft skills”;
- Tech skills;
- Virtual internships and externships;
- How to find the best practice area for you;
- Diversity and inclusion;
- Women in law;
- Personal branding;
- Myth busting of different practice areas;
- Book recommendations;
- Resources for the Bar Exam;
- How to land your first legal job;
- Alternative careers for JDs; and much more.
A few of the contributors are:
- International diplomats;
- Federal prosecutors;
- District attorneys;
- In-house counsel at Fortune 500 companies;
- Nonprofit leaders;
- Public defenders;
- Judges and justices;
- Public interest lawyers;
- Government officials;
- Attorneys General;
- Law professors;
- AmLaw 100 firm associates and partners;
- Boutique firm lawyers;
- Startup advisors/founders;
- Solo practitioners; and more.
Mentor in Law is pure gold. -Tech lawyer
This is a wonderful resource for law students and aspiring attorneys. Wish something like this existed when I was starting out. Thank you! -Law school career services
I love Nyssa’s advice. As a first-generation law student, there is so much I don’t know about law school and the legal industry, and I feel the deck is stacked against me from the beginning. After reading these issues and speaking to Nyssa on the phone, I feel so much more empowered and informed. -1L law student
I just looked through the archives some, and this is really cool, but most importantly it’s really kind to young lawyers and law students. I wish I could have had access to something like this when I was graduating—would have saved me a lot of heartache. -Lawyer turned journalist
I have really appreciated the focus on diversity in the legal profession. I also especially appreciate that you consider holistic diversity, including diversity of thought. -2L law student
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