Having a mentor and serving as one has helped shape my career as a legal professional. I think the mentor/mentee relationship is critical to helping us face our doubts, fears and even just to brainstorm and realize someone else has been in our shoes before.
It’s also important to craft this relationship in a certain way – some may enjoy a more formal arrangement, with specified duties and interactions planned out for both parties. Others may enjoy a more informal relationship — meeting for coffee once in a while or inviting each other out to an event that might be mutually beneficial.
Just think, your boss, another partner in your law firm or an older law school classmate — these can all be your mentors, even if it’s not an official arrangement. Look to the people around you and take the time to learn from them. You should also take the time to teach them, too. Mentorship is not a one-way street!
I recently attended the Bar Association of Baltimore City’s Mentor/Mentee meetup at Waverly Brewing. I’ve been fortunate to have as my mentor Robert Anbinder, a former president of the BABC. Bob is not only an incredibly down-to-earth person but he also happens to basically know everyone that practices law in the Baltimore metropolitan area. Everyone seems to know Bob, and he has often gone out of his way to make introductions for me, to some pretty amazing people.
At the Waverly event, a gift basket sponsored by Erin Leah Flynn of CRC Salomon was raffled off. Bob, being a fantastic mentor, rigged the raffle in my favor – and subsequently refused to accept any of the goodies in return. (At least I got a nice photo of the two of us!)
I would like to see all of the MSBA Sections and the specialty bars institute mentorship programs for their members – to the benefit of not only new attorneys and new members but also for the future mentors themselves. The interactions and the resulting friendships and relationships that would arise help to improve the entire profession overall and should be strongly encouraged.
That’s not to say the mentor/mentee relationship is easy. Like any relationship, it takes effort, energy and time. I promise you, though, it’s worth it!
Do any of our readers have a mentorship story they’d like to share with us?