The goal of FJA’s Mentor Program is to provide lawyers with the opportunity to develop mutually beneficial relationships that support professional growth and development. By pairing new lawyers with accomplished attorneys, the program allows successful practitioners to impart their wisdom and offer guidance on navigating the legal field, skills for honing a successful practice and tips to enhance business development throughout one’s legal career.
The following list outlines the expectations for mentors and protégé who participate:
- The minimum expected duration of a mentor/protégé relationship is one year.
- Once mentor/protégé match is established, both parties will be copied on an email introduction. It is the responsibility of the mentor to arrange a kick-off call within one week of receiving the email introduction. The mentor/protégé kick-off call should be brief call (5-10 minutes) where both parties introduce themselves. The following objectives should be covered in the kick-off call:
- Mentor to ask protégé about goals/objectives
- Mentor and protégé to discuss availability
- Schedule first in-person and/or phone meeting (ideally within two months of kick-off call)
- It is suggested that mentors and protégé’s meet once every two months but a minimum of once every three months. Ideally mentor/protégé should take place in person, but alternatively meetings can take place via a video or phone call.
- During the mentoring meetings, potential discussion topics should include, but are not limited to, the following: professionalism and legal ethics, effective attorney/client communications, law office management, practice and career enhancement, best practices in trial court litigation, how to successfully navigate the FJA and marketing and growth opportunities.
- Successful mentor relationships are ultimately based on building strong personal relationships. It takes more than an initial introduction to develop a successful mentor relationship. The mentor and protégé must make a commitment of time to develop the trust and rapport to establish a strong and mutually beneficial relationship.
- Effective communication is essential to establishing a strong Mentor/Protégé relationship. Once assigned, the Mentor and protégé should share their goals and objectives and discuss time availability, best method of contacting each other, and the goals of the mentor/protégé relationship.
- Confidentiality: Communication between the Mentor/protégé should be confidential.
- Consider an initial face-to-face meeting when possible. While phone introductions are quick and convenient, a face-to-face meeting can be a great way to establish a close and lasting relationship.
- Exchange contact information (email addresses, office and cell numbers) in order to allow for seamless communication and help to develop a successful mentorship relationship.
- Mentors/protégés may elect to participate in a minimum of one and maximum of three mentorship relationships concurrently.
- Preferences such as geographic location and specialty areas will be taken into account to the extent possible when assigning matches.
The Pairing Process
The FJA mentoring committee will select mentors with sufficient practice and life experience to provide valuable guidance and information to a new lawyer. All mentors and protégés will fill out a program application which will be used to match mentors/protégés based on geographic location and speciality area of interest. Once matched, mentors are asked to contact protégés to establish an initial introduction. Both parties will receive a Mentor Packet with an overview of the program and tips to make the mentor relationship successful.
Mentorship Program Specialty Areas
Mentors/protégés can elect to participate in one or more of the following specialty areas:
- Young Lawyers Mentors
- Appellate Mentors
- Diversity Mentors
- Women Mentors
- General Mentors
Prospective mentors and protégés interested in participating in FJA’s Mentor Program can enroll by completing an application linked below.