What They Didn’t Teach You in Law School #16: How to Convince Someone to Become Your Mentor

When you were in law school, your teachers and advisors probably told you how important it is to find good mentors to help you through various stages of your legal career. You also followed all the tips and tricks on where to meet good mentors: You attend the bar association events, engage in dialogue on LinkedIn, and pay attention to who’s who and what’s what in your practice area. You exchanged business cards, you emailed, you sent in your resume and you even included a few potential mentors on your holiday greeting card list. So, why hasn’t anyone jumped at the opportunity to become your personal source of guidance? After all, you know you would be an excellent protégé.

Maybe it is time to stop thinking of ways other people can help you get what you want out of your career. Instead of reaching out to people to ask them what they can do for you, try offering them something valuable in return. While you may not be an expert in foreclosure defense cases, maybe you can offer your expertise in bankruptcy law. If you are just starting out, maybe you have some sort of non-legal experience that would be useful to an attorney who is new to technology, web-based services or social networks.

With more and more graduates entering the legal field each year, you might not be the only attorney looking for a mentor. Find ways to stand out and make it worthwhile for people to take you under their wings. For more tips on how to get experience as a new or transitioning lawyer, check out this recent post on Law.com.