Full Time Practice

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

An Alumni Mentoring Program

(Written by Susannah Thomas, a WIL Committee member.)

I am a member of the BYU Law Alumni Association Board. I am also a member of the JRCLS Women in Law Committee and have greatly enjoyed my participation on this committee for the past few years. 

A couple of months ago the BYU Law School Alumni Association rolled out its newly revamped mentoring program. In the past, Law School Alumni would be paired up with 1Ls for the school year to help give advice and guidance on academic success, finding jobs, and anything else that might help the student.

Following many hours of internal discussions and discussions with the students themselves, the Alumni Association determined that the students would be better served by having mentors assigned to them during the second and third years rather than the first year of law school.

The new mentoring program now has a more structured approach that is designed to specifically assist 2Ls and 3Ls in “finding attractive employment, preparing for success in the workplace, and more fully appreciating the BYU Law School experience.”

The mentoring curriculum consists of 4 sessions that cover:

1) Exploring employment options, and enjoying the law school experience;

2) Resumé review, interviewing skills, and employment targets;

3) Networking, ethics and professionalism, and

4) Success in the workplace, life balance, and employment follow-up.

Mentors are comprised of BYU Law Alumni and are selected through an online database that is managed by the Career Services Office. Once the mentor and student are paired up, the mentor and student must report on progress throughout the semester, including completing a questionnaire about the program and each other.

In a one hour training session held a couple of months ago, each of the students and mentors received specific information about objectives, pre-session work, and discussion topics/questions for each session. That way the time they spend together will be used more productively and efficiently. 

While BYU Law School Alumni has a clear objective to help BYU Law Students, the objectives and ideas from this mentoring program may be adapted by other JRCLS Chapters to assist not only law students in their area, but members within their chapters to find employment. 

(One of the goals of this blog is to address seven different focus groups:  full time practice; part time practice; on hiatus; practicing with children at home; students; using your law degree in your community and family; and, singles.  If you have any suggestions about topics you would like to see addressed in these areas, please let us know through the Comment section below.)

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