Mentors Are Invaluable
CDTA Founder and Dean John Patrick Dolan started the California Desert Trial Academy (CDTA) to develop not just exceptional attorneys, but outstanding trial attorneys. Dean Dolan realized that a focus on trial advocacy skills would require a different approach to a student’s overall legal education.
He conceptualized an educational curriculum that was analogous to a medical school residency program where doctors mentored students and provided them with hands-on, real-world scenarios to apply their new professional skills.
Dean Dolan’s own experiences as a law student with an attorney mentor were priceless. These experiences provided invaluable practical skills because they placed him in the position to succeed as an attorney from the day he started practicing law.
Not every law school emphasizes the use of attorney mentors for its students. CDTA believes that mentors are crucial to graduates’ first-day success as practicing attorneys. There is so much to gain from practical knowledge from seasoned real-world professionals. This source and type of knowledge offer more than the knowledge provided by a mere law book.
Mentors offer participation in the process. Law books may only describe the process while providing information related to the process. Mentors offer their experience practicing law. Mentors provide attitudes, concepts, methods, techniques, and ideas within the context of their unique historical perspective.
The opportunity to discuss a real legal matter on a real legal docket with a mentor, and then observe a mentor as he or she interacts with the system and other “players” is exciting and informative. Having a front-row seat as this actual case moves through the legal system, provides real-world experience that is simply invaluable.
During this process, mentors offer real-world lessons that law books simply do not. For example, many law students do not meet an actual “client” until after they have graduated from law school. Involvement with a mentor allows a law student to observe the attorney-client relationship and all the nuances thereof firsthand.
After all, it typically takes years for attorneys to really feel comfortable practicing law. As they gain experience, their comfort and confidence levels increase. Mentors offer participation. Participation provides experience.
The experience of having a seasoned, knowledgeable attorney as a mentor is an invaluable tool for achieving success. This process fosters, educates, and employs students, allowing them to graduate with not only knowledge of the law but also the ability to transition immediately into practice and begin representing clients.
CDTA students are privileged with the ability to access mentors as many of the faculty, attorneys and judges, and other legal professionals that students encounter at CDTA College of Law are graciously generous with their time and knowledge.
If you are interested in becoming an exceptional legal advocate, consider the benefits of a mentor. Consider the California Desert Trial Academy. Upon completion of CDTA’s 4-year course of study, students will be fully qualified to take and pass the California Bar examination. Call us today at (760) 342-0900 or find out more online here.