Stay In Touch With Your Mentors!
The California Desert Trial Academy (CDTA) places great emphasis on the role, contribution, and importance of mentors. The CDTA encourages all members of its student body to seek and find someone to mentor them as they pursue the knowledge and experience to become effective attorney-advocates. Beyond law school, it is important to maintain contact with your mentors and continue to build this valuable relationship.
It may be challenging to stay in touch with those professional mentors who have substantially made a difference during a law student’s time at law school. After all, anyone who has the qualifications and attributes to mentor another person likely has many responsibilities with very little extra time beyond meeting them. A smart, wise, and considerate protégé properly weighs the amount of contact he or she makes with a mentor. If there is too little contact, the relationship may decline and end. If there is too much contact between a mentor and protege, and the result may be that the mentor considers the protégé an annoyance.
The following will help guide you to successfully maintain, foster, and build valuable mentorship relationships.
Do not solely use social media as a way to stay connected.
Honestly, this should be a no-brainer. Why would anyone want to maintain a personal relationship with someone that has provided guidance, advice, and support through Facebook or Twitter? It may even have the effect of ruining or damaging your professional relationship. It is highly recommended to adhere to formal channels of communication, like the telephone and even written correspondence whether by email or regular mail.
Send a (brief) email update when reaching a career milestone.
The optimal time to reach out and contact a mentor is when something of significance affects your career. A short email is a great way to communicate a fact or accomplishment of which you are proud without being obtrusive. Getting a new job, starting a graduate externship program, or receiving a research fellowship, are fitting milestones to share with your mentor. It is an excellent way to again thank a mentor for all that he or she has done to help you become an excellent attorney-advocate.
Suggest, even hint, occasionally at future plans.
At the time that you inform a mentor of an important career milestone, consider hinting at or suggesting plans for your future as a legal professional. This is a great excuse to follow up on contact based on a career accomplishment. It also helps if you have to ask a mentor for a letter of reference in the near future.
Don’t stuff your mentor’s inbox.
As mentioned, chances are that most mentors, even those that are retired, are very busy individuals who are busy academics or legal professionals, even judges, with a vast array of professional and personal responsibilities. With few exceptions, most neither expect nor want updates about what any of their proteges are doing daily. Refrain from being a pain in the astronaut.
In 2012, CDTA accepted its first class of students featuring the use of a practical focus on modern legal education that recognized its student body’s need and demand for distance learning. The experience that faculty and staff have gained through this focus has helped the CDTA continue to educate its students without missing a beat through the necessitated quarantine of 2020. The CDTA implements the same comprehensive learning platform as traditional law schools while considering both the traditional and modern needs of law students in 2020. At CDTA, not only do we educate students to be lawyers, but we also train and develop them to be exceptional trial advocates. Call us today at (760) 342-0900 or find out more online here.