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10 Reasons why Lawyers need a Mentor

Very few lawyers have the benefit of a mentor. Or the option to sign up for coaching. The most that they can sign up for is the dreary process of CPD, and even then it is disorganised and non-eventful.

Mentoring if done right has the potential to transform a legal career and reposition your compass in a very meaningful way.

This is a non-exhaustive list but one that can be offered up to the ‘powers that be’ to demonstrate the enormous benefit of setting up a structured mentoring programme.

Reason 1

Because you don’t have all the answers.

Reason 2

Because you can (hopefully) speak your mind in an atmosphere where you won’t be judged. But don’t assume that your angst won’t find its way back to the wrong people.

Reason 3

Because it enables you to make sense of the disconnect between the here and now and the reason you went into law.

Reason 4

Because you can stress test your career plans.

Reason 5

Because you have quality time set aside where someone deeply listens to you but also offers a sensible opinion. If you find that you end up with too much silence and not enough push back then may be you have the wrong mentor.

Reason 6

Because you might learn something about the firm that makes you appreciate why you joined.

Reason 7

Because it strengthens your emotional intelligence.

Reason 8

To build your network.

Reason 9

To understand your weaknesses.

Reason 10

Because … what else is there? Speaking to your boss just feels you with angst or makes you more and more frustrated.

Mentoring is one of those devices that is not used nearly enough. It doesn’t have to be an arrangement between you and 1 other. It can be with many people. You will want to chose people who have the ability to listen to you without the baggage that goes with your line-manager. They also need to have the authority to make a difference rather than being a sounding board without substance.

Don’t expect things to change over night but mentoring can be incredibly powerful in allowing you the freedom to vent your spleen but also to tell you when you are wrong.

It needs some order and predictability, if is going to work. It is no good just turning up and hoping for the best.

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