Law Links program helps you find a mentor
A good mentor can change a young attorney’s life.
The Law Links Mentorship Program at Charleston School of Law matches law students with local attorney mentors. Through the program, the law school will pair practicing attorneys mentors with students. The program is exclsuively for 2L students at the law school.
The Career Services department is hosting a meet-and-greet for students participating in the Law Links Mentorship Program on Thursday, August 31 at 5:30 p.m. on the second floor. If you are a local attorney who would like to serve as a mentor in the “Law Links” program, contact Kristen Ashe in Career Services at 843.377.1394.
What is a mentor?
If you are interested in finding a mentor, it’s important that you know what you’re looking for. A mentor is a person who shares their life experiences with you to enable you to make better decisions about your life and career. As a law student, you should look for a mentor that is interested in investing in your life and future legal aspirations.
“Be open. Be honest. Be real,” said Leslie McIntosh (’13), partner and attorney at McIntosh, Sherard, Sullivan & Brousseau in Anderson, South Carolina. “I don’t care if you’ve been practicing 10 years like I have, or for 30 years, you need to be compassionate and willing to listen and be responsive to their questions. At one point you were in their shoes and you need to remember how frightening it was to be in your first year practice.”
A mentor should be:
- Be open. Be honest. Be real.
“When I say, ‘be honest and real,’ I mean, don’t posture; don’t act like your life is amazing; don’t act like you know everything; don’t act like things are perfect for you. Tell young attorneys when things go wrong: they don’t just become amazing when you hit five or 10 years, but there are ways to embrace that and adapt so that you can be healthy and responsible moving forward.”
Want to mentor a law student?
What is the role of the mentee?
The mentee also plays an important role in a mentorship.
First, as a mentee, you need to be respectful of a working attorney’s time. Seek opportunities to talk about specific aspects of life, law school and the practice of law. Be intentional. Do not simply ask them to be your mentor.
“The first question I always ask is, why me?” said McIntosh. “Why would you choose me out of everyone? I want to hear that I wasn’t just a name that popped up on the screen. There should be a connection that we can build on. For example, I practice the type of law that you want to practice, or I am an attorney that’s involved in Anderson and you want to network in the community.”
Second, an ideal mentoring relationships requires honesty. The more transparent you are with your mentor, the more likely you will receive value from their wisdom and experience.
Building strong relationships through networking, student organizations and the Law Links mentoring program will make a significant impact on your performance as a student and your future law career.
CHARLESTON SCHOOL OF LAW QUICK FACTS
The Charleston School of Law is an ABA-accredited law school nationally recognized for its student-centric culture. Our faculty and staff are committed to preparing you for success both in the classroom and in the legal profession.
- The Princeton Review ranks Charleston School of Law professors sixth in the country for faculty accessibility and No. 12 nationwide in quality of teaching (2022)
- Charleston School of Law faculty ranked among the top of The Princeton Review’s list of Best Professors in the nation (2016-2018)
- Experiential Learning: Charleston School of Law students have access to more than 150 externship sites, creating opportunities for experiential learning in the legal field.
- Community Service: Charleston School of Law students have performed more than 241,000 community service hours (2004-current).
- Students have won the National Tax Moot Court Championship for seven consecutive years (2012-2018)
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The following was originally published by the South Carolina chapter for the Association of Corporate Counsel.