Help – I can’t find a mentor!

Help – I can’t find a mentor!

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Finding a mentor isn’t always easy. In smaller towns in particular, it can be a real challenge. Here are a few thoughts on how you might be able to hook up with a mentor who can help guide you through your career.

Transcript – How Young Lawyers can Find Mentors

Hey there guys this is Chris Hargreaves from bringing you another episode of non billable where in around three minutes I give you a rant, answer some questions, or perhaps give a bit of advise that might help you out in your legal career.

Today I wanted to answer a question and it’s about mentoring.

I am a big fan of mentoring. I’m a big fan of people having a mentor that they can confide in, that they can work with and that can offer them some long term strategic advice and a question came in response to one of the articles I’d written about, what if you’re in a small town or an environment where there aren’t a lot of options. Perhaps there’s not as much experience around, perhaps you don’t get a long with the people that are in your particular immediate vicinity, or perhaps frankly the town is just so small there’s just no chance you could have a confidencial conversation with anyone without everyone in the entire town knowing what you’re talking about.

This is frankly where the drawers of the internet come into play. You have available to you mentors every where. I know it’s going to be a bit different without necessarily having a face to face arrangement, but with skype, with facetime, with video conferencing, if you’ve got enough hustle, you can find yourself a mentor, you’ve just got to reach out.

Linkedin is a good place to start. Find the senior people who seem to be there to help Jr. Lawyers and reach out to them, connect with them, comment on some things they say, start to develop that relationship and then in an appropriate time you might reach out and say, “Hey, would you mind formally mentoring me or even just informally.” “Can you be a sounding board for me, can I send some questions to you, can I reach out to you form time to time when I got issues I want to face?”

Most people, if you’ve assessed them property beforehand, are actually going to be very willing to do that. It’s an issue that most lawyers don’t volunteer for, but they’re happy to be asked to do. Give it a go, reach out, linkedin, great place to start. Join some group, see what you can find, make some connections, develop some relationships.

I know it’s not the same as face to face mentor, but if someone can be a telephone call or an email or a skype chat away, then that’s the next best thing. As my tips on how to find a mentor, if you’re in a smaller town and not so much access and I’ll see you next time.