Attorney–Student Mentorship Opportunities
Having a professional mentor is a great benefit to students in navigating the law school experience, exploring the array of career options available, and setting the stage for more successful professional development. Cardozo currently offers two exciting options for mentorship of students by attorneys: the NYS Bar Association–Young Lawyers Section Mentorship Program and the Student–Alumni Mentor Program. We encourage you to take advantage of these opportunities to obtain invaluable mentorship guidance!
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF HAVING A MENTOR?
An attorney mentor may offer you valuable insights regarding:
- techniques for succeeding in law school
- skills development, such as networking and interviewing
- legal practice areas
- obtaining experience and resume building
- effective job search strategies
It should be noted that a mentor need not practice in your primary practice area of interest (if you happen to know what that is already) to be effective and helpful in your career and professional development. Working with a mentor who practices outside of your primary area of interest can be highly beneficial, as the mentor can offer advice regarding job search strategy, building appropriate experience, networking, etc., and may be able to introduce you to attorneys who are engaged in the area that you would like to work in. This cross-fertilization of advice across practice area boundaries can provide you with truly valuable insights. Think outside the box when selecting your mentor!
Regardless of which mentorship program you participate in (or even if you participate in both), it’s important to remember that a mentor is a professional who can be an excellent source of advice and perspective but is NOT to be seen as someone who is responsible for finding or securing a job for you. Getting a job is your job, not theirs. The mentor’s role is to provide guidance and advice. Taking and acting on that advice may be helpful to you as you conduct a job search, but this is just a secondary benefit of the overall mentoring process.
May Mentors Program
The Cardozo May Mentors Program, the institution’s first mentoring program for first-year May students, was created to enhance Cardozo’s orientation activities. The program was founded by Matthew Kriegsman ’14, May 2011 senator and current 2L senator of the Cardozo SBA.
Each year, May Mentors facilitate academic and social transitions. Every mentor entered Cardozo as a May student, so they can point you in the right direction regarding professors, doing well on your exams, and writing outlines for the summer semester.
May Mentors also provide one-on-one support. Each incoming student is assigned a mentor who will proactively help each of his or her students. Students can feel comfortable communicating with any mentor they wish, for any reason. May Mentors are easily accessible through e-mail and in person on campus during school hours, and they run a number of events that aim to bridge connections between mentors and mentees.
For additional information regarding the program as a whole, please contact Matthew Kriegsman at email@example.com.
New York State Bar Association – Young Lawyers Section Mentor Program
The New York State Bar Association chose Cardozo to launch one a new long-term pilot program in the academic year 2011–12. As part of the program, the NYSBA has arranged for discounted memberships for Cardozo students who participate so they can become members of both the NYSBA and the Young Lawyers Section for a discounted rate. Students who become members of the NYSBA and the YLS are then eligible to participate in this small pilot program through which students can be matched on a first-come, first-served basis with a practicing attorney mentor who is a member of the NYSBA–YLS.
Julie Anna Alvarez in the Office of Career Services oversees the 1L NYSBA–YLS Pilot Mentorship Program. If you have questions or for more information, please send her an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Student-Alumni Mentor Program
The Student–Alumni Mentor Program is designed to assist law students with defining and setting career goals and developing a better understanding of the real-life demands of the legal profession. Mentors participating in the program are Cardozo alumni who are willing to volunteer their time to guide Cardozo students in navigating the law school experience and in taking their first steps on the path toward becoming legal professionals. Furthermore, the Cardozo Student–Alumni Mentor Program offers opportunities for students to be mentored by professionals residing both within and outside the NYC metro area, which can be a great added benefit to students seeking to gain insights into other geographic areas of interest. The Office of Career Services and the Office of Alumni Affairs jointly administer the Student–Alumni Mentor Program on behalf of the Alumni Mentorship Committee.
Julie Anna Alvarez in the Office of Career Services oversees student participation in the Cardozo Student–Alumni Mentor Program. If you have questions or for more information, please send her an e-mail at email@example.com.
Student Bar Association Mentor Programs
The Student Bar Association pairs 2L and 3L mentors with interested 1L mentees. If you are interested in the program, please e-mail the SBA at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the SBA office, Room 215.
The SBA also offers a mentorship program for January-entry students. The outgoing January SBA Senator organizes a mentorship program in which students who entered the school in January of the previous year help explain the program and provide guidance to current January-entry students. Mentors advise their students on how to deal with the accelerated schedule, summer school, and job hunting without a 1L summer job on their resume. Incoming January students who are interested in the program should e-mail the SBA at email@example.com.