November 9, 2018

21 mentors and mentees, all participants in Cardozo’s alumni/student mentoring program, came together for a networking event and panel on October 3, at the offices of Weil, Gotshal and Manges LLP.

Spearheaded by the Offices of Alumni Affairs and Career Services and co-chaired by Noel Williams ’87 and Eric Hochstadt ’03, the program allows current law school students to connect with Cardozo alums in the professional legal world.

Students gain guidance and feedback from their mentors’ firsthand experiences, while mentors are able to use their time in the professional world and learned experiences to give back to the students of the current day, who are just embarking on chosen career paths.

Student mentees obtain valuable career advice, feedback, and legal knowledge through this program. The mentor-mentee relationship is designed to foster maximum productivity and commitment to Cardozo by encouraging strong collegial relationships and recognition of accomplishments. 

Williams said, "I don't think many people outside of the process realize that there can be substantial benefits for the mentor as well as the mentee. The program allows the mentor to "give back" to the school, the mentee, and ultimately the legal community and allows the mentor to keep up with current goings on in Cardozo. The mentee is able to discover inside things about a possible career that may be lesser known.”

Williams continued, “benefits to the mentee include learning to acclimate to law school and the legal profession; helping gain control of his or her law school and professional career and both the mentor and the mentee can mutually strengthen their communication and interpersonal relationship skills, and also allows both to practice giving and receiving feedback. The program is constantly changing. Currently, we attempt to maintain the relationships as well as add new mentees annually. In practice, it has always varied according to the preferences of the individuals involved.”

Inez Lano, Director of Alumni Affairs, said, “the event was an example of our alumni having a solid understanding of the importance of paying it forward to our students and helping them become their best selves. Students benefit from alumni who share their advice and experience, propelling the students to enter a professional setting confident and prepared, ready to lead.”

The 2018 Mentor Program proved to be a great success with 65 alumni mentors and 99 first-year mentees. The 2019 Mentor Program will follow a similar format in terms of creating new pairings for first-year students.

For more information about the mentor/mentee program, contact Erin Handler at ehandler@yu.edu.