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.
More information regarding these programs is listed below.
Student-Alumni Mentor Program
Many alumni are happy to assist law students with defining and setting career goals and developing a better understanding of the real life demands of the legal profession. There are many opportunities available to Cardozo students to obtain guidance and mentorship from alumni and other professionals both informally and formally.
On a more informal basis, students can:
a. Attend the Office of Career Services “Nosh & Knowledge” informal speakers series; the small group format of these chats allows you to ask questions and get an insider view of how alumni and non-alumni professionals do what they do for a living;
b. Find alumni engaged in numerous career fields on LinkedIn by joining the subgroup “Cardozo Career Connect.” These alumni are often open to engaging in informational interviews and providing quick answers to career path related questions; and
c. Attend frequent events in the law school attended by alumni and other professionals. Many are organized and co-sponsored by the Office of Career Services and Alumni Affairs, among other departments and student organizations.
a. Each year 1L students can opt-in to participate in the Cardozo Professional Mentor Program and be matched one-on-one with an alum in the Spring Semester. These mentors are willing to guide Cardozo students in navigating the law school experience, as well as the first steps on the path toward becoming legal professionals.
If you have any questions about the mentoring opportunities mentioned above, or would like to discuss other opportunities for mentorship, please visit the Office of Career Services on the 11th Floor.
Cardozo Student Mentor Program
Cardozo Student Mentors (CSM) offers one-on-one support to all May, Fall, and transfer students to help their mentees acclimate to the law-school environment.
Founded by Matthew Kriegsman '14, each student is paired with a Cardozo Student Mentor that is trained and ready to welcome all first-year students into the Cardozo community. The mentors understand that 1Ls have a lot of questions and concerns, so they make themselves accessible throughout the year. 1Ls can contact any of the Mentors personally through email, during scheduled office hours, or during one of the several social events.
For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.