Career Immersion Mentoring Program

The Young Lawyers Section (YLS) provides several opportunities for law students to receive mentoring and guidance from members of the bar and to gain practical insights into everyday legal practice. 

Program Description

The YLS has developed a unique career immersion mentoring program which will pair 2L law students with attorney mentors who will guide you through a series of experiences that will benefit your career.  Examples of experiences may include conducting a mock interview, shadowing the attorney during a virtual hearing or deposition, or having the attorney edit a writing sample. The goal is to meet (virtually or in person) with your mentor once per month during the program (runs October 2021 - April 2022). This program is intended for rising 2L students. You must a current law student member of the CBA to participate.   

Academic Year 2021-2022 Program Schedule and Materials

Week of September 20, 2021: Introductions and Pairings
Click here to download the Program Worksheet

Month 1: Service (October 2021)
Conversation starters: 
What is meant by service? 
Why are service projects necessary for new attorneys? 
Besides pro bono, what other types of service are available for attorneys?

Suggested activities:
Participate in a virtual pro bono opportunity
Participate in a non-virtual pro bono opportunity
Participate in any Pro Bono Week activities
Continue pro bono discussion and consider role of service within the legal industry

Resources:
How to Find Purpose Through Pro Bono
Law Practice Today – The Benefits of Community Service to the Lawyer

Month 2: Making Connections (November 2021)
Conversation starters: 
How does one go about networking in the legal field? 
Where should one go to make connections? 
Who does one reach out to in order to network? 
What is the necessity and value of making connections in the legal profession?
What are some tips on how to build connections and network effectively?  

Suggested activities:
Mentor coordinates virtual meet-up with another lawyer or judge to introduce mentee to
Organize a group networking meeting with other program participants in similar practice area (suggested practice area groups will be emailed to program participants)
Read and discuss networking tips 
Mentor shares an example of how they have effectively networked in their career or practice
Mentor and mentee brainstorm ways for mentee to build a network for a particular practice area, including tips for starting to build networks before graduating law school

Resources:
Lewis & Clark Law School – The Rules of Law Student Engagement (Networking Advice)
How to Network Like a Pro in Law School

Month 3: Practice Skills (February 2022)
Conversation starters: 
What skills not traditionally taught in law school are necessary to succeed in the profession? 
How did mentors go about learning these skills? 
What are valuable experiences to incorporate into the mentee’s time in law school that would help prepare them for the practice of law?

Suggested activities:
Mentor arranges for mentee to shadow a deposition, court hearing, or client meeting (virtually or in person)
Mentor reviews mentee’s writing sample
Mentor offers 3-5 personalized tips on navigating unwritten legal cultural rules
Mentor and mentee attend virtual court proceeding during a weekday and discuss after
        Click here to view Cook County LiveStream court hearing options 
        Click here to view Lake County LiveStream court hearing options
        Click here to view Will County LiveStream court hearing options 

Resources:
ABA for Law Students – The Importance of Gaining Practical Legal Skills
Above the Law – Seven Skills Attorneys Have

Month 4: Career Preparation (March 2022)
Conversation starters: 
Mentors, what steps did you take to prepare for your career? 
How did you narrow down your interested practice areas, search for firms, and succeed once you secured employment? 
Mentees, what are your immediate and long-term career goals?

Suggested Activities:
Mentor conducts a virtual mock interview with mentee and provides feedback • Mentor reviews mentees resume and provides feedback • Mentor discusses with mentees on how to better “sponsor” their career growth  Attend a Career Advancement Program together and discuss what was learned

Resources:
Harvard Law School – Questions and Answers for a Mock Interview
New England Law – How to Write Your Law School Resume with No Legal Experience
 
Month 5: Thought Leadership (April 2022)
Conversation starters:
Think of 2-3 “hot topics” within the mentee’s desired practice area.  
Mentors and mentees can discuss mentee’s interests and experiences outside of the practice of law to determine how mentee can use those interests to become a thought leader in their practice.
 
Suggested activities you two may want to coordinate this month:
Mentees may read these 10 tips on how to become a thought leader and discuss with their mentor 
Discuss what it means to be a thought leader in a particular area of practice and how mentee can strive to be one.
Mentor shares examples of thought leaders in their practice area or network
Mentee drafts and mentor reviews an article for the CBA’s @theBar Blog
Mentor reviews a piece written by mentee for another publication of mentee’s choosing

Resources and links that may supplement your discussion and learning experience:
Above the Law – Three Thoughts on Thought Leadership
Attorney at Work – How to Become a Thought Leader
 
May 2022: Evaluation and wrap-up