Mentorship Meetings

Do your research.

Learn what you can from the lawyer’s website and LinkedIn profile. Take note of anything that sparks your interest. This will help you to ask more focused questions, and to demonstrate your genuine interest.

Be ready to introduce yourself.

Be prepared to introduce yourself and keep it brief and succinct.  It is helpful to explain the general purpose of the meeting to frame your interests. (i.e. why you reached out to this lawyer in particular)

Prepare good questions

Generate a list of questions ahead of time based on what you would like to learn from your interview. Here are some conversation starters to consider:

  • I noticed that you did [career fact].  Would you share your journey in getting to where you are today in your career?
  • I see from your bio that you do [practice area]. Would you tell me more about what that involves? 
  • How did you determine what [role/practice area/workplace] was right for you?
  • What does your typical workday or workweek look like?
  • What aspects of your work do you find the most satisfying/challenging?
  • What do you believe are the most important factors for succeeding at what you do?
  • I am looking to [your objective].  Do you have any advice that you can share?

~ Jessica Lo, AssociateLindsay Kenney LLP

Step 1: What is in your toolkit?

In a broad sense, your “toolkit” is your perspective on your skills, experiences and what you have to offer. It’s not the part of your resume describing what you did and where, but rather the description at the top about who you are.

Your “tools” are the skills that you’ve acquired so far and those that you are honing. With your mentor, put together a list of your skills. Defining your skill-set is difficult to do alone as it requires you to step back, and take an objective view of all your experiences. This is where your mentor can help you! By starting to look at your skills is this way, it becomes easier to see how to develop them or where there might be gaps or where you could apply them.

Step 2: Develop a new vocabulary around your tools

Now spend some time describing your tools.

Choose words that express aspects of your personal brand. If you’re describing your skills with words that can sometimes feel over-used, be sure to provide examples that affirm why you have these attributes. Most importantly, find words that you like, that feel authentic and that convey what you believe about yourself effectively. For example, I am seasoned, I am resilient, I am capable, I am an asset.

Don’t be modest and don’t undervalue your skills or experiences. As lawyers, we can be extremely hard on ourselves. If you’re lacking in confidence,  try talking to a non-lawyer about what you do, they will likely view your achievements very differently. If you’re unsure about where or how to begin, start by completing a fun self-assessment test that may help you get to know yourself!

Step 3: Believe them yourself

What’s in your toolkit should honour your own individual experience and inspire you to be your best self. Ask your mentors to share what’s in their toolkit. And remember that time gives perspective. The affirmation you might be lacking now will come later when you look back and proudly say “I did that!”.