Why you should become a Law Student Mentor
I decided to become a mentor after my own struggle with navigating through my first year of law. The challenges of law school aren’t just limited to the academic side of things; there’s applying for clerkships and grad roles, as well as trying to maintain a balance between study, work and having a life. Having (just) survived, I feel like I have a civic duty to help my fellow law students make their way through their law degrees.
I began mentoring in second year when I joined the program run by the LSS at my university. The role of a mentor is to provide support, and to share your experiences. Law student mentors also offer a lot of useful information about studying law that you won’t get in your lectures, and it can be helpful to have someone to vent your law school frustrations and concerns with. Needless to say, I wish I had taken the advantage of my law school’s mentoring program when I started my JD!
Being a mentor is not the huge time commitment that you might expect it to be. I would usually meet with my mentees a couple of times during the term to see how they are progressing and to answer any questions. Mentors are usually particularly sought after close to exam time, and I often shared my tips and tricks on how to deal with exams and demonstrated to mentees how I prepare my study notes.
Some of the other common questions I am asked are, ‘how do you get good marks?’ and ‘how should I study?’ My marks have improved over the course of the degree and I use my different study experiences to explain my study techniques. I pass on information that I have found useful in the hope that my mentees will learn from the mistakes I made earlier on in my JD and are able to achieve their goals. It’s rewarding to know that you’ve helped to make someone else’s journey through law school easier.
Mentoring can also help you to build connections and develop your communication skills; these attributes can be a great addition to your CV. It can also be a fantastic way to make friends, and I am very happy that some of my mentees have remained in contact for advice after I’ve ceased to be their official mentor.
Mentoring isn’t just limited to law school. Once you’re admitted as a lawyer and have some work experience, there are several mentoring programs run by law associations that will enable you to mentor students and junior lawyers. Mentoring is a very valuable tool and whether you’re a mentor or mentee, it will give you valuable insights into law school and the legal profession.
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