Tips and Suggestions for Mentors
Sign Up Online Today using our Mentor Program Online Registration Form!

Thank you for your interest in being a mentor! This is a successful program, whose goals are to strengthen the network of Widener Law and to assist the graduates of tomorrow in becoming successful, fulfilled professionals. Your investment of time and effort plays a vital role in our continuing efforts to spread the reputation of the school for outstanding educational offerings and personalized student support.

These tips and suggestions are meant for those who are matched with a student through our Program. Those who are not matched through our Program may find these thoughts useful in working with students with whom you may come in contact.

We particularly value your participation. Advances in technology and the increasingly competitive and complex nature of legal practice afford students fewer opportunities to establish mentoring relationships than did attorneys of prior generations. Mentoring relationships remain very important, however, in helping students to feel more connected to, and in control of, their professional future. You will find that law students are very eager for the advice and guidance that you have offered to provide.

You may have previous mentoring experience. For some, however, the role is a new one.

To help get you started, we offer the following topics as ideas for discussion with your protégé.
  • course selection for later years of law school
  • effective studying and exam taking habits
  • the "nuts and bolts" of law practice, including different types of practice, how to run a law practice, and the role of good management and organizational skills
  • the importance of civility and professionalism
  • customs of law practice in your geographic region
  • steps to take during law school to assist in success on the bar exam
  • the importance of passing the bar exam on the first attempt
  • career advice, including marketing for a certain type of practice or legal setting, job search tips and strategies, the effect of school activities and course selection on career opportunities, resume, cover letter and interviewing advice, and establishing career goals
  • balancing professional and personal life demands
  • the importance of utilizing existing resources (including the Career Development Office!!).
There are also many activities in which you may consider engaging with your protégé, such as:
  • a meeting in your office or over breakfast or lunch
  • a half day of shadowing (observing your practice for a morning or afternoon)
  • observing court proceedings - hearings, arguments, trials, etc.
  • observing a deposition
  • taking your protégé to bar functions and meetings
  • introducing your protégé to other people who might be able to offer advice or insight into the practice of law
  • conducting mock interviews or resume critiques
  • engaging in e-mail exchanges or telephone discussions
Remember that your protégé is a first year law student. Some students will have had exposure to the legal profession before law school, but most will know little of the legal world. Most likely, they are at the outset of a career whose customs and language are new and may be intimidating. Virtually any advice and insight into this new world will be welcome and valuable. Please remember that the student may be shy about making contact with you. If you sense this in your protégé, please encourage him/her to participate fully, and make special efforts to make him/her comfortable in the relationship.

In order to facilitate the initial contact and the ongoing mentoring relationship, you may find it helpful to inform your office personnel of the identity of your protégé and to emphasize the high importance you place on the relationship.

If you have ANY questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to call us at the Career Development Office. Those participating through the Delaware campus should call (302) 477-2163, and those participating through the Harrisburg campus should call (717) 541-3958.

Thank you once again for participating in the mentoring program.