Louis D. Brandeis Mentorship Program
The goal of The Louis D. Brandeis Mentorship Program is to match law students with professional mentors and peer mentors who will serve as their role models and advocates throughout their law school experience. The Louis D. Brandeis Mentor Program encompasses three distinct components: The Legal Professional Mentor Network (LPMN), the First-Generation Peer Mentor Connection (1st Gen PM Connection) and the Brandeis Leadership Initiative.
Overview of Each Component
Legal Professional Mentor Network
Housed within the Office of Student Affairs and Diversity and Office of Professional Development, the Legal Professional Mentor Network allows all students to connect with a legal professional who will offer support and guidance through their law school journey. Many legal professional mentors in this Network, will be alumni.
First-Generation Peer Mentor Connection
Housed within the Office of Student Affairs and Diversity, the 1st Gen PM Connection is a peer mentor connection for first-generation college students and first-generation law students. First-generation 2Ls and 3Ls help the 1Ls understand law school and the challenges others may not encounter.
The Brandeis Leadership Initiative
Housed within the Office of Professional Development, the Brandeis Leadership Initiative provides an opportunity for 3Ls, on a monthly basis, to meet and engage with leaders in the legal community, to enhance their transition to professional practice.
How does the Legal Professional Mentor Network work?
All law students and legal professionals are encouraged to participate and complete their applications. Program administrators will use application answers to assign a mentor or mentors to each student applicant. A meet-and-greet reception will bring all participants and administrators together for an informal gathering.
Throughout the academic term, mentors will share knowledge and experiences about topics ranging from how to successfully manage law school to embracing the rewards and challenges of practicing law.
After the meet-and-greet reception, both the mentor and the law student mentee will establish expectations regarding their roles, responsibilities, and communications. However, the mentor should meet with their mentee in person at least once in the Fall and once in the Spring. It is essential for the mentor and mentee to have an open discussion to establish expectations and ensure alignment. This will help foster a positive and productive mentoring relationship that can greatly benefit the law student's personal and professional development. This is a commitment that should last the entire academic year.
- Communications: Both parties should agree on the frequency and modes of communication. This may include in-person meetings, phone calls, emails, or video conferences. Setting up regular “check-ins” will help to maintain a strong mentor-mentee relationship. Professional communications include appropriate attire. Business casual or business professional attire for meetings and gatherings is the norm.
- Guidance: The mentor is expected to provide professional guidance. This may involve discussing academic goals, career aspirations, study techniques, networking strategies and general advice about navigating the legal profession.
- Professional Development: The mentor should assist the mentee with identifying and pursuing opportunities for professional development. This may include recommending professional organizations, conferences, or networking events that can enhance the mentee's legal skills and knowledge. The mentee will work with the Office of Student Affairs & Diversity and the Office of Professional Development. The mentor will also serve as a resource for the mentee.
- Feedback and Accountability: The mentor should provide constructive feedback to help the mentee adjust to law school. The mentor’s approach to professional ethics and civility, career goals, types of legal practice, law practice management, and overall well-being should be a positive influence. The mentee should be receptive to constructive feedback and actively seek clarification or additional guidance when needed. Both parties should maintain accountability for agreed-upon tasks and communications.
- Confidentiality and Trust: Both the mentor and mentee should maintain confidentiality and trust throughout all discussions. This allows for open and honest communications, thus enabling the mentee to share their concerns, challenges, and goals without fear of judgment or breach of confidentiality.
- Respect and Professionalism: Both parties should maintain a respectful and professional demeanor within all interactions. This includes active listening, being punctual, and treating each other with courtesy and respect.
If you have any questions about this program, please email the Louis D. Brandeis Mentorship Program.