In Black And White

Legal Business Development: Mentoring... A Two-Way Street

I recently talked to a law firm about their mentoring program. Yes, everyone understood that junior lawyers might want to be mentored by a more seasoned senior lawyer in the firm. That is the traditional way that mentoring works.

Today I believe it can be a two-way street. Ask what can a senior lawyer learn from a junior lawyer? Well... a lot!! Here are five two-way street possibilities:

1. Senior lawyer: Introduce the junior lawyer at your next networking event. Junior lawyer: help the senior lawyer improve his LinkedIn bio.

2. Junior lawyer: Introduce the senior lawyer at your next networking event. Senior lawyer: help the junior lawyer create a well thought out list of targets for business development efforts.

3. Senior lawyer and junior lawyer: Write a book together. junior lawyer do the substantive law part and the senior lawyer give the real world examples.

4. Senior lawyer and junior lawyer: Write a blog together. Pick a topic, practice area or sub-practice area and write it from two perspectives. Junior lawyer do most of the writing and posting of the information and interview the senior lawyer for comments, points of view and wisdom.

5. Senior lawyer and junior lawyer: Teach a seminar together. Senior lawyer set the direction and the junior lawyer do the research and make the PowerPoint look great.

Granted, if you are a curmudgeon or a cocky know-it-all... this isn't going to appeal to you much. But if you are an open-minded individual of any age, this is a great way to learn something from one who knows something you don't. Just as you collaborate on cases, you can mentor one another on business development initiatives. Keep in mind... if you're senior, you have wisdom to share. If you are junior, you have new world thinking to share.

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Paula Black and Associates
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