Mentoring Workshop for Attorneys
Mentoring for Success: Helping Associates in Your Firm Reach Their Full Potential
Mentoring programs for associates in law firms have been around for a long time. The tradition of lawyers helping lawyers become better lawyers is as old as the profession itself. The profession has repeatedly stated that sharing skills and knowledge with each other, and especially with associates, is a value it holds dear. And although many feel mentoring today is not as valued or prevalent as it once was, the fact is practitioners continue to mentor and be mentored in many different ways.
The ways in which firms deliver associate mentoring programs are as varied as the firms themselves. But no matter what shape they take, mentoring programs have one thing in common: a growing recognition that they are a vital element of the business of law. Mentoring in law firms is more important today than ever before.
Research studies have clearly indicated the number one reason associates leave a law firm is the absence of a mentoring program. A good mentoring program fosters loyalty, improves retention and reduces recruiting costs. They can attract better talent and that talent stays. Mentoring programs also help ensure that new associates have a well-rounded training that reflects what is valued in the firm, because those associates are the firm’s future.
When you consider the investment a firm makes in associates, the kind of positive results described above really drive home the economics of mentoring. In other words, mentoring associates is simply good for business. The better the mentoring program the more profitable the firm. While firms understand the importance of a mentoring program, the biggest problem they face is that most senior lawyers don’t have the skill sets to be an effective mentor.
Why Mentoring Programs are Effective
A well-developed mentoring process can accomplish several important objectives. First, it provides the mentee with an opportunity to learn from an experienced senior attorney and obtain internal support as well as advice on how they can best learn and grow as a lawyer with the firm.
Another important objective of mentoring programs is to have a positive impact on the overall enhancement of individual professional capabilities but also on the performance of the firm as well. For example, studies examining the impact of mentoring programs have demonstrated increased retention by as much as 77% and an 88% increase in personal productivity when mentoring is combined with traditional training. Studies have also shown increased levels of employee career satisfaction and work engagement among employees who have had the opportunity to participate in a mentoring program.
We at Wolf Management Consultants have additionally seen the positive benefits experienced by the mentors in well-designed programs. By working as internal mentors, senior attorneys often further develop important skills such as listening, providing feedback and coaching. They also frequently report that being a mentor has been an overall enriching and fulfilling experience.
Wolf Management Consultants provide law firms with highly customized mentoring workshops that are engaging, informative and highly experiential. Participants gain the knowledge and skills they need to be effective mentors. The following are a few topics covered in our mentoring programs for law firms:
The mentoring program is followed up with periodic check-ins and coaching to help the mentors ensure they are performing their role and responsibilities at optimal levels of effectiveness.
The session will focus on educating associates on their role and responsibilities as mentees; how to work with a mentor for maximum benefit and how to prepare for a mentor/mentee meeting.
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