With 874 matched pairs, LCLD’s Success in Law School Mentoring Program is facilitating the largest number of mentoring relationships in its nine-year history. Attorneys at 177 LCLD Member law firms and corporations are mentoring law students at 82 law schools across the country.
“The Mentoring Program meets a critical need for diverse law students, helping them build relationships with successful attorneys who can help them navigate their law school tenure and prepare for a thriving legal career,” said LCLD President Robert Grey. “And as a Mentor, I can learn from this diverse, up-and-coming talent.”
The Seattle program alone grew by more than 150 percent between the 2018 and 2019 academic years.
The Success in Law School Mentoring Program was launched in 2011, at the impetus of then-LCLD Board Member Dennis Broderick, formerly the General Counsel of Macy’s, and his colleague, Ann Munson Steines, now General Counsel of Nordstrom, who saw the need for a national mentoring program that would serve diverse law students. LCLD provides the infrastructure for the Mentoring Program, marketing the program to law schools and LCLD Member organizations, registering and matching Mentors and Mentees, and providing resources for both parties that help them grow their mentoring relationship.
But the continued growth of the program is due in large part to the engagement of program City Leads, dedicated individuals who champion the program in their area.
“Because of the dedication and commitment of our City Leads, the Mentoring Program grew by 24 percent from 2018 to 2019,” said LCLD Program Manager Nancy Richardson. “City Leads are the liaisons between LCLD, law school administrators, Mentors, and Mentees. They keep the program thriving in their cities, and the program wouldn’t be possible without them and a host of other volunteers who also contribute to the growth of the program each year.”
In Seattle, the Mentoring Program has grown by more than 150 percent since the last academic year, thanks to the efforts of Mayank Prasad, City Lead and Corporate Counsel at Amazon.com.
Mentees connect at a 2019 Group Mentoring Event.
“I worked closely with diversity coordinators at our largest sources of Mentors in years past to actively recruit Mentors,” said Prasad. “The result was a larger and more diverse base of Mentors than we had previously. Once the school year started, we coordinated with our partner law schools to distribute advertising flyers on campus and send letters directly to students. We even worked with diversity organizations to ensure the message came from students as well. The results speak for themselves—we nearly tripled the size of our program in one year.”
Other cities with impressive growth include Houston, New York, and Washington, DC.
In addition to individual mentoring relationships, the Success in Law School Mentoring Program also includes a Group Mentoring component. During the last academic year (2018-2019), LCLD Member organizations hosted 17 events nationwide. These events provide an opportunity for diverse law students to network with practicing attorneys and fellow law students, in addition to receiving substantive information on topics like negotiations, professional branding, building relationships, and in-house experience.
“Not having an insight into what attorneys do on a day-to-day basis, this allows me to see some of the real-life things lawyers do,” said Mentee Sasha Brooks, a student at Capital Law School in Columbus, Ohio. “I feel like I can learn a lot from my Mentor about the journey of becoming an attorney.”
For more information on the Success in Law School Mentoring Program, contact Program Manager Nancy Richardson at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to participate and pay it forward, registration for the 2020 academic year starts June 1, 2020. You can find out more about the program here.