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Thursday, January 07, 2016

Mentors

Thanks to Howard and rest of the Prawfs crew for having me.

Starting this semester, I'm transitioning into a administrative position. As of this month, I hold the very sexy title "Acting Associate Dean for Faculty." Fitting for a Skakespearean trained associate dean like myself.

One of the eggs in my administrative basket is our junior faculty mentoring program. Program is a heavy word. Like a lot of schools, much of our mentoring happens on the fly. Don't get me wrong, we mentor hard; it's one of the things our faculty does best. But I'm wondering if we can improve things. When things are going well, tinker with them, right?

For me, the guiding principle of mentoring is always to remember that it's not my career. Too often mentors try to recreate themselves. Which is, of course, not surprising: if it worked for me, surely it will work for you. The problem is that being law professor is an individual sport. While there is collective wisdom to build on, ultimately we have to be ourselves in our teaching and writing. And that's often the most daunting part when you're just starting out in the gig.

But I'm eager to hear thoughts, concerns, suggestions. Please, thank you, or sorry, as the case may be.

Posted by Zachary Kramer on January 7, 2016 at 10:00 PM in Life of Law Schools, Teaching Law | Permalink

Comments

I am chair of my agency's mentorship committee. Two issues with any mentoring program are: (1) personal fit; and (2) maintaining momentum. In addition to an application, we host an event where potential mentors and mentees can meet one another prior to submitting preferences. For the latter, we have regular events and individually check in to see how the mentor relationship is progressing.

Posted by: Scott Maravilla | Jan 8, 2016 5:32:54 PM

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