Cleveland Jewish News | Legal firms’ mentoring programs cultivate young talent

Published Aug 16, 2018

Jennifer Slife, Professional Development ConsultantMentoring programs exist in almost every field to help find and develop talent. For local legal firms, mentoring programs help new lawyers find their footing as well as adjust to the general legal community.

According to Patricia Shlonsky, partner in charge and chair of the tax practice group at Ulmer & Berne LLP in Cleveland, and Jennifer Slife, professional development consultant at Buckingham, Doolittle & Burroughs, LLC in Akron, mentoring programs are good places for new lawyers to get hands-on experience.

“Practicing in a law firm is new and different,” Shlonsky said. “That is part of it – just to get adjusted. It can be intimidating to come into a firm and students think everyone there knows exactly what they are doing and he or she doesn’t. So, (mentoring programs) are good because they have someone they can go to and help them adjust. They can know they aren’t alone and have someone they can come to if they need help.”

Slife said, “Mentoring programs are extremely important. You want to make sure you’re tying in and integrating the associate as much as possible. When creating formal relationships, you’re creating a network in which they can ask questions and get answers. Inevitably, our goal is to help them create a network past their formal mentors.”

Both firms said mentees learn various skills in these programs…[more]

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