For new lawyers embarking on their careers and also law students contemplating future directions, mentoring by experienced practitioners can be very valuable. However, not all new lawyers, much less law students can be involved in a formal mentoring relationship.
While not being able to replace that kind of relationship, the Young Lawyers Committee of the Seventh Circuit Bar Association, has developed a more "bite-size" approach to mentoring, geared to busy new practitioners and law students.
What they have created are five video channels on the online video service called Vimeo. Most of the videos are short and feature judges of the Seventh Circuit and attorneys who practice in the circuit.
They provide how-to guidance and tips, but also address such issues as the relative merits of clerkships, pro bono work, areas of practice. They look at what values to cultivate and the challenges of the justice system itself.
They also speak to the relevance of the law school curriculum, hiring preferences, mistakes to avoid, personal career planning and even how to find a real-life mentor for your career.
The committee describes the aims of their project as, “It’s a way to gather and communicate wisdom and experience from one generation of lawyers to the next, by building a library of video clips of various judges and practitioners. We also seek to have younger lawyers gather these videos in order to make connections with judges and experienced practitioners.”
The videos are publicly accessible and can prove useful and convenient both for new attorneys and law students. Just pick a few from the extensive “menu”, to get started. You’ll probably want more.