Advisor and Mentoring Programs
Do you have professional experience which could benefit students? Hastings students are eager to learn about "life after law school" from those who have "been there, done that!" Whether you are practicing law or using your J.D. in another way, here in the U.S. or around the world, we have students who would greatly appreciate the information and advice you can provide.
Alumni Mentor Program Director, Louise Francis (415) 565-4826, has information and can be reached by email: firstname.lastname@example.org. To participate in the Alumni Mentor Program, complete the Advisor Information Form and forward it to our Office of Career & Professional Development. Louise Francis will contact you.
The intent of the program is to match students with experienced professionals who will be role models and available to advise students on a range of topics. By providing students with contact with local lawyers and judges, the program gives students the opportunity to learn those things they need to practice law which they may not learn in an academic setting. Mentors assist students in defining and accepting their future roles as lawyers and serve as role models in dealing with clients, colleagues, the courts and the community.
Mentors are matched with law students interested in (or curious to learn more about) their area(s) of practice or nonlegal profession. The exact nature of the mentor relationship will be defined in different ways by each pair. For example, typical activities could include, among other things, discussions regarding what the daily practice of law is like in the mentor's practice area, mock interviews to help the student prepare for upcoming job interviews, going to court together, to local bar association meetings or special lawyering events, such as lectures and luncheons. Mentors also are encouraged to allow their students to shadow them for a few hours or half a day at their office, in court, at a hearing, oral argument, deposition, conference, etc. Other forms of mentoring are also acceptable, such as meeting for lunch or coffee, or just talking by telephone.
Please feel free to structure the program with your assigned student(s) to meet the needs of your practice and your available time. It is the quality of the relationship, not the quantity of time spent, that determines the success of the mentoring relationship.
Note: Because student interest in different practice areas varies from year to year, not all mentors will be matched every year. We hope, however, to keep the current mentor pool as large as possible to accommodate these fluctuations in student interest.
Alumni also may offer to conduct mock or informational interviews with students. Mock interviews can take place at Hastings or the alum's firm or place of business and should be conducted exactly as if the student were interviewing for a job. Generally, this would entail a 15-20 minute interview followed by 10-15 minutes of feedback on interviewing technique. This is a great opportunity for students to hone their interviewing skills. Informational interviews, on the other hand, allow students to question mentors regarding their experience, how they chose their particular practice area or specialty, what training they would suggest and what constitutes their daily routine. This practice helps students learn and feel more comfortable with networking, an essential skill for the job search process.
Preparation for judicial clerkships/externships
Judges and former clerks can play a key role in helping students prepare for the judicial clerkship application process by reviewing application materials, holding mock interviews with students and advising students on how best to position themselves for a successful application.
Alumni can give students practical advice regarding the nature of their work and professional opportunities in their field by participating in panels hosted by the Office of Career & Professional Development. These career panels cover a wide range of career options, such as nonlegal careers, hot practice areas in the law and how to turn summer associate positions into permanent offers.
Office Tours and Receptions for First Year Students
Alumni and their firms/places of work can host small gatherings of first year students for an office tour and casual reception. This activity allows first year students to gain exposure to different legal workplace environments and to meet with alums in a relaxed atmosphere to discuss important issues such as choosing a particular practice area, firm life versus government practice, or legal versus nonlegal careers. If there are several Hastings alumni at one firm, they could jointly sponsor the event.
The list of options presented above is by no means meant to be exhaustive. Alumni will find that mentoring can be an extremely rewarding experience and can take a variety of different forms. We encourage you to explore other options which may not be presented here and let us know what is successful.
To participate in the Alumni Mentor Program: Complete the Advisor Information Form and email it to email@example.com.