Lawyers Club President 2013-2014
Mentorship as a "Virtuous Circle"
Recently, a Lawyers Club colleague and mentor sent me a link to a blog post entitled “The Virtuous Circle of Mentorship and Its Impact on Your Career.”
(http://bit.ly/1dVDv2q) I hadn’t thought of it exactly this way before, but the columnist’s perspective resonated with me. He writes, “Mentorship, advice and counsel is a virtuous circle, and is constantly under-appreciated in business and in life.”
Most of us know that mentorship is important because successful people talk about mentors having played a critical role in their advancement. But, what does “mentorship” mean? What does it look like? Where do you find it? How can you become part of the “circle”?
A personal experience taught me a lot about these ideas, about the power of mentors and mentees, and about the welcome reversal of these roles.
In late 2008, I met a young woman on a shuttle bus on the way to a political fundraiser. The event was at a private home in North County, and because of the parking situation – and to my good fortune – the guests were being shuttled to and fro. I didn’t know anyone expected to attend this event. Looking around, it was immediately clear that everyone else was decades older and seemed to know each other, save for the other young woman who boarded the bus. She sat down next to me. We got to talking. It turned out she was also a lawyer and had just graduated from UCLA School of Law – my alma mater. I knew we would become fast friends. At the event, she knew some people from having grown up in San Diego. We mingled. It was fantastic to have a peer “wing woman” – otherwise, this crowd would have been quite daunting to me.
Then, on the shuttle back to our cars, this remarkable young woman said something shocking to me. Since we’d hit it off and were law school comrades, she said “Johanna, I would really love it if you would be my mentor. What do you think?” I couldn’t believe it.
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