» 1L Mentor Program

The 1L Mentor Program provides all 1L students with a practicing attorney or judge who has volunteered to mentor a Chapman law student during their first year. Mentors will serve as a resource for information, encouragement, and guidance as students make their transition into law school and the legal profession. Mentors will also provide a role model for professionalism, civility, and ethical behavior.

What are the goals of the 1L Mentor program?

The 1L Mentor Program is designed to:

  • Provide students with qualified, committed attorney role models
  • Expand students’ understanding of the practice of law outside of the classroom
  • Instill in students the pride and integrity of legal practice
  • Introduce students to the legal community and provide networking opportunities

Who can be a mentor?

Any attorney who has practiced law for at least three years can be a 1L mentor. Mentors are from a variety of legal practice areas and settings, including private practice, government, and the judiciary.

Will every mentor receive a mentee?

Depending on the number of volunteers, some mentors may not receive a mentee. The CSO has a number of other ways, however, for volunteers to help current students, including assisting with the Mock Interview Program.

How will mentor and mentees be matched?

All 1L students will receive a mentor. Some mentors will have more than one mentee. The CSO will make an effort to match mentors and mentees based on practice area or other interest. Depending on the number and variety of mentors who participate, however, some mentees might have mentors that do not practice in their desired practice area. No matter what practice area, mentors can provide mentees with insight into the legal profession, advice on legal careers and the practice of law, and can introduce mentees to his or her contacts.

What is the commitment for mentors?

Mentors will be paired with one to three student mentees. Within two weeks of receiving their mentee/s’ name(s) and contact information, mentors should contact their mentee(s) to set up a lunch or breakfast/coffee meeting. While not required, mentors are also highly encouraged to attend the Mentor/Mentee Networking Reception in January. Beyond these meetings, mentors and mentees may choose to meet again, but are not required to do so.

The mentoring relationship can be whatever is convenient and agreeable to each mentor pair. We recommend mentors and mentees stay in regular communication through email or phone. For example, mentees can contact their mentors with questions and mentors can check-in with their mentees. Mentors may plan additional activities with their mentees, such as attending bar association events or having mentees visit their office. The CSO will send mentors suggested topics of discussion and ideas for activities that mentors and mentees can do together at the beginning of the program.

Mentors are not responsible for covering all costs and expenses involved in the mentoring relationship (e.g., lunches). However, mentors should be sensitive to the financial constraints that students face and go to venues that are affordable.

What is the commitment for mentees?

Mentees are required to meet with their mentor once in the fall semester. Students are also required to attend the Mentor/Mentee Networking Reception to be held in January to meet again with their mentor. This event will also give students the opportunity to meet and network with other practicing attorneys. Mentees are encouraged to reach out to their mentors by phone or email for advice about law school, the legal profession, and legal careers. The Mentor Program, however, is not a recruitment program, so mentees should not ask mentors for a job or an interview.

There will be times during the semester when mentees are busy and may not have time to meet with mentors. If a mentor contacts a mentee, however, mentees are expected to respond to mentors within 24 hours. Mentors have all been through law school, so they will understand if a mentee’s schedule would not allow for a meeting during certain times of the year. The most important thing is to remain in communication with your mentor.

The CSO hopes that mentees will build rapport with, and obtain valuable advice from, their mentors.