An Aspiring Paralegal’s Second Step: Finding a Mentor

Legal Adviser February 27, 2017
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Lawyer mentoring a paralegalThe closer you get to achieving your paralegal dreams, the more you realize that while you know more about the law, you do not know the extent of the practice. You spent years understanding and studying the concepts and application. Maybe you took an extra class or two just to get a better grasp of your future practice.

Once you get out of school, the real deal is closer than you think. That’s why plenty of aspiring paralegals bury themselves in books, research and studies; they want to do their very best.

Enrolling in a good paralegal school is the first step towards your dreams, but it shouldn’t be the only one.

You’ll also need a mentor.

The Selection: Choosing a Mentor

Choosing the right mentor isn’t about finding someone to boss you around. On the contrary, it should focus on finding someone you can follow. They will keep you accountable for all of your efforts and studies. As an aspiring paralegal, choose a lawyer or an older paralegal who exhibits the traits you want and possesses a higher level of success.

Mentorship should meet the needs of both the mentor and the mentee. Because this person said yes, both of you should commit to the cause.

Traits of the Right Mentor

How do you know if the arrangement works? If it’s effective.

When you begin your search, look for a mentor with the following traits:

  • Knowledgeable. They should know the ins and outs of your field. How can they teach you the basics if they do not know it themselves?
  • Objective. While mentorship focuses and supports professional growth, objectivity should still be a top priority. Your mentor should be objective enough to point out areas in need of improvement.
  • Open-minded and a good listener. Good communication is important for an effective mentor-mentee relationship. Your mentor should be someone who keeps responsive communication between you.

Working with a mentor can change your life. It can make you a better paralegal in the future. Remember to work with a mentor who has good character traits and relevant experience.

Category: Of Two Minds
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