IPS Guidelines for Mentors

Thank you for generously volunteering to provide your time, experience and expertise to the IPS mentorship program.


First Steps

• Learn about your mentee.  Find out about their background, experiences, strengths, talents, etc.  Ask them to provide a resume, bio, or CV as a starting point.

• If your mentee does not contact within of week of being assigned, please feel free to reach out to them.

• Set up your first meeting.  We recommend that the first meeting be in person.


Initial Meeting

• Determine when, where and how often you will meet.  Meet in person as often as possible or talk on the phone, go for coffee, lunch, etc.

• Discuss goals for the mentorship relationship.  Is there anything in particular that the mentee would like to learn about, advice that they are seeking, or experiences that they would like to have?  Consider what contacts or experience you might have to be able to help them meet these goals.

• Consider introducing the mentee to others within IPS and other potential contacts or mentors, if appropriate.

• At the end of each meeting, confirm next steps, and when the next meeting will be.


Mentoring Tips

Here are a few suggestions to make the mentoring relationship as successful as possible:

• Potential topics for discussion:

– Classes the mentee is taking
– Mentee’s career goals
– Work/life balance
– Working at a firm/in-house
– Resume writing
– Interviewing skills
– Opportunities for community involvement and community activities
– Network and reputation building
– Tips for practice management

• Your mentee may be from another culture.  Be sensitive to cultural differences, differences in communication and any unintentional biases you may have.

• Be an effective communicator:

– Listen actively and eliminate distractions.
– Listen to subtle nuances in tone and pace of speech.
– Think about the tone you use and how it may be interpreted.
– Check for understanding and reactions to avoid misinterpretation.