The Bucks County Bar Association Mentor Program is designed to help junior lawyers succeed by matching them with more experienced lawyers who encourage, support, and motivate. Senior lawyers offer the benefit of their experience and provide younger lawyers with opportunities to learn and grow. The Mentor Program has three main goals: (1) to support and help junior-level lawyers; (2) to provide mentors as a resource for junior lawyers; and (3) to help junior lawyers achieve their professional goals. The Mentor Program is administered by the Women Lawyers’ Division but is open to all members (male and female) of the Bucks County Bar Association. This is a one-year commitment, although a mentor and mentee may extend this term to suit their needs. Apply to the Mentor Program.

TIPS FOR MENTEES:

For this program to be successful, you will be expected to work with your mentor by taking an active role in your own development. Here are ways you can make the most of the mentoring experience:

  • Identify and share your needs with your mentor.
  • Be receptive to feedback.
  • Set realistic goals with your mentor.
  • Contribute ideas to solving problems.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions!
  • Communicate clearly and effectively.
  • Listen and be respectful.

Your mentoring experience will be most productive if you know and follow certain ground rules:

  1. Be respectful. Respect your mentor’s time and confidentiality. Don’t share a mentor’s personal feelings or ideas with a third party unless authorized by your mentor. Respect your mentor’s time as if it were your own.
  2. Communicate. Be clear about your needs and limits. Communicate early on your preferred method of communication, the best days to be reached, and your time constraints.
  3. Be professional. Conduct a professional relationship at all times. Work through a conflict with care and respect. Contact the Mentor Program Committee for assistance if necessary.
  4. Evaluate your progress. Continually evaluate how well you are meeting the goals of the program. Be committed to self-development. Be able to work interdependently.
  5. Show your appreciation. Recognize your mentor when you achieve goals you have discussed. Send a thank you email or take the time to make a phone call.

The BCBA and WLD expects all mentees to be committed to the program. However, we understand that conflicts may arise. If at any time you feel you cannot work with your mentor please contact the WLD Chair or Vice Chair, who will work to resolve the issue or reassign mentees if necessary. If at any time you no longer wish to participate in the program please contact the WLD Chair or Vice Chair as soon as possible.

TIPS FOR MENTORS:

Your participation in the Mentor Program is vital to the program’s success. During the course of your mentoring, you will be called upon to perform one or more roles, including:

  • Guide. Help your mentee navigate through the transition from student to professional, from junior associate to senior associate, etc.
    • Reveal any “unwritten rules” of success, such as developing a professional demeanor and reputation
    • Provide information on the dynamics of a law firm, in-house law department or government agency
    • Everybody makes mistakes; share yours!
  • Motivate. Motivate your mentee through encouragement and support.
    • Motivate your mentee to achieve ambitious goals.
    • Focus on what your mentee is doing successfully and relate this positive feedback to your mentee.
  • Coach. Provide constructive feedback to promote professional growth.
    • Encourage positive behavior with positive feedback.
    • Discourage negative behavior with constructive feedback.
  • Advise. Help your mentee develop his or her professional interests and set realistic goals.
    • Set concrete and attainable goals.
    • Update goals as needed.
    • Direct your mentee to appropriate career resources.
  • Be a Role Model. Always project high standards of professionalism and a positive attitude.
    •  Remember mentees are likely to imitate their mentors.
    •  Provide an opportunity for your mentee to learn the positive attributes of an experienced attorney.
    •  Invite your mentee to participate in at least one event where she will be given the opportunity to network with other lawyers and/or judges (e.g., a bar association event).

Your mentoring experience will be most helpful to your mentee if you follow certain basic principles:

  1. Be respectful. Respect your mentee’s time and confidentiality. Don’t share a mentee’s personal feelings or ideas with a third party unless authorized by your mentee. Respect your mentee’s time as if it were your own.
  2. Communicate. Be clear about your needs and limits. Communicate early on your preferred method of communication, the best days to be reached, and your time constraints. Set boundaries from the beginning.
  3. Be professional. Conduct a professional relationship at all times. Carefully consider whether to encourage a close friendship. Work through a conflict with care and respect. Contact the Mentor Program Committee for assistance if necessary.
  4. Evaluate your progress. Continually evaluate how well you are meeting the goals of the program. Invite your mentee to discuss any concerns. Encourage your mentee to meet his or her goals, not your own.
  5. Recognize. Recognize your mentee when he or she achieves goals you have discussed. Send a congratulatory email or take the time to make a phone call.

The BCBA and WLD expects all mentors to be committed to the program. However, we understand that conflicts may arise. Once a mentor is assigned a mentee, you are expected to your mentee via email or other preferred method of communication at least once a month. If at any time you feel you cannot work with your mentee please contact the WLD Chair or Vice Chair, who will work to resolve the issue or reassign mentees if necessary. If at any time you no longer wish to participate in the program please contact the WLD Chair or Vice Chair as soon as possible.