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Back to Basics: Mentoring Topics that Spark Real Conversations

Women's Initiative Newsletter
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Mentoring is a core component of the mission of the Baker Donelson Women's Initiative. The goal of this program is to cultivate our Firm's female talent at all levels by maximizing career development and leadership opportunities through guidance, support, and networking.

A significant part of our mentoring program focuses on gathering to discuss monthly mentoring topics, with each office implementing the program differently. For example, in the Atlanta office, our mentoring circle meets monthly over coffee and focuses part of our discussion on a particular topic. Group mentoring allows for women to peer mentor each other. It also gives us the opportunity to develop organic mentoring and sponsorship relationships out of routine interactions with women at varying levels of experience.

Hopefully these interactions provide all women with the resources they need to develop management and leadership skills, grow within their profession, and network with other women attorneys. Examples of monthly discussion topics include time management, client communication and counseling, developing a network, working with difficult people, developing short and long-term career goals, managing stress, and building visibility. This month, we are tackling the following questions:

  • Can you name a person who has had a major impact on how you practice law? Why and how did this person impact your practice?
  • What is the one behavior or quality that distinguishes a great young attorney from a good one?
  • What is the one mistake you find that young lawyers make more often than others?
  • How do you ensure you stay current with legal trends and continue to develop as an attorney?
  • What trends do you see developing in the legal profession over the next few years, and how can you get in front of them?
  • What opportunities do you recommend I seek to develop my verbal and written communication skills?
  • Which professional or pro bono service organizations do you feel are the most important to be involved in?

If you have ideas for mentoring topics, please share them with your friends at Baker Donelson or me! We'd love your feedback.

Sarah-Nell Walsh is the co-editor of Strive and the Women's Initiative Office Leader for Baker Donelson's Atlanta office. Send her your ideas for mentoring topics at swalsh@bakerdonelson.com.

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