As the person who requested the conversation, you should be prepared to direct the dialogue. Start by thanking the person for taking the time to speak with you and sharing some information about yourself and your background. Keep your goals for the conversation in mind, and ask questions to learn about the mentor and their experiences. Be mindful of the time and stick to the schedule you’ve agreed to as much as possible.
Ask engaging and insightful questions
Your goal is to learn more about the industry, the practice area, and the typical duties of an attorney at the organization. Keep your questions professional, but this is an opportune forum to ask about daily responsibilities, work-life balance, and new trends that may exist in the industry. Consider these sample questions:
Relating to the Mentor
- What experiences were most meaningful to you at YLS?
- Did you enter YLS will a sense of what you wished to do with your law degree? What experiences/resources/people helped you define your goals?
- Reflecting on your career, what has been your proudest professional accomplishment? Is there anything you would change about your path?
Relating to the Mentor’s Area of Practice
- Who are your clients and what types of cases/issues do you work on?
- What is a typical day like for you?
- What do you find most satisfying about your work? Least satisfying?
- What skills are most important to succeed in your area of work?
- What are the current trends/changes you have seen in your practice area?
- Are there other practice areas you would suggest I explore?
Relating to the Mentor’s Organization
- What characteristics does a successful attorney have at your organization?
- How is the industry changing and how do you see your organization adapting to those changes?
- How would you describe your organization’s culture?
- When people leave your organization, where do they typically work?
Advice for the Mentee
- What classes, clinics do you recommend I pursue given my interests?
- What experiences do you recommend I pursue to enhance my attractiveness to organizations in your field of expertise?
At the close of the conversation, ask to set up a subsequent conversation if you’d like. Ask if there are other people the mentor would recommend that you reach out to. Thank the mentor for their time.