Graduating from law school is essential to being a lawyer. But passing through that doorway, as all lawyers know, is just the first step in a long process. New lawyers need encouragement and support, as they can quickly feel like they’ve taken a wrong turn onto a one-way street.
Sometimes new lawyers need direct, constructive criticism that corrects misunderstandings. Other times, they need assistance in understanding how to plan and implement an effective and efficient strategy.
Many law firms lack institutionalized mentoring programs. The more senior lawyers in a firm are busy with their own practices, and have neither the time nor the training to mentor a new associate. Yet every law firm can benefit from a well-mentored associate.
Beth taught at the University of Montana School of Law from 2006-2011, and has been an adjunct since 2016. Classroom teaching is just one part of her job. An equally important part of her job takes place outside of the classroom, where she talks with students individually about their personal and career goals, and helps them develop strategies to achieve those goals. She advises students not only on their writing and research techniques, but also on conducting client interviews and preparing for oral arguments. She often provides guidance to students in applying for jobs, assisting them with resumes and conducting mock job interviews.
The connections Beth forged with her students have survived law school, as her former students have become friends and colleagues.