Finding the right mentor might be the best thing you ever do for your practice. Learn more:
Solo practice is a very different animal than working within a law firm. When you work within someone else’s structure, there is a sociability that accompanies your paycheck. But when you’re a solo or small firm lawyer, those casual conversations and helpful tokens of advice can be hard to come by.
Therefore, one of the most impactful relationships that you can grow is one with a smart and experienced mentor.
Why learn from your own mistakes when you can learn from someone else’s? Finding a smart mentor can give you insight on how to be an even more successful and effective solo lawyer.
Here are five examples of how the right mentor can help elevate your firm and be a guiding light to your practice for years to come.
First, a mentor will be willing to share their wisdom, knowledge, skills and expertise with you. They understand the problems you face. Not only with the practice of law, but with running a profitable practice as well. Plus, they want to see you succeed.
Also, a smart mentor will push you to work harder and step your game up, making sure you and your practice are prepared for the tough times.
2. Solve Problems with Ease
It is not uncommon for solo and small firm lawyers to get bogged down by the small and productivity-killing tasks that come with running a practice. A mentor can help by asking you the right questions and motivating you to work on the more important tasks at hand. They were once in your shoes, so they know the importance of effective time management.
If you’re a solo attorney without a mentor, then you’re missing out on an easy way to expand your network and build beneficial relationships. Having lunch or coffee with someone once a month and exchanging emails or phone calls is a small investment that could result in new business for your firm.
Additionally, when you find an opportunity that isn’t a good fit for your firm you can share it with your mentor or ask them to refer it out for you and facilitate an introduction. Essentially, you can leverage the network of someone who has been at it for a lot longer.
4. Fresh Perspective
Have you ever been working on a document for countless hours, only to find a simple typo on your 100th read through? Well, the same can happen in the day to day life of your practice. A mentor can help you see through the blind spots that are visible to others but not to yourself.
From there they can give you helpful and actionable feedback on how to correct and improve for the future.
5. Learn a New Skill (or Skills)
No matter how smart you are, the more you know the more you realize how much you have to learn.
The right mentor will not only teach you about new areas of the law but will help set your firm on the path towards a long and healthy life. Learning something new won’t just make you a better lawyer, but it will also show your clients and peers that you are motivated and ready to take on any challenge thrown your way.
6. Maintain the Relationship
A mentor is someone who is investing their time in you so it is important to maintain the relationship. Mentors want to know how you are doing. Keep your mentor up to date on your practice and the tips you have put into practice. Nothing is more rewarding to a mentor than to hear of the success you are achieving with their help.
7. Be a Good Mentee
One way to be a good mentee is to set realistic goals that you want to achieve with the help of your mentor. Then together, create a timeline of how to achieve your goals. Stick to your schedule and do any necessary “homework” between your meetings. Remember, your mentor is taking time out of their day to help you, so make it worth it for both of you.
A smart mentor will provide the foundation for the necessary emotional, intellectual and practice management support that your solo practice will need. So take these tips into consideration and go find the mentor that is going to help take your practice to the next level!