1L Mentor Program

Student Guidelines

The purpose of the Mentor Program is to provide each student with access to a mentor as they desire, therefore the student is responsible for managing the relationship. All meetings should be initiated by the mentee, who should take care to choose times and places convenient for both parties. The mentee should also maintain communication between in-person meetings, whether by telephone or email. Student mentees should remember that their mentors are volunteers with busy personal and professional schedules.

Mentees should come to all meetings prepared, spending time before the meeting considering topics of discussion and questions for their mentor. Mentees should set realistic goals, including what they hope to achieve or learn, and monitor their progress. Student mentees should keep in mind the following:

  • Keep shared information confidential.
  • The more you put in to the relationship, the more you will get out of the relationship.
  • Your mentor will not always have the answer. Discussions are just as rewarding.
  • Communication is key to a successful mentoring relationship.

Mentor Guidelines

The Mentor Program provides first-year law students with a system of support and guidance. UCI Law asks that mentors commit 15-20 hours during the academic year. We believe this is enough time to create a meaningful professional relationship, but without becoming overwhelming for our volunteer mentors. Communication by telephone and email can be just as effective as in-person meetings.

Attorney mentors have experience and insight that will prove valuable to students as they transition into law school. The goal of the Mentor Program is to meet the needs of the student, but we are confident the relationship will also be beneficial and rewarding for mentors. Mentors should attempt to provide mentees with the following:

  • An introduction to what a practicing attorney does each day.
  • Guidance about life as a law student and life as a practicing attorney.
  • Encouragement in a safe, supportive, and constructive environment.
  • Exposure to professional contacts and networks to assist the mentee in developing their own personal and professional networks.

Topics of Discussion

Discussion between mentors and student mentees may focus on general issues related to the legal profession and the practice of law, as well as the law school experience. Mentors do not provide legal advice to student mentees. Topics of discussion may include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • Professionalism and legal ethics
  • Law school success strategies
  • Client development
  • Networking and relationship building
  • Maintaining work/life balance
  • Stress and time management
  • Career development and planning

Relationship Building Activities

Activities will ideally be of interest to both mentor and mentee, and take into account both members schedules and professional commitments. Mentor/mentee activities may include the following:

  • Meetings over coffee or lunch
  • Touring mentor’s office
  • Attending bar association and networking events
  • Taking part in professional volunteer efforts
  • Attending court arguments, depositions, and/or client meetings
  • Shadowing mentor at work

More Information

The UCI Law 1L Mentor Program is coordinated by the Career Development Office. For more information, email mentor@law.uci.edu.