Colorado Supreme Court

Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel

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What’s In It For Me? Five Ways You Win By Mentoring


Deputy Director, Colorado Attorney Mentoring Program


At the Colorado Attorney Mentoring Program (CAMP), we are grateful to the hundreds of lawyers who serve as mentors. But for every mentor who says “yes” to the opportunity, we often hear the reasons lawyers give for not becoming a mentor: “I don’t have time.” “I don’t have the right skills.” “I don’t know how.” (We disagree. With the right training, anyone can be a good mentor.)

Most can easily see how a mentee would benefit from mentorship. A mentor can teach a mentee best practices and help the mentee make connections that can lead to opportunity. However, to be a mentor, a busy professional must take time out of their schedule to teach someone else. It isn’t always obvious how the mentor will benefit. But, believe it or not, the benefits to the mentor are significant.

As we reflect on the continued importance of mentoring to the legal profession, we encourage you to consider these five reasons to say “yes” to becoming a CAMP Mentor.

1.    You Are Reminded of the 30,000-Foot View

For many, the day-to-day of law practice is laser focused on client matters, office management, and commitments. We rush from one spinning plate to the next without much consideration for why we chose those plates or whether we enjoy spinning them. We forget what the view looked like when we were first starting out as lawyers. For a new lawyer, the view is exciting. There are vast career pathways and time for reflection on professional passions. When you engage with a mentee, you are reminded of that view. As you coach your mentee in identifying their strengths and passions and introduce them to the people you admire, you too will have the opportunity to reflect on your own career pathway and passions. Utilize mentoring as a “Career Check-Up” and an opportunity to review the status of your professional trajectory.

2.    Overcome Your Imposter Syndrome

Some lawyers think they can’t be a mentor because to them a “mentor” is a Yoda of sorts with vast expertise, remarkable insight, and more than a few grey hairs. To some extent, we all still maintain the imposter syndrome of our new lawyer days when we were convinced someone would discover that we really did not know what we were doing. Mentoring allows you to see how far you have come as a practitioner and a professional. The confidence you gain when investing in someone else’s success is significant. Working with a mentee allows you to provide meaningful input and guidance while building your skills as a role model and leader. The pride you feel in making a positive and meaningful impact on another professional will quiet your inner imposter and provide assurance that you really do belong in this profession. 

3.    We Do Better When Someone Is Watching

We all have the best of intentions when it comes to our practice mechanics, professionalism, and service to the community. In reality, however, sometimes we cut corners, lose our temper, or skip legal night in favor of Netflix. As a mentor, your mentee doesn’t learn and grow from what you meant to do. They only remember what you actually do. When we know someone is watching us, we can’t help but strive to model good habits and best practices. Mentoring helps you to improve your bad habits and adopt a higher level of awareness of how you do your work and how you interact with your colleagues.

4.    Dust Off Your Rolodex

Great mentors connect their mentees to other great mentors. Working with a mentee allows you to revisit your network to find people who can provide a different perspective, a networking opportunity, or practical learning experience for your mentee. Mentoring gives you a reason to refresh stale professional relationships and touch base with old friends. Who knows, in reconnecting with your network you may even tap into a new referral source or find your next career opportunity.

5.    It’s Just Good Business

Whether you are a solo/small firm lawyer or managing partner of an international law firm, mentorship can be a lucrative component of your business and succession plan. Use your role as a mentor to attract and retain quality talent to your organization. Cultivate lawyers within your organization to be productive and invested employees. Good mentoring inherently creates loyalty and loyalty is good for business. Former mentees provide client referrals and will happily cover a hearing while you’re on vacation. The time you invest at the front end of a mentoring relationship will pay dividends down the road.

Whether you shape the next great Supreme Court Justice or help someone achieve their professional ambitions, you will make a difference to your mentee--and that’s what matters.

To learn more and apply to mentor with CAMP, please visit