Colorado Supreme Court

Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel

Promoting Professionalism. Protecting the Public.

You - Yes, YOU! - Could Use a Mentor

Deputy Director, Colorado Attorney Mentoring Program


When we think of mentoring, most of us likely conjure a similar vision: a new professional is paired with and learns from a more senior professional. And for good reason. Most mentoring relationships, organic and facilitated, follow that model. In the legal profession, many new lawyers are younger than their seasoned counterparts and they are also less experienced overall. Accordingly, mentoring makes obvious sense for lawyers seeking guidance and support in recognizing their strengths and overcoming the challenges of a new career.

While mentoring at the early stages of one’s career is beneficial and recommended, the need for mentorship does not dissipate over time. And fortunately, many lawyers recognize the need for mentoring over the span of one's legal career. At the Colorado Attorney Mentoring Program, we speak weekly with at least one person who self-identifies as being a non-traditional mentee. Some of these mentees are nearing retirement, some are seasoned lawyers who are new to Colorado, and others are seeking guidance for advancement opportunities, to give a few examples. We welcome these individuals and assist them in maximizing the benefits of mid-career mentoring. 

But for every lawyer who recognizes the benefit of mentoring at all career stages, there are several who miss the opportunity. For those who need some persuasion, here are a few examples of when lawyers could benefit from mid-career mentoring:

Advancing In Your Career

Recently promoted? Given more responsibility? If you are assuming new assignments or taking on a new role within your organization, seek guidance from someone who has successfully navigated their own career elevation. Learning to manage people and legal organizations while maintaining your billable hours and client obligations can be overwhelming. Look to those who have come before you to provide sage advice and direction to address career advancement.

Leaving The Practice

Leaving the practice of law, whether through retirement or career change, can be complicated by our professional identity as “lawyers.” We can’t answer the question of “What happens when I’m not a lawyer anymore?” in a vacuum. The same care and consideration that goes in to successfully launching a legal career should be applied when concluding a legal career. Mentoring your transition out of practice will make your exit more professional, effective, and optimistic.

Changing Practice Areas

You don’t always know what you don’t know. Even the best lawyers in their field were not equipped for total success on day one. Switching your specialty mid-career can be energizing, but there can be unknown obstacles that make success and satisfaction harder to obtain. Any time you try something new in practice, look to someone with the expertise to help you identify and avoid pitfalls.

Lawyers are expected to continue educating themselves throughout their careers.

Mentorship is an excellent form of legal education. CAMP can connect you with someone who has the experience and knowledge to guide you – wherever you are in your career. Join us or learn more at