Frequently Asked Questions

Background

What is mentoring?
How is mentoring different from networking?
What distinguishes Mentor U from other career-related events hosted by the Professional Development Office and law school?

Program Participation

How and when do I sign up for Mentor U?
How are the mentoring pairs made?
What kind of activities should I expect to do while participating in Mentor U?
What should I do once I have been paired with an attorney or a student?
How much time will be involved in the mentoring relationship?
How long should I expect to remain in this mentoring relationship?
Can I request more than one mentor at a time?

Troubleshooting

What if there is a problem with my mentoring relationship?
What if I forgot my email/password?
What if I am trying to decide on a particular practice area- can I work with more than one mentor?
For mentors: Why haven't I been requested yet?
For students: Why was I declined?




What is mentoring?

Mentoring, in the context of Mentor U, is the development of a voluntary, year-long, one-on-one relationship between a student and attorney focusing on career advice. The relationship is characterized by:
  • Immediately meeting with each other after being matched to discuss the mentoring relationship
  • Respect and mutual exchange
  • Interpersonal support

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How is mentoring different from networking?

Whereas networking is about developing professional contacts to tap for informational interviews and job leads, mentoring is about an attorney and student developing an individualized year-long relationship covering all aspects of career and professional development.

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What distinguishes Mentor U from other career-related events hosted by the Professional Development Office and law school?

Mentor U is unique in that it focuses on creating more long-term mentoring relationships between students and established attorneys. While the other programs and events are excellent resources for one-time informational interviewing/networking and career advice, Mentor U strives to provide students with personal, long-term mentor support for career and professional interests.

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How and when do I sign up for Mentor U?

Alumni: You can participate in Mentor U by clicking the "MENTORS: REGISTER NOW" button on the homepage of this website. In addition to your educational and other background information you will select personal mentoring preferences. During each mentoring round, students will have the chance to view your profile and request you as a mentor. After being selected, you can confirm a mentee, and you will be notified by email of the match.

Students: We have one registration period at the beginning of each school year. You will need to fill out a short form to participate in a mentoring session. After we confirm your account, and you can search for and request mentors. Once a mentor accepts you as a mentee, you will be notified by e-mail of the match.

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How are the mentoring pairs made?

After students enter their mentor preferences (practice area, type of employer, location, etc.), the software's matching engine presents students with a list of attorneys sorted according to how closely the attorney matches the students' criteria. Students can then request a potential mentor from this list, who then has the opportunity to either accept or decline the request.

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What kind of activities should I expect to do while participating in Mentor U?

After being matched and over the course of the school year, you will be prompted to meet with (in person, via Skype, or via phone, etc.) your mentor/mentee with a suggested discussion. However, you are not limited to these four meetings. Additional meetings/activities can be determined by mutual agreement between the attorney mentor and the student mentee. Mentor U is designed as a resource for helping similar-minded students and attorneys to find each other. The actual nature of the mentoring relationship, however, will be up to students and attorneys to determine and develop individually.

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What should I do once I have been paired with an attorney or a student?

We ask the student to make the first contact after the attorney accepts the mentoring request. Our hope is that the pair will have an in-person conversation early in the relationship via phone, skype or face-to-face, in which they can get to know each other such as general interests, significant people or events, and likes and dislikes, and the mentee's general career goals.

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How much time will be involved in the mentoring relationship?

We ask both the mentor and student to commit to a minimum of four meetings throughout the school year. However, mentors and mentees may agree to meet more often. Generally, the time commitment ranges from a few hours per month to meeting every couple of months, depending on the preferences of both the mentee and the mentor. It is up to the student and the mentor to decide together what works best for them.

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How long should I expect to remain in this mentoring relationship?

The mentoring relationship officially lasts for one school year, after which the formal pairing will be released in our online system. This allows students to search for new mentors and attorneys to work with new mentees. This, however, does not mean that the mentoring relationship has to end. Mentor U's goal is to develop long-term relationships between mentors and mentees, so we encourage mentors and mentees to continue their relationship on an informal basis.

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Can I request more than one mentor at a time?

The Mentor U program is designed to help students establish a one-on-one long-term relationship with a mentor. We have found that the best way to reach this goal is for students to work with only one mentor at a time during each calendar school year. You can, however, request and work with a different mentor at the end of the year by re-registering with Mentor U so long as you are still enrolled as a student at the S.J. Quinney College of Law.

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What if there is a problem with my mentoring relationship?

If you are experiencing any problems in your relationship or have any questions, please notify the Professional Development Office so we can help you. We want you to have a satisfying experience, and often we can intervene and work toward possible solutions that will improve the relationship.

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What if I forgot my email/password?

Contact the Professional Development Office at careers@law.utah.edu

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What if I am trying to decide on a particular practice area- can I work with more than one mentor?

Mentor U hopes to develop year-long mentoring relationships between students and attorneys. To allow you to concentrate and make the most of your mentoring experience, we only allow mentees to be matched with one mentor per school year. However, students can participate in future mentoring sessions to request other attorneys their second or third year of law school.

If you are still deciding between practice areas or trying to choose between employer-type fields, we encourage you to talk to someone in the Professional Development Office who will be able to answer questions about particular practice areas or industries of interest. Also, your mentor's practice area or employer type is not defining of your own career and he or she may still be able to offer valuable career advice. The important thing is a mutually responsive mentor/mentee relationship and a fit of personality--traits you may find with attorneys in different fields of practice.

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For mentors: Why haven't I been requested yet?

Mentor U does not match mentors with students; requests are based on student interest in mentor profiles. Students can search for mentors in our database using select search criteria. It is important, therefore, to make sure your profile is complete. To update your profile, log into the Mentor U database and select "Edit Profile" on the sidebar. To see a sample mentor profile, go to the "Resources" tab on the Mnetor U homepage. If your profile is complete, you have not yet been selected, you are extremely interested in mentoring a student and have not received a request, please contact the Professional Development Office at careers@law.utah.edu. We truly appreciate your expressed interest and want to do everything we can to take advantage of your time.

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For students: Why was I declined?

There are a variety of reasons why your requested attorney might have declined you, most of which probably have nothing to do with you personally. It may be an especially busy time for the attorney, the attorney does not think it would be a good fit, or the attorney was selected by more than one student and needed to make a decision. Do not get discouraged. Just go back into the system and search for and request another mentor.

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