Describe your relationship
Adrian (fellow): Our relationship grew instantly and organically. Mike, from day one, was outgoing, supportive, and easy to communicate with. He was always a text and a call away. I think what made the mentor/mentee go beyond and become a true friend was when Mike would conduct weekly Zoom check-ins. Those created the bond of being more than a mentor but a friend and someone I can be open with and confide in.
Mike (mentor): I would certainly agree with my ‘pelon’ bro Adrian. Adrian was very open from the get-go on feedback, advice, and throwing any question he had at me to make sure we were on the same page. I appreciated him confiding in me especially with his incredible and inspiring story. I am proud to have had him as my mentee and now friend and future lawyer colleague.
What were the greatest benefits you received out of this relationship?
Adrian: What benefited me the most was gaining a friend and someone I look up to. He was not only supportive of all my personal statements, and law school process but I trusted someone with sincere and honest opinions. He was there to uplift me when I felt like giving up. He motivated and reminded me I belong in a law school to become a badass lawyer.
Mike: For me it was having someone who truly appreciated the opportunity LEAP provides and seeing Adrian give his all into the program to get the most back. I am more so a seasoned vet at this point in my career and it is always uplifting to see someone as interested, dedicated, and excited about the law as Adrian and the other fellows. I certainly think it adds some fuel to help push through some of the inevitable long days as an attorney.
Tips for having a successful mentor/mentee relationship
Adrian: I feel having a mentor with passion, commitment, who sets time aside to guide a LEAP fellow in the most challenging of times is crucial. What was most impactful even after our LEAP fellowship ended Mike made time to meet me in person. That truly cemented his commitment as a lifelong mentor but also a friend. As for the mentee, I feel it is important to be open with your mentor and not hold anything back. Make the effort to text, call, and have Zoom sessions. The relationship will grow and you will gain a commitment to yourself and your mentor.
Mike: I tried to really draw upon my own experiences as a first-generation lawyer to really think about what advice and even questions I had during my own application process and law school. I remember essentially flying blind during my application process and first year of law school. I tried to make myself as available as possible to answer anything or provide insight both short and long term. I think even if a mentor is not a first-generation law student then one can empathize with how hard the process is and just try to put in as much energy/time as you can into the relationship/process. In the end, you will probably not just have a mentee but also a friend.