Pregntas frecuentes

Basics

Matching Process

Best Practices

Mentorship Overview

Troubleshooting Support

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Basics

Do student mentees need to participate in an orientation session?

Yes, student mentees are asked to attend an orientation session and can sign up for a session that best suits their schedule upon completion of their profile. The orientation sessions will be offered after students are matched to alumni mentors. The session is an important moment to learn more about the program and build community with fellow classmates participating in the program.

Do alumni mentors need to participate in an orientation session?

Yes, alumni mentors are asked to watch an online orientation video upon completion of their profile. The orientation video is available to be watched at the mentor’s convenience, but needs to be completed before alumni mentors can be matched to student mentees. The recording will provide an overview of the mentorship program, an overview of the student experience, and resources available to support student mentees.

I don't live in the Chicagoland area. Can I still participate?

Absolutely. This is a global program and any student or alumnus from anywhere in the world is invited to participate. Mentees are asked if they prefer to be paired with a local alumni so matches will be made based on student needs. You and your mentee/mentor can connect either in person (where possible) or via phone, email, or video chat.

I just completed my profile and submitted it and I was stopped from entering the platform. What happened?

The program administrator has to verify that each participant is, in fact, a current student or alumnus of Northwestern Pritzker School of Law. This process typically takes 1-2 business days and when you have been approved you will receive an email notifying you that you’ve been approved. Thank you for your patience!

What activities are suggested for mentors and mentees engage in?

Casual conversation is the most common interaction that mentees and mentors will have. Other activities include: setting up a mock in-person or phone interview, scheduling a day of job shadowing, conducting a resume/cover letter review, or attending a conference or industry presentation together. In addition, all mentees and mentors will be invited to attend program panels and socials.

What is the expected time commitment involved for being a mentor or mentee?

We purposefully have designed this program to be flexible for mentors and mentees. You and your mentor/mentee are encouraged to discuss time commitment expectations at the onset of you relationship. Our suggestion is that you and your mentor/mentee spend one to two hours a month meeting with each other in addition to regular email communication. The program is designed to support mentorship relationships from the student’s acceptance to the Law School through their first year post graduation. Ultimately, it is up to the mentor and mentee to decide together what works best for them.

Who is eligible for this program?

Degree seeking Northwestern Pritzker School of Law students and alumni with degrees from all programs and classes are eligible to participate. Faculty, staff, parents, certificate students, and friends of the Law School are not currently eligible to participate.

Where should mentorship meetings take place?

All in-person meetings should take place in a public location, such as the mentor’s office, a restaurant, coffee shop or on-campus. Meetings can also take place via phone or video chat.

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Matching Process

How are alumni mentors and student mentees matched?

Matches are determined based on students’ needs and the areas of law they are interested in. The software generates suggested matches that are reviewed by the program administrators. After the student mentee and alumni mentor complete their profiles, they are matched in the summer before the start of the academic year.

How many mentees can an alumni mentor at one time?

Mentors can be paired with to three mentees at one time. This is only encouraged if you truly have the time to commit to three mentorship relationships.

If I volunteer to be an alumni mentor, am I guaranteed a student mentee?

Because many factors go into selection and matching, pairing with a student is not guaranteed. If you are not matched with a student mentee, there are still many valuable ways for you to offer guidance to current Law School students. We encourage you to visit our Northwestern Law Alumni Association volunteer page to learn more about volunteer opportunities.

If I register to be a student mentee, am I guaranteed an alumni mentor?

Because many factors go into selection and matching, including mentor availability, we may not be able to pair you with an alumni this cycle. If you are not matched, there are still many valuable ways for you to connect with Law School mentors and encourage you to visit our Law School Life page to learn more about these opportunities.

Why am I being asked demographic questions in my profile?

We’ve received strong feedback that mentees want to be able to be matched with a mentor who best aligns with several dimensions of their identity. This information will also be used for tracking purposes. Adding this information to your profile is completely optional.

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Best Practices

For alumni mentors: What are the big mentorship DON'Ts?

• DON’T expect to have instant rapport with your mentee. It may take time to develop a relationship, so be patient.

• DON’T violate confidence. Discussions should stay between you and your mentee. Preserving an environment of confidentiality and trust should be your top priority.

• DON’T tell your mentee what to do. Instead, make suggestions, share ideas and give encouragement.

• DON’T be afraid to admit that you do not know the answer or that you have made a mistake. Find the correct answer and learn together. It helps your mentee to see that you are learning too.

• DON’T forget your own Law School experience or young professional life. What do you wish a more experienced professional had said to you or done for you? Try to remind yourself what it was like when you first graduated from Law School or what it was like for you when you were a young professional – putting yourself in your mentee’s shoes will help you connect with your mentee and see things from their perspective.

For student mentees: what are the big mentorship DON'Ts?

• DON’T arrive late to meetings or conference calls.

• DON’T arrive underdressed to meetings (business casual is suggested).

• DON’T violate confidence. Discussions should stay between you and your mentor. Preserving an environment of confidentiality and trust should be your top priority.

• DON’T ask your mentor to be a reference for you before you have gotten to know them. Asking your mentor (or anyone for that matter) for a reference is a request that should be reserved for people who know you well as a professional (former boss, former or current coworker). To ask your mentor before developing a rapport or relationship could make them uncomfortable or put them in a difficult position. It is best to wait until a relationship has developed and they have gotten to know you as a professional before making such a request.

• DON’T ask your mentor for a job within their organization. If your mentor knows of an opportunity for which they think you may be a good fit, they will mention it to you. Asking them for a job could make your mentor uncomfortable or put them in a difficult position.

What happens at the closure of the mentorship relationship?

All good things must come to an end! After the mentee completes their first year post graduation, the formal mentorship relationship will conclude. We suggest that mentors/mentees take the time to mark the closure of the relationship either by doing something special to celebrate like attending an industry event or simply by using the Closure Conversation Discussion Guide, which can be found in the resources section. This document is meant to help guide a discussion about the things you have learned through the mentorship process and to vocalize what you are grateful to have learned.

What are appropriate ways to maintain the relationship?

Meeting up for casual conversation is the most common interaction that mentees and mentors will have. You could also work with your mentor to set up a mock in-person or phone interview, schedule a day of job shadowing, conduct a resume/cover letter review, or attend a conference or industry presentation together. A full list of suggested activities and discussion topics can be found in the resources section.

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Mentorship Overview

How is mentorship different from a mentoring moment?

Mentoring moments are one time conversations between two people where information is shared. A mentoring moment usually results from a meaningful interaction that leads to an “ah ha” moment for the mentee. While these interactions may be transactional, they are still important moments that can be impactful for the mentee. Mentorship, however, is about an alumnus/alumna developing a longer-term relationship with their mentee covering multiple aspects of career and personal development.

How is a mentoring relationship different from networking?

Networking is about developing professional contacts that you can call upon when you need assistance getting information or help while job hunting. Generally networking interactions are more transactional exchanges. For instance you would ask people in your network about job leads, request an informational interview, or ask to be connected to someone in their professional network (someone who is not yet in your network). The purpose of a mentor is not to offer their mentee a job. Mentorship is about an alumnus/alumna developing a long-term relationship with their mentee covering multiple aspects of career and personal development.

What is the value of mentorship?

There are countless publications that validate the significance and value of mentorship. But the easiest way to prove that mentorship is important is to ask yourself, “What advice do I wish someone would have given me when I … graduated from college … first started my career … made a significant career transition?” More than likely you have a number of ideas that come to mind. Imagine how valuable it would have been to be given helpful advice at that time of your life – that value speaks to the power of mentorship. Mentoring gives you the opportunity to share your knowledge and advice with someone who is about to embark down the same path you traveled, and this is your chance to help them along the way.

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Troubleshooting Support

How can I delete my account?

If you need to delete your account permanently, please email law-alumni@law.northwestern.edu for assistance.

What if I forgot my username and/or password?

If you forgot your username, email law-alumni@law.northwestern.edu and we will send you your username (i.e. the email you used when creating your account). If you forgot your password, clink the link that says "forgot your password?" on the login page and type in your email address. You will receive an email allowing you to reset your password.

What if I am worried about my mentee? What if my mentee discloses concerning information about their personal state?

If you learn that a student is in danger or if you have serious concerns about your student mentee, please immediately inform the program administrator by calling (312) 503-7609 or emailing law-alumni@law.northwestern.edu. Any information given to us about a student will remain confidential and the Law School administration will step in if the situation warrants attention. Our priority is always our students’ well-being, so when in doubt, air on the side of caution and reach out to us.

What if there is an issue with my mentorship relationship?

If you experience any issues with your mentor/mentee or have questions, please reach out to the program manager at law-alumni@law.northwestern.edu. The program manager can offer solutions to improve the relationship or, if necessary, formally terminate the relationship.

When I try to create an account, it shows that I already have an existing account. Help!

You may already have an account if you created a profile with the Northwestern Network Mentorship Program or The Northwestern Externship Program. You can select “Already have an account?” on the login page to create a new registration for the Northwestern Pritzker School of Law Mentorship Program using your existing account.