Members in the UB Legislation Mentor Software realize, firsthand, the indicating of that properly-recognized proverb, usually attributed to Buddhist teachings. For two decades now, the regulation school’s Job Solutions Business and the UB Legislation Alumni Affiliation (LAA) have created sure every single 1L scholar is matched with a mentor — a practicing law firm who understands the rigors of law school and can drop mild on the landscape of the legal occupation. In transform, mentors have an possibility to develop interactions and link straight with the next technology of the job.
People new connections took form for this year’s moving into course at a January matching reception in the law school’s library attended by roughly 200 learners and mentors. It’s an yearly tradition touted as a spotlight of the tutorial yr, wherever students typically satisfy their assigned mentor for the really initially time. Mentors from outside the Buffalo region will have a possibility to join with their assigned mentees at a virtual reception later this week.
“The 1L mentor program is an incredible opportunity for regulation learners to forge significant connections with recognized members of our legal community,” says Elizabeth A. Kraengel ’07, LAA president and a husband or wife at Duke, Holzman, Photiadis & Gresens LLP. “From giving suitable practical experience, serving as a sounding board and resource of constructive responses, to aiding grow networks, mentoring is an important element of specialist enhancement, and the LAA is proud to aid this method.”
Kraengel was matched with 1L Sara Beyer ’25, who straight away felt embraced by the legislation college neighborhood. “Liz was so welcoming and so satisfied to introduce me to her buddies, colleagues and even earlier mentees,” says Beyer. “It was clear to me that everybody volunteering their time with the Mentor System just desires to see the new courses going through UB Law succeed. I know Buffalo’s lawful group is very restricted-knit, and it’s amazingly encouraging to know how willing it is to take UB’s 1Ls below its wing.”
“We’ve had terrific accomplishment with alumni and close friends volunteering as mentors, even individuals from out of town,” says John Godsoe ’00, a member of the LAA board of directors and chair of the association’s mentor committee. He’s also a husband or wife with Bond, Schoeneck & King PLLC, sponsor of the mentor reception.
“The objective,” he claims, “is to hook up the pupils with someone who has experience in the spot they want to go into or connect them dependent on their interest in a geographic site. It’s a excellent possibility for them to start off developing relationships, which is a large section of remaining a attorney.”
As a mentor himself, Godsoe says, it assists to bear in mind what the working experience of regulation university was like. “I attempt to put myself in their shoes, and feel about what my problems and fears were being,” he claims. “You’re coming into a new circumstance, and I remind them that you don’t have to know what you want to do with your daily life appropriate away or what variety of regulation you want to exercise. A whole lot of it is just calming nerves.”
And like a healthful friendship, the mentor-mentee partnership is effective both equally ways. Mentors normally say the working experience of reconnecting with UB Law and the strength of students reminds them of what drew them to the subject in the very first put.
“It gives us a opportunity to see what the long run of the authorized field appears like,” Godsoe states, “and it delivers back reminiscences.”
That’s accurate as perfectly for Kerisha H. Hawthorne-Greer ’14, who reconnected with the law school when she moved back again to Buffalo from Binghamton quite a few decades in the past. Hawthorne-Greer, who serves as principal legislation clerk to Hon. Stephanie Saunders in the New York Point out Court of Statements, mentors students through the regulation school’s application and also on behalf of the Minority Bar Association of Western New York.
She states she’s motivated by the philosophy “To whom a great deal is given, a lot is anticipated,” but also by the steering she been given as a college student early in her vocation.
“The attorneys I had the opportunity to interact with were being incredibly invested in my upcoming,” Hawthorne-Greer says. “They generally manufactured by themselves accessible to response inquiries, and I normally understood I had that individual to get to out to, somebody who would stimulate me together the way. As a Black regulation student, it was crucial to me to see other profitable lawyers in the subject. I knew if they could do it, I could, too.”
Now she attempts to do the exact same for her mentees, who glimpse to her for really hard-gained wisdom. “As a first-era legislation university student, and as an individual who has no family members customers doing the job in the legal subject, I did not have any individual I could attain out to for vocation direction right up until UB Law’s mentor plan matched me with Ms. Kerisha Hawthorne-Greer,” says Kim H. Suy ’25. “At the mentor reception, Ms. Hawthorne-Greer shared her lawful profession path with me, presented me with work research tips and imparted useful information and facts about the work application course of action. As a mentee, I hope to achieve much more perception and awareness into what exactly a lawful profession demands of me.”
“A great deal of men and women truly poured by themselves into my instructional advancement and enhancement, and I required to do the exact same,” says Hawthorne-Greer. “If a student desires to utilize me, check with me thoughts, faucet into the resources I have, I will make myself offered. The reward is being aware of that I’m giving back to the group, to the faculty and to other learners like myself.”