IPLAC's Mentoring Program
Mentor Tomorrow's Leaders Today
IPLAC is excited to announce the launch of another round of its Mentoring Program. The primary objective of the Program is to provide a platform to nurture relationships within our community and professions.
Mentoring is a great way to give back to others and can also serve as a valuable tool to enrich your life and practice. Although each mentoring relationship will have a unique look and feel, the guidelines listed below will allow for a consistent standard of mentoring for all individuals who choose to involve themselves in this Program.
To make the most of the mentoring relationship, please review the below guidelines:
Mentees are law school students, patent agents, paralegals, and attorneys in their first three years of practice.
Mentors are patent agents, paralegals, and attorneys with four or more years of experience in practice.
Length of Mentoring Relationship
November - April
Ideally, the mentor and mentee will meet at least once a month. Virtual and telephonic meetings are acceptable. IPLAC believes consistent contact is vital to developing an effective and trusting mentoring relationship.
We will try to match mentors and mentees in their intended practice group and personal preferences as much as possible.
A mentoring relationship is what you make of it, so we hope you make the most of this compelling opportunity. IPLAC believes there is always something to learn from another, regardless of age, experience level, or practice area.
If you have questions about the Program, please do not hesitate to contact the Mentoring Committee: Wasim K. Bleibel, Kenny A. Matuszewski, and Ashly I. Boesche.
We hope you all continue to stay well and wish you nothing but the best.
Welcome to the IPLAC Mentoring Program! This guide will explain your role in the program and what will be expected of you as a Mentee.
Contribute to the development of patent agents, paralegals, and attorneys, and aspiring students of the same pursuing a career in Intellectual Property Law through a strong and trusting mentoring relationship.
Building a mentoring relationship requires nurturing and patience from both the Mentor and the Mentee:
Create a solid foundation. Work with your Mentor to establish an agreed upon structure for how you and your Mentor will work together moving forward.
Expect two-way learning. Get to know your Mentor and find connections and similarities that go beyond law and careers. Your Mentor may learn from your experiences just as you will learn from theirs.
Create goals. Make sure your goals are clear to you and your Mentor, then stay focused and track your progress.
Clearly communicate. Mentees should expect to drive the mentoring relationship and to be prepared to communicate what you need from your Mentors. Mentors won’t know what you need unless you tell them.
Plan, Prepare, and Lead. Advance preparation for mentoring sessions will save time, increase efficiency, and result in more meaningful learning. Create an agenda for each meeting with your Mentor and be fully present during your conversations. Let your Mentor know as soon as possible if you need to reschedule a meeting.
Be Authentic. Honesty and vulnerability are instrumental to your growth and development. Have authentic and meaningful conversations with your Mentor and expect your Mentor to challenge you with questions and opportunities that might take you beyond your comfort zone—and you should welcome that.
Be mindful of your Mentor’s time. When establishing a structure with your Mentor, determine the best time and way to contact your Mentor. Allow your Mentor a few days to respond before reaching out to them again. Remember that your Mentor has other commitments that may prevent them from immediately responding.
Manage your own expectations. Keep in mind that this mentorship isn’t an interview—it’s a development opportunity.
- Maintain regular communication with your Mentor: the frequency will be determined by you and your Mentor;
- Respond to inquiries from your Mentor in a timely fashion;
- Coordinate meetings with your Mentor and plan meeting agendas in advance;
- Meet with your Mentor once a month (virtually is acceptable); and
- Find ways you can teach your Mentor.
Should any problems/issues arise during the mentoring term, please let your mentoring committee contact know right away. We understand that not all personalities are compatible, so if a problem develops in the relationship, we will attempt to take the appropriate steps to rectify the situation.