HBA-DC Mentorship Program

We welcome your participation as a mentor or mentee in the HBA-DC Mentorship Program.


The HBA-DC Mentorship Program matches law students and new attorneys with practicing attorneys to provide guidance and support to succeed in law school and during the first years of practice. The HBA-DC Mentorship Program is open to current HBA-DC members only.


2020-2021 Program (October through May):

Please join us for the 2020-2021 HBA-DC Mentorship Program Kick-Off Reception!


Details pending ... October 2020.


Come celebrate the kick-off of 2020-2021 HBA-DC's Mentorship Program by joining us at a reception at which mentors and mentees will have an opportunity to meet. At the event, mentees will also have an opportunity to learn about the benefits of having mentors and recommended activities to develop the mentor-mentee relationship.




HBA-DC will match mentors with law students on the basis of legal interests, school attended, or other relevant factors (to the extent practicable), and notify participants by email prior to the Mentorship Program Kick-Off Reception.

  • MENTEES should immediately reach out via email to their mentor to introduce themselves briefly and let their mentor know whether or not the mentee will be attending the Mentorship Program Kick-Off Reception.
  • Mentors and mentees are encouraged, but not required, to attend the Kick-Off Reception.
  • Thereafter, mentors and mentees are generally expected to meet in-person at least once a semester or once a calendar quarter, though the nature of the meetings will be at the participants' discretion.
  • Participants are encouraged to make contact by email, phone, or in-person meetings, as appropriate.
  • In April, participants will be asked to complete a feedback form.
  • Mentees who continue to participate in the program for a second or third year will be assigned new mentors.



(Due to COVID19, the in-person meetings below will likely have to be Zoom calls, Google meetings, or conference calls).

In-person Meeting #1: Coffee, lunch, or other social event

  • During your initial meeting following the kick-off event (or if you did not attend the kick-off event), participants should exchange contact information, learn about each other’s interests (e.g., classes enrolled, current employment, or career goals), and agree to be in contact within the following month.

Check-in #1: Call or e-mail (2-4 weeks after initial in-person meeting)

  • Through this call or e-mail, mentees may request professional advice (e.g., resume review, study techniques, job interview advice, or substantive questions about firm work). This communication should also set up the next time that the mentor and mentee will meet in person.

In-person Meeting #2: Coffee or lunch

  • The purpose of this meeting should be to follow up on any substantive requests for assistance from prior communications (e.g., review and discuss draft resume, discuss a substantive firm or office issue, or practice interview questions).

Check-in #2: Call or e-mail (2-3 weeks after 2nd in-person meeting)

  • Mentees should contact the mentor to follow up on the results of the prior meeting. 

  • Mentees should report to mentors on the resolution of subject of prior discussions (e.g., exam result, interview result, or substantive project at the firm).

Recommended social activities: 

Throughout the year, HBA-DC hosts a series of events that facilitate the mentors and mentees' in-person meetings. We recommend the following:

  • "An Evening with" ... events.

  • Seminars on current legal developments.

  • Our annual Equal Justice Awards reception in November.

  • Networking happy hours.

  • The PASOS event in May (the HBA-DC Foundation's graduation ceremony for 3Ls). 


  • What the mentor likes best about his/her career.
  • Academic course load, class recommendations, potential internship and summer opportunities. 
  • What mentors wished someone had told them before completing law school.
  • Skills mentors did not anticipate being important to the mentor’s current job.
  • The mentee’s career goals.
  • Skills the mentee would require given the stated career goals.
  • Acquiring practical-skills training and a substantive, area of law knowledge-base; how to merge both when forging a career.
  • Advantages or disadvantages of working with various types of legal employers.
  • Securing employment in an evolving legal market. 
  • Important resources for guidance and information for the mentee.


I have been unable to reach my mentee or mentor, what can I do? 

Please let HBA-DC know via email at mentoring@hbadc.org. The success and impact of our Mentorship Program depends on our members’ commitment. We encourage active participation and hope that all of the mentoring relationships we facilitate are successful. However, if communication fails, HBA-DC will reassign mentees and mentors to the extent possible. 


How does HBA-DC match mentors with mentees? 

We do the matching based on the information provided on the applications. To the extent practicable, HBA-DC tries to accommodate mentors and mentees according to the mentee’s areas of interests and the mentor’s areas of practice, but the goal is to ensure that each mentee receives a mentor. Remember that attorneys practicing one type of law now may have worked in other practice areas in the past.


What will be expected of me as a mentor? 

The role of the mentor is to provide advice to mentees related to successfully navigating law school or the first years of employment, starting a legal career, and other professional issues. As such, your availability and commitment to the program is essential to establish a successful mentoring relationship. A mentor should be a good listener, be accessible, provide feedback to the mentee, and be willing to share his/her knowledge.  Our program’s Guidelines (above) provide additional information on how to implement your role as a mentor. 


Why should I join the program as a mentee? 

The short answer is the more perspectives you have, the better!  Our membership includes a wealth of experience, expertise, and background.  Tap into it! Moreover, we’ve found that, in some cases, some law students and new attorneys isolate themselves from professional and social opportunities.  This can, in turn, lessen future career development. Having a mentor can enhance networking opportunities and provide useful advice to further a legal career. 


What will be expected of me as a mentee? 

You are expected to manage your time and law school course-load in order to accommodate the opportunities to further the mentoring relationship. For example:

  • Please reply promptly to your mentor if he or she contacts you via email or phone. Even if you are busy, you can reply with a short message, e.g., "Thank you for your message.  Due to law school deadlines, I will not be able to respond to your email for [one/two/three] week[s].  Best, Mentee"
  • Attend the HBA-DC Mentorship Program kick-off event for mentors and mentees.
  • When you set a date, stick to it.  Show up and be curious!
  • Keep HBA-DC informed via email at mentoring@hbadc.org if your mentor is not responsive.

Our program’s Guidelines (above) provide additional information on how to fulfill your role as a mentee. 


I am interested in being a mentee but I am leaving the area after law school.  Should I still participate in the program?

Yes, a mentor’s advice while you are in law school can help you establish a professional network and jumpstart your career wherever you go after law school.  Many of our mentors attended law school outside of the Washington, DC area and may have connections that extend beyond it for that, or other, reasons.


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