Sunday, April 26, 2015
Professor and Dean Michael Hunter Schwartz, U. Arkansas (Little Rock) School of Law, is heading up a study to determine what personal characteristics make-up an outstanding lawyer mentor. The results of the study will be published by the Harvard University Press which also published Dean Schwartz's previous study What the Best Law Teachers Do.
At present, Dean Schwartz and his team of researchers are looking for nominations to be included in the pool of candidates from which outstanding mentors will be selected for inclusion in the final, published study. If you consider yourself an outstanding mentor, or know someone who is, consider sending in a nomination by following the link below.
Here are some further details:
We are seeking to identify attorney mentors who transform junior lawyers’ careers and even lives, study those mentors in depth, and understand why they are so effective. Based on this research, we will identify and describe a set of behaviors, attitudes, and habits that are characteristic of the best law mentors. We hope to produce a work that is a manual for attorneys who aspire to be transformative mentors, a benefit to legal employers for hiring and training mentors, and a tool more junior lawyers might use to find good mentors. Thus, anyone (you, your colleagues, or your alumni) who contributes to our study by nominating a mentor will both honor a great colleague and help move the profession forward by improving lawyer mentoring.
The methodology for the study will be qualitative and similar to the approach my co-authors and I used for What the Best law Teachers Do (Harvard University Press, 2013). We will solicit nominations, gather evidence of nominees’ excellence, and pare the list to the most extraordinary legal mentors. We will then study the mentors where they work, interviewing both the mentors and focus groups of current and former mentees. We also hope to observe mentoring interactions. We will sift through the information we gather, identify what the best mentors have in common and areas of important difference, and organize the book by the common themes identified through this process. We plan to finish our research over the next three years and complete the book, What the Best Law Mentors Do, by January 2019.
Here is a link to the website we have created for the book, http://www.bestlawmentors.com, and here is a link to the page we are using to solicit and receive the nominations, http://www.bestlawmentors.com/nominate-a-mentor.html. Please feel free to make nominations yourself.