From the Executive Director, 1021 GABJ, GSB Vol. 27, No. 2, Pg. 14

PositionVol. 27 2 Pg. 14

From the Executive Director

No. Vol. 27 No. 2 Pg. 14

Georgia Bar Journal

October, 2021


The Meaning of Mentorship

It has been said that "mentoring is important to the present and future of the legal profession." Without question, programs like our Transition Into Law Practice Program and the work of the Labor and Employment Law Section, or the Young Lawyers Division and its Leadership Academy, work to improve the quality of legal services. But what does it mean on a personal level? What does it mean to new and experienced lawyers and judges?

It may come as no surprise that the answer is different depending upon whom you ask. The one clear constant is that (arguably) no other professional relationship or engagement makes a difference. But I remain curious about what it means and what it looks like.

So I asked a few friends. They are women and men who carry out their legal work in different ways. They are judges, in-house counsel and trial attorneys. My "focus group" lives and works in Columbus, Macon and the metro-Atlanta area. Most have been active in the work of the Bar, but some are simply interested in making sure the message of mentorship is communicated.

As part of our discussion, I was interested in knowing: • Is mentorship important for the legal profession (why/why not)?

• How did you find your first/earliest mentor(s)?

• Is a mentor still relevant at this point in your career?

• Why should someone be a mentor?

• What is one piece of advice for planning a career, rather than simply keeping a job?

• How did your mentor influence you?

Here are some of their thoughts (condensed for brevity). As always, I am interested to know what you think and what ideas you have, too. Please share those with us (

Presiding Judge Stephen Louis A. Dillard was appointed to the Court of Appeals of Georgia in 2010. He was in private practice in Macon prior to his appointment. Many think highly of Judge Dillard for a lot of reasons, including the way he grooms the interns and clerks who come through his office, as well as his support of so many of the initiatives of the Young Lawyers Division. He offered that "mentoring is crucial for the betterment of the legal profession." As judges and lawyers, he believes "we have a responsibility to train, encourage and inspire students and young lawyers." Here is why he believes that is so important...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT