Individuals in the UB Law Mentor Program understand, firsthand, the that means of that nicely-identified proverb, normally attributed to Buddhist teachings. For two many years now, the regulation school’s Job Providers Business and the UB Law Alumni Affiliation (LAA) have made certain each and every 1L college student is matched with a mentor — a training law firm who understands the rigors of regulation school and can get rid of light-weight on the landscape of the legal career. In flip, mentors have an chance to create relationships and hook up right with the following generation of the career.
People new connections took sort for this year’s moving into class at a January matching reception in the law school’s library attended by roughly 200 pupils and mentors. It is an annual tradition touted as a highlight of the educational year, the place college students generally fulfill their assigned mentor for the pretty initially time. Mentors from exterior the Buffalo spot will have a possibility to hook up with their assigned mentees at a digital reception afterwards this week.
“The 1L mentor system is an extraordinary option for legislation students to forge meaningful connections with set up customers of our lawful community,” says Elizabeth A. Kraengel ’07, LAA president and a husband or wife at Duke, Holzman, Photiadis & Gresens LLP. “From presenting related expertise, serving as a sounding board and source of constructive feed-back, to serving to increase networks, mentoring is an essential element of qualified improvement, and the LAA is very pleased to guidance this software.”
Kraengel was matched with 1L Sara Beyer ’25, who quickly felt embraced by the legislation school local community. “Liz was so welcoming and so content to introduce me to her close friends, colleagues and even previous mentees,” claims Beyer. “It was very clear to me that everybody volunteering their time with the Mentor Program just wishes to see the new courses heading as a result of UB Legislation realize success. I know Buffalo’s authorized local community is fairly tight-knit, and it is extremely encouraging to know how willing it is to get UB’s 1Ls under its wing.”
“We’ve experienced great success with alumni and close friends volunteering as mentors, even folks from out of town,” says John Godsoe ’00, a member of the LAA board of administrators and chair of the association’s mentor committee. He’s also a associate with Bond, Schoeneck & King PLLC, sponsor of the mentor reception.
“The goal,” he states, “is to hook up the pupils with an individual who has abilities in the region they want to go into or connect them primarily based on their fascination in a geographic site. It’s a excellent opportunity for them to start setting up interactions, which is a massive portion of staying a law firm.”
As a mentor himself, Godsoe states, it can help to keep in mind what the knowledge of legislation school was like. “I test to put myself in their sneakers, and believe about what my issues and fears ended up,” he claims. “You’re coming into a new condition, and I remind them that you really don’t have to know what you want to do with your lifestyle appropriate away or what type of legislation you want to follow. A good deal of it is just calming nerves.”
And like a balanced friendship, the mentor-mentee partnership functions each techniques. Mentors often say the working experience of reconnecting with UB Regulation and the energy of pupils reminds them of what drew them to the area in the 1st location.
“It gives us a opportunity to see what the potential of the lawful area appears to be like like,” Godsoe claims, “and it brings again reminiscences.”
That is accurate as properly for Kerisha H. Hawthorne-Greer ’14, who reconnected with the law school when she moved back again to Buffalo from Binghamton a number of many years 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 pupils by way of the regulation school’s system 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 offered, significantly is predicted,” but also by the advice she been given as a college student early in her vocation.
“The attorneys I had the prospect to interact with have been very invested in my future,” Hawthorne-Greer claims. “They normally produced on their own offered to remedy queries, and I always understood I had that person to get to out to, an individual who would encourage me along the way. As a Black regulation scholar, it was significant to me to see other thriving lawyers in the area. I understood if they could do it, I could, way too.”
Now she attempts to do the identical for her mentees, who look to her for hard-gained wisdom. “As a to start with-era legislation scholar, and as another person who has no spouse and children associates operating in the authorized subject, I didn’t have everyone I could get to out to for career direction till UB Law’s mentor program matched me with Ms. Kerisha Hawthorne-Greer,” says Kim H. Suy ’25. “At the mentor reception, Ms. Hawthorne-Greer shared her authorized vocation route with me, delivered me with job search assistance and imparted handy facts about the occupation software approach. As a mentee, I hope to attain extra insight and expertise into what precisely a authorized profession calls for of me.”
“A good deal of people really poured them selves into my educational progression and enhancement, and I wanted to do the very same,” states Hawthorne-Greer. “If a college student desires to employ me, inquire me concerns, faucet into the resources I have, I will make myself accessible. The reward is realizing that I’m providing again to the local community, to the school and to other college students like myself.”