Mentoring Programs

Alumni are the College of Law’s most valuable resource when it comes to developing today’s students and recent graduates to become tomorrow’s leaders in the legal profession.

We invite all alumni, regardless of your location, occupation, practice area, or age, to become involved with our mentoring programs. Your willingness to volunteer your time and knowledge will make a difference in the careers of our bright students and recent graduates!

Alumni-Student Mentoring Program

The Alumni-Student Mentoring Program seeks to connect first-year students with alumni in one-on-one, student driven relationships in order for students to benefit from the experiences and knowledge of Illinois Law alumni. Alumni mentors provide an invaluable service to first-year students by providing advice that can help them succeed in law school and better understand the legal field.

The Mentoring Relationship

Mentors are assigned to a student for the academic year. Even though the students are expected to contact their mentors once a month, we understand that alumni are busy and sometimes may not be able to get back to the student right away. We expect that most of the communication between the mentor and mentee will happen via email, but we hope that each pair finds time for a phone call or video chat at the beginning of the relationship and an in-person meeting, if possible, at some point during the academic year.

Mentors and students should discuss a variety of topics, including strategies for finding and selecting a job, but mentors are not expected to provide job leads. Alumni should not forego the opportunity to volunteer as a mentor because they do not think they are in the position to help a student find a job.

The College of Law will help guide the mentoring relationship by providing discussion topics in the areas of academics, getting involved, job search, networking, practice areas/settings, and professionalism/general understanding of the practice of law.

Timeline

  • Mid-August: Mentor registration begins.
  • September 9: Deadline for mentors to register for the program.
  • September 9 – 30: College of Law will match mentors with a 1L student who is interested in the mentor’s geographic location, practice area, or practice setting.
  • October – May: Communication between mentor and mentee via email, phone, or in-person meeting to discuss topics of interest to the mentee.

For more information about the Alumni-Student Mentoring Program, please contact the Office of Advancement.

Illini Connect

Illini Connect is a network of alumni who are willing to be contacted by Illinois Law students who are seeking information or advice specific to the alumnus’s geographic location, practice area, or practice setting. Alumni will provide one-time or occasional advice to students to answer their particular questions and connect them with useful resources to help them navigate the hidden job market in a particular area of the legal profession or geographic location. A longer-term mentoring relationship may result from such interactions, but is not the primary focus of Illini Connect.

Contact information for alumni in Illini Connect will be held by the Office of Career Planning and Professional Development in their Symplicity system, which can only be accessed by Illinois Law students. Students can browse alumni in Illini Connect and will reach out to those that they are interested in speaking with and learning from.

To volunteer to be included as an alumni contact in the Illini Connect database, please contact the Office of Career Planning and Professional Development.

Lawyer-to-Lawyer Mentoring Program

The Lawyer-to-Lawyer Mentoring Program seeks to partner recent law school graduates in the state of Illinois with experienced in-state practitioners to promote professionalism, civility, and integrity in the legal profession. Mentors are required to participate in an orientation program and meet face-to-face with a recent graduate of the College of Law eight times during the year, at times and locations convenient to the participants. Mentors who participate in the program are eligible for six hours of Continuing Legal Education (CLE) professional responsibility credit, to be awarded in the year in which the mentoring occurs.

This program is sponsored by the College of Law and the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism (ISCCP).

Program Requirements

  • Admitted to practice in Illinois for at least six years (mentors) or no more than two years (mentees)
  • Registered on the Illinois ARDC Master Roll of Attorneys as active
  • Never have been suspended or disbarred from the practice of law in any state or jurisdiction and have no formal disciplinary complaint pending (mentors)
  • Practice law in Illinois or intend to practice law in Illinois (mentees)

Timeline

  • Register for the program as a mentor or mentee by December 15.
  • College of Law will match you by geographic location to another Illinois Law graduate.
  • Attend a mandatory orientation session via teleconference.
  • Meet face-to-face with your mentor eight (8) times during the year to discuss professional responsibility issues relevant to your and your mentors’ practices.
  • Receive support from the College of Law.
  • After a year, you will earn six (6) professional responsibility (or Basic Skills Course) CLE credit.

For more information about the Lawyer-to-Lawyer Mentoring Program, contact the Office of Advancement or visit the ISCCP mentoring program website.