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Mentoring Talent to Find the Next Generation of Leaders

6/26/2009

Knowledge may be difficult to acquire, but one goal presents an even greater challenge to an organization — passing it on.

A law firm’s mentoring program can affect the talent pool from which successive generations of leaders can emerge.

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The level of commitment needed to build that kind of relationship doesn’t come easy. Like Bryan Cave, Lathrop Gage also pairs mentors with associates. Ben Keller, the partner in charge of the Clayton office, said a mentor’s job is not just to train the younger lawyer but also to make sure he or she is getting enough client contact and transactional work.

“Partners who are mentoring these younger lawyers have to buy into the program,” Keller said. “And a law firm has to be willing to review the mentors to make sure that they are, by talking to the mentees and saying ‘Hey, are you getting what you need?’ All of that takes time, and some firms are better at it than others.” Read more ...