On Monday, November 10, 2014, AABANY’s Mentorship Program held its Mentor-Mentee Orientation, the first formal meeting since our Fall Conference in late September. Providing the opportunity for many mentors and mentees to meet each other for the first time as well as the opportunity to meet others in the Mentorship Program, this orientation discussed mentor-mentee expectations – what to ask, how to communicate, and general ideas on how to make the most of our formal mentorship program, now in its fourth year.

Interestingly enough, Executive Director Yang Chen – also the director of the ‘get off the island’ ice breaker – shared that when Past President Linda Lin first mentioned the idea of a formal program during her presidency, he was originally against the idea. His thinking back then was that informal and organic mentorships have always been part of AABANY culture and one of the primary purposes of bar associations in general, and that this formal program may feel forced. It was through Julie Kwon’s continued dedication and her diligence in matching young lawyers to those who she believed would benefit from a designated mentor and the efforts of all those early mentors and mentees that changed Yang’s mind. The Mentorship Program’s success in providing AABANY members with support, advice, and networking opportunities has been a wonderful opportunity for young lawyers ever since its inception. 

The evening began with teams trying to ‘get off the island,’ mingling to get to know each other, and forming teams; truly, Yang Chen was a game show host in another life. Discussion about the mentorship continued, led by Julie Kwon, as members shared their past successful (and unsuccessful) experiences as a mentor/mentee. Those who wanted to continue the evening met in K-Town for more mentorship, merriment, and laughter. Congratulations to Team Young Lawyers for getting off the island! 

Thank you to Julie Kwon for making not only November 10’s orientation possible but also the program as a whole. Thank you to Gibson Dunn for hosting us. Finally, thank you to all those who attended. You can reach Mentorship Coordinator Julie Kwon at julie.kwon@aabany.org if you have any questions, comments, or concerns.