Before you approach a possible mentor, ask yourself what you’re hoping to achieve from the relationship? Is what you want consistent with what a busy lawyer can offer? [Think mentor, not saviour.] Kay and Wallace outline two types of mentoring: career-related support and psychosocial support. Career-related support includes coaching, sponsorship, stretch assignments, and visibility which help the mentee advance their career. The career outcomes from career-related support are usually in the form of higher compensation and career advancement. In comparison, psychosocial support helps develop the mentee’s sense of identity and competence at what they’re doing. The career outcomes of psychosocial support come in higher levels of job satisfaction and career commitment.
Finally, think about if what you seek from a mentor can be delivered by one person. You may need to consider multiple mentors.