Every year, the Intellectual Property Law Society (IPLS) pairs second and third-year law students with first-year members of IPLS to provide mentorship and foster connections between new and returning members of IPLS.
Brianna Chamberlin, President of IPLS, explained that the board “matches students with mentors based on their background and interests” so that students can better foster a genuine connection with their mentors or mentees. Chamberlin explained that “IPLS originally facilitates meetings between mentors and mentees” to establish the mentorship, and then sponsors social events throughout the semester, such as coffee hours, to provide structured opportunities for mentors to meet with their mentees. “Overall, the mentorship program is usually individualized,” Chamberlin noted. Mentors’ and mentees’ individual choices to meet outside of school have the greatest impact on the mentorship.
1L members of IPLS can receive guidance from their mentors on which classes to take, how to outline, and career advice and help with editing resumes and cover letters. Mentees can find valuable insight from their mentors on job hunting and even invaluable networking opportunities. Mentors often know attorneys working in a particular field and can connect students to practicing lawyers who share their interests.
Megan Hingtgen, a 2L mentor and the Event Coordinator for IPLS, has found her experience as a mentor incredibly rewarding. “The best part of being a mentor is making the experiences I found challenging or intimidating as a 1L easier for incoming students,” Hingtgen said. “I also like the opportunity to get to know my peers a little better!” When describing her experience as a mentor, Chamberlin echoed this sentiment, saying “nothing is more rewarding than seeing someone you mentored succeed.”
Sam Crocker, a 1L mentee, felt that his experiences with his mentor helped him realize that, despite the initial shock of adjusting to the 1L workload, success is possible in law school. “The most rewarding thing has been having an in-person example of the kind of law school success I am hoping to have, both in the academic and employment sense,” Crocker said. “It makes the possibility of myself having similar success seem more attainable.”
Crocker, who is currently the 1L Representative on the IPLS board, hopes to continue and expand his participation in IPLS next year. “The best way to thank my mentor for all her help is to pay it forward with next year's class,” Crocker explained. And as Chamberlin noted about the mentorship experience, “most of the time, these relationships begin as mentorships, but end up as friendships.”