Mentoring at VLS

The VLSAA Mentoring Program

Join the VLS Mentor Network and give the next generation of up-and-comers the advice you wish you'd had.

The mission of the program is to foster a culture of mentoring at VLS that:

  • Connects students with alumni mentors through a structured framework that encourages one-on-one conversations about academic and professional goals.
  • Offers alumni opportunities to build mentoring skills, and provides a valuable and flexible way to stay connected with the Vermont Law School community while making a difference to a new generation of students who value your experience and feedback.
  • Offers students the opportunity to connect with someone who understands and knows what it takes to succeed academically and professionally in the regions and practice areas they desire.

The alumni mentoring program runs during the academic year, and is facilitated by the VLSAA Mentoring Committee, Office of Career Services, and Offices for Alumni Relations and Development. Recruitment for the 2017-2018 is now open.

Two tracks are offered in 2017:

1. Recent graduates

Mentor a new graduate, guiding them through their first steps beyond school. Help them strategize about their career plans and professionalism. Work with them on the following:

  • Give them the inside scoop, tips, and advice that helped you get started
  • How to think about career-related issues
  • How to approach the transition to becoming a legal professional
  • Tips on practice and professionalism in the career that they are joining

2. Master's Current Students

While area of interest will be a primary driver in identifying mentors, efforts will be made to identify mentors geographically close to where the mentee intends to move after graduation. Mentor a Masters’ student, and advise how to adjust to VLS and succeed professionally by:

  • Managing their time and acclimating to classes
  • Taking advantage of the school’s resources 
  • Planning for their future careers
  • Maximizing their limited time at VLS
  • Learning how to build their professional network
  • Identifying career-related issues

The Process

Once you have acquainted yourself with the program, take a few minutes to fill out this form. You will then be added to our Mentor Network, meaning you could be matched any time between October 1, 2017 and July 1, 2018. Once a student opts into the program, they must provide information on their interests in regard to area of specialty and geographic range following graduation, provide their resume, etc.  Based on that information, Career Services works to match the student with a mentor who shares commonalities with the student.  OARD will then notify the mentor of the match opportunity. The mentor has the option to accept or decline the relationship.

2017 Mentoring Program Expectations

  • Each relationship will be unique, and the length of the mentoring term will be dependent on how soon the student opts into the program, when the match is made, and on what the mentor’s and mentee’s individual program goals might be.
  • Alumni mentors are expected to:
    • Facilitate self-reflection and self-development. Talk things through with your mentee in order to let them self-examine and discover answers themselves.
    • Honor commitments. If either the mentor or mentee must cancel a commitment, give earliest possible notice and reschedule.
    • Withdrawal from the program: If you decide to discontinue your participation in the program, please honor partnerships in progress. A mentor or your mentee that cannot complete the term must notify their mentee/mentor and the Alumni Office.
    • Evaluation: At the end of each semester, both participants will be required to complete an evaluation form for the purpose of assessing the program, best practices, and areas for improvement.
  • Alumni mentors are not expected to:
    • Offer jobs or internships to your mentee
    • Have all the answers for your mentee
    • Initiate all contact with your mentee.

For questions about this program, email Melissa Harwood MELP’12, or call 802.831.1339.

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Contact Us

Monica Collins, Career Services Assistant Director
mcollins@vermontlaw.edu
802.831.1273

Mary Sheffer, Career Services Assistant Director
msheffer@vermontlaw.edu
802.831.1243

Melissa Harwood, Director of Alumni Relations
mharwood@vermontlaw.edu
802.831.1339