In the legal profession, I cannot emphasize enough the importance of having a mentor. Law school teaches you to understand and apply the law, but it does not prepare you adequately to practice law. For my mentees, understanding the complex business of law includes exposure to court hearings, depositions, client meetings and mediations. This is how they learn the intricacies of the job requirements, including how to prepare for hearings and meetings, note taking and what to wear.
I’ve been committed to pro bono work and mentoring since the start of my career in the late 1980s. For the past 15 years, I’ve taught at the Eleanor R. Cristol and Judge A. Jay Cristol Bankruptcy Pro Bono Assistance Clinic at the University of Miami. To gain practical experience with real matters in bankruptcy court, students are placed with mentor bankruptcy attorneys in the community and assigned diverse cases, including Chapter 7, Chapter 13, contested matters and adversary proceedings. It’s rewarding work, and I enjoy sharing my courtroom and firm experience with law students.
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