Much has been written about the value of mentors when it comes to advancing professional careers. Mentoring not only helps increase employee retention rates and productivity but also provides assurances to women and minorities that the company is willing to go beyond basic non-discrimination practices. A company with an effective mentoring program is likely to be viewed internally and externally as a good place to work.
Where do in-house lawyers fit into the mentoring equation? Because legal departments come in many sizes and shapes, it is difficult to generalize accurately about what will and will not work. On the one hand, larger departments will generally have more potential mentors and a greater need for mentoring than smaller departments. On the other hand, success in a smaller department may be more dependent upon having early quality guidance from a dedicated source.