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Alumni-Student Mentoring Programs

The lessons learned, connections, and advice alumni have gathered during their careers are invaluable to current students. The opportunity to get the scoop on life at Michigan Law from a current student and volunteer on behalf of their alma mater is deeply meaningful to alumni. Therefore, alumni-student mentoring programs at Michigan Law are based on the belief that all participants have something valuable to gain.

MBLAS-BLSA VIRTUAL MENTORING

The Michigan Black Law Alumni Society (MBLAS) and the Black Law Students Association (BLSA) began a new one-on-one mentoring program for current students and alumni in 2014.

With assistance from MLaw Alumni Relations and Career Planning staff members, this program matches interested BLSA students and MBLAS alumni based on shared background, professional interests, aspirations, and career experiences. Once matched, alumni/student pairs are asked to connect virtually over email, phone, or Skype, and touch base with one another periodically over the fall term.  If alumni reside in southeast Michigan or plan to visit Ann Arbor, they are encouraged to meet their mentees in person.

MBLAS hosts gatherings with current students during a Law School reunion weekend each fall.

To learn more about the MBLAS-BLSA mentoring program, contact Lara Furar, director of alumni engagement, at lfurar@umich.edu.​​​

REGIONAL ALUMNI-STUDENT MENTORING PROGRAMS

The Alumni-Student Mentoring Program provides one-on-one mentoring. It is co-sponsored by the Office of Career Planning (OCP) and the Office of Development and Alumni Relations. The Alumni-Student Mentoring Program was piloted at Reunion 2012 before being rolled out in Washington, D.C., in 2013. Based on the enthusiastic response of both alumni and student participants, a Chicago-based component was added in 2014.

To participate, alumni and students must commit to a minimum of six months of contact. Each pair also is expected to meet in person at least once, following the initial program launch event. Because the Office of Development and Alumni Relations hosts social events in each city during the summer, participants don't have to try to create something on their own, although they are welcome to do so.

OCP and the Office of Development and Alumni Relations work hard to pair alumni and students who share not only a career path, but also similar backgrounds, interests, and hobbies. The goal is to match everyone who applies, but matches aren't guaranteed because the priority is to ensure the quality of the matches.

While student participants can gain a wealth of insider knowledge and connections, alumni benefit from the program as well by being able to meet current students and enjoy the satisfaction of giving back to Michigan Law.

To learn more about the alumni-student mentoring program, contact Lara Furar, director of alumni engagement, at lfurar@umich.edu.​​​

REUNION SPEED MENTORING

Have you heard of speed networking? Well, this is speed mentoring! During the younger alumni reunion weekend, alumni "mentor" law students in six-minute blocks. Over the course of an hour, students change seats and mentors every six minutes, gathering information and advice from those in practice. Casual networking follows.

Interested alumni who are in a reunion year and interested students will be asked to complete a short questionnaire about their background, career experiences, interests, and  aspirations. The answers gathered from the survey will be compiled into information sheets that the alumni and students can exchange with one another. More than a business card, but shorter than a resume, these information sheets allow participants to stay connected to those they have met.

If you are in a milestone reunion year, look for more information about speed mentoring in your reunion registration materials.