Minute Mentor DMBA starts new mentoring program

By Jo Mathis

Legal News

You've heard of speed dating?

The Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association has taken that general idea and given it a professional twist.

"Lawyer to Lawyer: Mentoring in Motion" is a free speed mentoring program for DMBA member lawyers and judges to be held Nov. 17.

While speed dating allows singles to briefly talk with each other before possibly arranging a date, quick mentoring is an opportunity for a seasoned DMBA attorney to meet with three or four more junior attorneys to provide valuable mentorship advice and lead a discussion for 15 minutes.

When time is up, mentees will be free to move to a new table and engage in conversation with another mentor. After three rounds, lawyers will gather for a networking reception to continue discussing topics and mingle with other attorneys.

Heading the event are DMBA Board member Jeff Kopp, partner at Foley & Lardner; and Barristers Board member Kevin Stoops, partner at Sommers Schwartz.

This inaugural mentoring event allows attorneys to meet more people than traditional mentoring programs, said Kopp. He said it allows attorneys the chance to talk about issues they might not want to discuss with someone from their own law firm. It's also a low-commitment way for attorneys and judges to mentor, he said.

"We see this as a win-win for mentors and mentees," said Kopp, who expects up to 75 people to attend the event.

Stoops said he looks forward to the event as an attorney in his eighth year of practice eager to learn from more seasoned attorneys.

"I think the opportunity to be able to question and seek insight from these seasoned attorneys is especially important in light of the economic struggles impacting our industry and geographic region," said Stoops. "I look forward to speaking to attorneys from other firms and practice areas to see how they are dealing with the economic troubles and how they have and continue to develop business."

Stoops said he's also taken part in numerous mentoring events for local law students and enjoys giving them pointers about growing a thriving practice.

Similar speed mentoring events have been held at law schools and other bar associations, with great success, Kopp said.

The event will be held from 5:15 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 17 at SMART Detroit located on the 13th floor of the Penobscot Building, 645 Griswold St., Detroit.

Published: Thu, Oct 27, 2011