Each year the Univeristy of St. Thomas School of Law Mentor Externship Program holds a reception where we honor the legal professionals who serve as mentors to our students. Attorney mentors provided over 3,100 mentor experiences to UST Law students each year, engaging every student and over 450 mentors in one to one mentoring relationships. For the 2011-2012 academic year we also recognize that there is an entire community of mentors that supports and surrounds our students.
I am fortunate to have mentors who influence my life professionally, academically and personally. Each has been eager to share their knowledge and wisdom with me. Whether the relationships have been formally arranged or are unofficial, relaxed interactions, I have found commonality with each of my mentors and value each as a resource.
I trust my mentors to give me guidance in different areas of my life. I rely on Andy Lehner for spiritual guidance and career advice he can give as a newer attorney who has integrated his spiritual and professional life. Judge John Romero has been a friend and mentor for fifteen years. He has been a sympathetic ear and counselor as I create my place in the legal world.
Scott Swanson and I talk casually about our kids and have more serious discussions such as how to approach interviews. I have made connections with attorneys by virtue of our common connection to Scott, and he knows my work ethic and character well enough to be a professional reference.
Trusha Patel has been my guide since becoming my 1L peer mentor. She has coached me through concerns about classes, exams, and clerkships, and has given me career advice. I am comforted by having Trusha as my mentor because she has recently walked a similar path and prospered.
I requested Andre’ Morant as my 3L mentor based on a classmate’s recommendation. Andre’ has given me the opportunity to attend client meetings and courtroom hearings with him, speaks candidly with me about his experiences as a diverse lawyer, and has given me perspective on my job search strategies.
I believe in embracing relationships with those I admire and value as leaders. As I prepare to enter the legal profession, I feel confident in having a strong constellation of mentors that will only continue to grow.
When considering law school, I reached out to my long time mentor, Cardinal Raymond Burke due to our long-standing relationship and his position as one of the most well respected Canon lawyers in the world. His relentless encouragement and support are an enormous and humbling source of inspiration.
Dean Thomas Mengler is the first faculty member that I truly connected with, and the example that he has provided, both personally and professionally, is something that I am eternally grateful for.
My official Mentor Externship mentors Tom and Pat Conlin have gone above and beyond my expectations by providing a consistent source of guidance.
Professor Robert Delahunty’s immense breadth of experience in the legal community as well as his constant encouragement has made him another of my most influential mentors.
David Bateson and Lisa Brabbit have mentored me through the tumultuous terrain of securing legal employment. Their candor and advocacy provide a much-needed source of support.
Judge Gary Schurrer’s willingness to open his courtroom to me as a law clerk, and his seemingly unending patience and ability to explain the judicial process to a first-time clerk, has provided the base for our mentor relationship.
I am deeply humbled and grateful to have mentors whom I respect tremendously on both a professional and a personal level. I am very appreciative for the integrity and professionalism
modeled by these amazing mentors, and I would like to thank each of them for their influence.
Before I started studying at the University of St. Thomas, School of Law, I was blessed to know Judge Michael Jesse, Benton County Attorney Robert Raupp, and Mr. James Roberts. I met each of these distinguished gentlemen in St. Cloud, each friends of the family who helped usher me into the legal profession.
My St. Cloud mentors offered insights about not only the law, and their experiences in it, but also in balancing the work with a successful family life. To me, these people weren't just individuals proficient in the practice of law--they were models of how I could be a successful attorney and a good person.
The University of St. Thomas Mentor Externship program was kind enough to pair me with Mr. Paul Godfrey, and now I have a new constellation of mentors that took the same amount of time and care to answer my questions and concerns as my St. Cloud mentors. Mr. Godfrey, and his colleagues Michael Kiedrowski and Patrick Judge, allowed a nervous 2L to accompany them to depositions, arbitrations, and mediations with patience and kindness not typically associated with the legal profession.
What all my mentors shared aren't just experiences to learn from, or just a preview of a new area of the legal profession: they inspire me to succeed so that someday I can become a part of someone else's constellation, to guide them too.