Tara Regimand Anstett, Campbell Law School Assistant Director of External Relations
Mentorship was my “why” in law school. I enjoyed clubs, organizations, and classes but never quite felt that my interests, background, or goals aligned with those around me. I entered my third year of law school searching for deeper connections and a group or community where I belonged. I found that place and formed my initial views of professionalism in the practice of law because of one Wake County attorney’s decision to mentor me.
Campbell Law Connections Mentorship Program pairs third year law students and new attorneys (protégés) with practicing Wake County attorneys (mentors). Matches are generally based on the protégés’ interest areas, and all mentors are trained on mentorship theory and the expectations and purposes of the program. Protégés’ interests and ultimate professional goals are the driving force behind the program, which makes it unique from other mentoring relationships.
I was fortunate to be paired with Carmen Bannon, Deputy Counsel with the North Carolina State Bar. I visited my mentor in her office, watched her depose a defendant, saw her teach two CLEs, and went to Wake County Bar Association luncheons with her. My first realistic glimpse into the practice of law happened solely because she allowed me to join in her legal and professional commitments. Her work ethic, attitude, and professionalism completely changed my view of attorneys and of the Wake County bar. She checked in on me when I struggled and celebrated my successes. She got coffee with me before the Bar Exam and encouraged me. She asked me questions, gave me advice, and came to my wedding.
I could go on and on about my mentorship experience but instead will leave you with a final thought. Why aren’t more attorneys eagerly searching for opportunities to mentor law students and young attorneys? The commitment is not big, but the value is huge. I challenge each of you to consider what you could contribute and teach a law student or new attorney. You could impact your protégé in more ways than you realize, just as Carmen impacted me.
If you would like to participate as a mentor in this year's program, please contact Tara Anstett at firstname.lastname@example.org.