Disrupting Law | Demetrio Zema (Law Squared) | Tips on how to be a great Disrupting Law mentor
For two years in a row, Law Squared has mentored the winning teams of Disrupting Law, a hackathon organised by The Legal Forecast and renowned QUT student society, QUT Starters. The 3-day event challenges participants to brainstorm innovative ideas by using tech to provide breakthroughs in legal practices.
Disrupting Law also provides a platform for students across the nation to showcase their talents while connecting with industry leaders, including Law Squared. Several projects from previous editions have turned into real startups, demonstrating the benefits of such events to the legal space.
Competitions like these are excellent for modern lawyers who believe innovation is crucial in today’s legal landscape and are looking for ways to contribute to that paradigm shift.
Here are a few key takeaways from our past experience to help you become a better Disrupting Law mentor:
Being able to communicate with your mentees is great for their development since there’ll be plenty of questions and concerns to address. However, it is unrealistic for you to spend time with them all the time.
The best solution is to have at least a team member available throughout the weekend as a point of contact and mentorship. This way, you can spread the responsibility without affecting your students while giving your team a chance to develop their own mentorship skills.
That said, we encourage you to chime in as much as your time allows because you get to work with young talents who offer fresh perspectives that you may not be aware of.
Offer real guidance and practical advice
Don’t worry about holding back when giving advice.
Your mentees are crafting solutions to real-world problems; there’s no better guidance than your ups and downs from your career to this point in time. As mentors ourselves, we find that students really appreciate your willingness to help them especially if you can give context-specific advice.
Utilise your knowledge in helping your mentees develop practical solutions. Students lack professional experience so part of their ideas may not be in touch with how the industry actually works. It is your responsibility to fix that and suggest ways to make the solution more feasible.
Great mentors make the learning process enjoyable while giving students the kick they need to achieve their goals. Be present, be available and share amusing real life stories about your experiences - there are so many things you can do to help them learn without making it monotonous.
Remember, this is an opportunity for students to have hands on access to legal professionals working together to solve a real legal problem.
It’s not wrong to be serious about tackling the issues but it’s just as important to let loose and enjoy the experience of leading young, driven graduates.
With so many events around today, there’s no reason for your team to not be a part of the community. You get to develop your leadership skills while working with prospects and future leaders—all while bringing your company to the forefront of attention.