Volunteer Attorney Mentors Needed for 2017-18 School Year
The MCB Diversity & Inclusion Committee is currently seeking volunteer attorneys who are interested in making a difference in the life of a young person by mentoring a student in the Lunch with a Lawyer (LwL) program.
Through a partnership with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS), lawyers will serve as mentors to eighth graders throughout the 2017-18 school year. Mentors will meet with their paired mentee at least once a month for lunch to serve as a positive role model and to provide the student with a window into the legal profession. Area principals recommend students from a broad range of ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds who are considering future legal careers for program participation.
All new volunteer attorneys will need to attend a program orientation on September 28th to discuss program expectations and to review tips for establishing a beneficial mentoring relationship. Additionally, new volunteer attorneys will be required to submit to a background check before being matched with a CMS student. This year, the program will host its kick-off luncheon at the CMS Smith Family Center on October 17th. Here, students, their parents and school administrators will meet the assigned attorney mentors and hear from guest speakers from the community.
The MCB has received overwhelmingly positive feedback from lawyers and students who have participated in this program in the past. Many mentor-mentee pairs have formed relationships that will endure for years to come. If you or your colleagues are interested in serving in the 2017-18 Lunch with a Lawyer program, please contact Angelica Gumucio at firstname.lastname@example.org, 704/375-8624, or fill out the form below.
Q: Who is eligible to be a LwL mentor?
A: Mecklenburg County Bar members.
Q: How do I sign up?
A: E-mail email@example.com or fill out the above form and indicate your interest in the Lunch with a Lawyer program. You will be asked to undergo a routine background check administered by CMS before you are allowed to enter your assigned school.
Q: What does a LwL mentor do?
A: LwL is designed to educate 8th grade students from diverse backgrounds (racially, ethnically and socioeconomically) about the different aspects of the legal profession. Our mentors are extremely valuable and serve as a representative of our local legal community.
Over the course of the school year we ask our mentors to foster and sustain meaningful relationships with their assigned mentee. Conversations and time spent together do not have to focus solely on discussing what it means to be a lawyer. Our mentor-mentee relationships are designed to help CMS students learn about future opportunities they may not have considered.
Q: What is the time commitment to be a mentor?
A: LwL mentors usually donate between 10-15 hours of their time throughout the school year. The mentor time requirements are outlined below:
Thurs., Sept. 28
Tues., October 17
Meet with mentee once a month for lunch
October - May
Accompany mentee for an end-of-year tour of the
May or June 2018
Q: What do I talk to my mentee about?
A: It's normal to be nervous. Fortunately, our CMS partners are well equipped to prepare you on how to interact with your student. CMS representatives cover tips and techniques on how to begin the relationship with your assigned mentee at our LwL Mentor Training. In addition, our LwL alumni mentors are always available to provide advice and guidance.
Q: Will my student be from a school close to my work?
A: We will attempt to accommodate your location preferences, but cannot guarantee all requests will be met.
Q: My days are fairly busy - can I meet my mentee for breakfast?
A: The logistics of when and where you meet with your student are determined between you, your student and the school administration. Participating CMS middle schools are often willing to work with our mentors' schedules.
Q: Do we have to meet at my mentee's school for lunch?
A: Mentors may take their mentees off campus for lunch if they have secured the appropriate transportation and parental paperwork. Please discuss this option with your student's administrator. He or she will be able to provide you with the appropriate required documents.
Q: Will I be paired with a same-sex mentee?
A: For both our mentors and mentees to truly benefit from the LwL relationship both must be comfortable with one another to engage in meaningful dialogue. Therefore, the LwL program attempts to match its attorney volunteers with mentees of the same sex. However, depending on our volunteer size and student participation we cannot always guarantee a same sex match. We will always seek permission from our mentors before matching him/her with a student of the opposite sex.
Q: How are the students selected to participate in the program?
A: Participating CMS middle school principals select students who are considering a future legal career and who exhibit outstanding academic achievement. Each CMS middle school is contacted by the Office of Community Partnerships and Family Engagement to recruit mentees to the program.