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Home » Why does mentorship matter for lawyers? with Illana Raia – Legal Talk Network

Why does mentorship matter for lawyers? with Illana Raia – Legal Talk Network

The Value of Having — and Being — a Mentor in the Legal Field
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Recently named one the first 250 entrepreneurs on the Forbes Next 1000 List, Illana Raia is the founder and…
Karin Conroy is the Founder and Creative Director of Conroy Creative Counsel, an award-winning recognized leader that…
What is the value of a great mentor? Why does mentorship matter for lawyers?
You may think back to your time as a junior associate and remember the specific people who impacted and helped shape your career from the beginning. Even if they didn’t know it, or if you didn’t realize it at the time, that’s a form of mentorship.
In this episode, we’re exploring why mentorship is a crucial piece when it comes to helping the next generation of lawyers grow, and I couldn’t think of anyone better to join me for this conversation than Illana Raia.
Recently named one the first 250 entrepreneurs on the Forbes Next 1000 List, Illana is the founder and CEO of Être – a mentorship platform for girls. Believing that mentors matter as early as middle school, Illana brings girls directly into companies they select to meet female leaders face to face. Illana is a member of the International Space Station U.S. National Lab Education Subcommittee and serves on the National Girls’ Collaborative Champions Board.
Illana has also authored 60+ articles for HuffPost, Ms. Magazine, Worth and Thrive Global, and her award-winning book Être: Girls, Who Do You Want To Be? was released on Day of the Girl 2019. Her next book, The Epic Mentor Guide, arrives March 2022. Prior to launching Être, Illana was a corporate attorney at Skadden Arps and a guest lecturer at Columbia University. She graduated from Smith College and the University of Chicago Law School, and lives happily in NYC.
 
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[00:00:00] 
[00:00:27] Illana: Hi, my name’s Alanna Raya. I’m the founder of etra, a mentorship platform. And I’m delighted to be here 
[00:00:34] Karin: a lot of thank you so much for your time. This is going to be such a cool conversation. I’m excited about having talking to you and everything we’re going to talk about. Um, so. Today, we are talking about mentorship, but I think this is going to be, uh, even more interesting than just the general topic, because you can really speak to mentorship with your background as a lawyer and the legal industry.
[00:00:59] [00:01:00] So the big question for today is why. Does mentorship matter for lawyers. So, uh, let’s talk about, let’s talk first about, a little bit about etra and what, what you do there, and then we’ll get into that question. 
[00:01:14] Illana: Okay. Absolutely. Um, so etra was founded in 2016 after I retired from a career in law in 2014.
[00:01:21] And it’s, it means to be in French. And the idea is to ask girls who they want to. And the heart of what we do is I take girls as young as middle school, but in high school and through college, directly into companies that they pick to meet female leaders face to face. So whether it’s a company where they use the brand, they are constantly on the platform.
[00:01:42] They can imagine themselves working. There we go in, we meet women, we watched them lead their teams and they get to get a bird’s-eye view of what. 
[00:01:51] Karin: Oh, I love the idea of just imagining where a four, I feel like for my [00:02:00] generation and, you know, all the earlier girls, like we had a lot of boundaries around the ideas of what we could be, you know, to come to the, this idea of, of etra and to be, and the visuals and, and just imagining those ideas.
[00:02:16] I feel like, you know, so many of these conversations with. Uh, lately are about mindset and where you start. And at that critical point, when you are still a kid and you’re thinking, you know, what, what that future might be, just starting with the visuals of, um, of what your future might be like is so important.
[00:02:40] Illana: It is it’s impactful and it’s different than having your mom or your aunt or someone tell you you can be anything. And bolster confidence is completely different to walk onto the floor of the stock exchange or to walk onto a recording studio at Spotify or anywhere at NBC and have female executives say.
[00:02:59] I took the [00:03:00] same classes you did. I was just as nervous to raise my hand, but now come meet my team. This is where I work and here’s how I got here. Uh, it truly is an empowering experience for them. And that is the heart of, of what we do really sparked because mentors were so important to me through my career.
[00:03:18] Now I just feel like early and diverse access to mentorship, particularly for girls can change the. 
[00:03:25] Karin: Oh, yeah. I mean, I, I can think of a few key points in my career where, um, the person probably didn’t even realize they were being a mentor to me, but it was a fork in the road for sure. I mean, I would’ve continued on that kind of slow path to whatever that future might’ve looked like.
[00:03:43] Um, within my own set of thoughts about it versus a person coming and like pushing me over into a total left turn. Changed my life. I mean, like not to be, uh, you know, to woo about it, but it literally changed [00:04:00] the outcome of, of, you know, the way thing paths went. So you said that this started, when did you, what year did you start?
[00:04:07] Illana: Uh, I started the company started in 2016. 
[00:04:10] Karin: Uh, okay. So you’ve had. Six seven years of, of girls kind of going through, did you have girls going through the program right in the beginning? 
[00:04:19] Illana: You know, in the beginning I thought it was just going to be a website when I launched it. The idea really was I built a website, which is not the website you see right [email protected]
[00:04:28] It was very drag and drop. Um, and the idea simply was to put inspirational quotes from women. I admired up for girls to see and. To keep girls close to the things they love, if they love chess, but all of their friends were playing a sport. Here are links to outlets to play chess women in chess. Why those strategies matter later on things like that?
[00:04:50] Stem links to NASA or the space station. Interesting free links that maybe the schools weren’t covering it almost immediately. When I formed a board of [00:05:00] advisors, that was all great. They wanted to meet women in person. They were not satisfied with the quote with the post. They wanted to bring this into their schools.
[00:05:07] So every year, since 2016 and 2017, we started afterschool clubs. In 2018, we started going into schools 2019. We put our first book out every year has been something big, largely sparked by the ideas from the girls themselves. 
[00:05:23] Karin: That’s so fascinating. I love the idea. First of all that you started with a completely different idea and you thought it was going to be one thing.
[00:05:31] And then it’s kind of like a marketing campaign where the market told you what it wanted and the market, just once again, derailed what your, what plans you thought you might’ve had for this, this thing. And, um, but that is like, when you listen to the message from the people who. Your audience is that’s when it works.
[00:05:51] Yeah. If you just continue on that path, if you had just stayed with the website, being a resource. You know, we can imagine what that might have [00:06:00] been today. It wouldn’t be what it 
[00:06:01] Illana: is. No. And the idea that we’re growing with our girls is really important for me as someone who’s starting it. Girls who might’ve been in middle school or high school, when we first took our very first trip to Morgan Stanley or Goldman Sachs or someplace like that.
[00:06:16] And then now are heading into. And they want to reach back to those women and say, would you look at my LinkedIn profile? I met you when I was 15. Now I’m thinking about internships. Would you answer a question by email? For me, all of these women are saying yes, because they remembered it. Wasn’t so long ago that the girls stood in their boardroom and spun around to the chairs.
[00:06:37] And now, and now they’re actually entering the workforce and they feel there’s a pipeline from that company because that company welcomed. 
[00:06:45] Karin: That is so cool. So that’s where I was starting with that question earlier about kind of when you started. So some of those girls are now they, for the most part of the, in middle school, when they’ve kind of first come into the group or are they all over the place?
[00:06:58] We’re all over the 
[00:06:59] Illana: place. I built [00:07:00] it for middle school, but the minute we went into the schools with afterschool clubs, it was high school girls who were founding the clubs, mentoring their peers and younger. So it immediately started to grow. And I think for a lot of the companies, we were looking at the high school, girls could imagine what an internship could look like.
[00:07:16] They are looking at colleges, looking at what they might major in. So it resonated deeply with the high school crowd. Now we’ve got our campus because the girls actually have different questions. Does a cover letter matter? How do I do a virtual interview? So we go as young as middle school, but we are rooted deeply in high school.
[00:07:37] Karin: Okay. So girls are in there in middle school. It really kind of the rubber hits the road in high school, but then they’re still involved in college athletics moving towards a career and getting those connections. That is so cool. I’m sure you’ve got so many amazing stories. Do you have, uh, any girls who, who did start kind of in the first couple years who now [00:08:00] can point to this as a stepping stone into.
[00:08:04] Wherever they’re at. Um, I mean, it sounds like most of them are. Uh, in college age, is that right? Or some of them getting into that career phase, they’re getting 
[00:08:11] Illana: into the career phase. Now I have, and I love it when they form relationships because of veteran. I have a freshman at Columbia in New York and a freshman at Barnard who did not know each other, each unbelievably accomplished girls.
[00:08:24] One was a finalist in the 3m, young scientist challenge. One, just put a book out about gen Z. Last year, they met on campus, both having been on the. And now are starting to create events on the Columbia, Barnard campus and things like that. So, oh, great. And it is, it is hardly because of better. These girls were hardwired to be curious and successful and ambitious from the start.
[00:08:48] But I think it’s why a lot of our visits resonated with them and why they were excited to meet these leaders because they were already on their way. And if we could be a springboard in any small way, it’s so exciting. [00:09:00] 
[00:09:00] Karin: Sure. So. Flipping over to the, uh, the leader side of it and, uh, for kind of attorneys and, and, uh, high level executives and women who might get involved on the mentorship side.
[00:09:15] First of all, was that hard to find those, those group of women that wanted to become involved. And then, and then why, why should they, I mean, what’s in it for them. 
[00:09:25] Illana: Um, I love that question actually. Uh, it was not hard because the minute we started going into. Women were telling each other, you know, they would say, oh, you’re at this company, you know, you should see next.
[00:09:35] I have a friend who works here. I should call her. Yeah. There was a huge, generous network of women who started passing it along, not just for their daughters or their nieces, but just for their peers saying you would love this. We also keep it a really light lift. We do not go in for the entire day. They have to get back to work.
[00:09:53] I’m pulling girls out of school to do this. So it’s, we’re talking about an hour, two hours tops. So it was a [00:10:00] light lift for them to reach out to a friend and say, you should have these girls in it’s a ton of fun. Um, I think every woman that we meet remembers what it’s like to be the age of the girls sitting in front of them.
[00:10:11] They remember what it’s like to be hesitant to raise their hand or hoping someone else is going to ask their questions so they don’t have to. And they know how important it is to get past that and advocate for yourself and ask your questions and not lower your standards. So I think the women get. Not just nostalgic, but they, they want to reach out and empower these girls.
[00:10:31] They want to pay it forward. Um, on the corporate level, I think smart companies are absolutely realizing that having women on their boards is a smart thing to do simply for their bottom line and to bring more women to the table, they need to save seats for girls. So I think, yeah, companies are seeing the dotted line here too.
[00:10:50] And while we meet only women, there have been tons of men in these companies excited to be hosting. Excited to have the girls come in and that’s nice. [00:11:00] And that’s important for the girls to recognize, I think women who mentor and who want to keep the mentorship relationship going, you know, sometimes it’s a mentor moment.
[00:11:08] We came in for an hour and we left, the girls, heard everything. Sometimes the girls will reach back out. Certainly, you know, as we talk about the book and things like that later, women were reaching out and offering really specific advice. They want to be involved. They, and it’s easier than ever now with.
[00:11:25] DM-ing somebody with LinkedIn with zoom, it can be a virtual mentor. Pop-up it doesn’t have to be a day in a boardroom. It’s easier than ever to be a mentor. And I think every women we’ve met understands the value of. 
[00:11:38] Karin: Yeah. So it does seem like I instantly connected with this and it does feel like this is something that as you go through your career phase, you then look back and say, okay, how do I pull the people up from behind?
[00:11:53] But I instantly start thinking about the logistics of it. And so what you were just describing in terms of first of all, [00:12:00] having it be a light lift and not having. Huge obligation on either side, is that right there helps with just kind of not having it a huge hurdle in terms of, you know, scheduling and all of that stuff.
[00:12:12] But, um, does your platform provide a place to kind of bring these people together and organize that, that relationship or, um, what do you recommend for. Think through the relationship of, of that mentorship, um, experience. 
[00:12:28] Illana: So right now on the website, you know, there’s a form to fill out. If you want to start a club at your school or start going to events, and then there’s a form to be a mentor, you know, under be involved.
[00:12:38] So, so people can reach right out directly. Um, right now, obviously before COVID. Most of the in-person events were in New York because I’m in New York and I kid you not, this was me renting buses and shepherding girls all over the city and making badges for them so that I could count them constantly. Um, there was a huge camp counselor feel to the whole thing.[00:13:00] 
[00:13:00] Um, we did do some and outside of New York, um, nine west reached out to me when Tyra banks was. Spokesperson and said she wanted to do something on international women’s day in mentorship. And so I flew to LA and brought some girls from girl Scouts and a school there to do a mentor event with Tyra banks.
[00:13:19] So there were some things outside of New York, but the way we’re doing this really in cities and different parts of the country are through schools where a school will have a club etra chapter, and they’ll reach out to me and say, our group is interested in founders. All we want to meet are female founders, entrepreneur.
[00:13:38] Who do we want? And then I’ll provide a list and we’ll arrange a virtual pop-up mentor, and that woman might take 20 or 30 minutes and zoom with that club. And the club could be 10 girls. It could be 50 girls. Um, and we do the same thing for clubs that want to talk to athletes, or they want to talk to astronauts or they, the network that we have now, and again, making it a light lift saying to a woman [00:14:00] who works at the international space station.
[00:14:01] Do you have 20 minutes to talk to a school in Texas? 
[00:14:05] Karin: You know, they do. Yeah. Oh my gosh. What a cool, I mean, when you just think about the difference that the internet has made in our lives, um, you know, this wasn’t obviously available when I was a kid, the idea of being in Texas and talking first of all to the space station is mindblowing cool.
[00:14:25] Like that is so amazing. Um, but also to be able to have those connections with entrepreneurs that don’t have. Be local. Like they can just kind of pop in on a zoom meeting. And so how does that work? Long-term in terms of that connection between, um, you know, cause there is a difference in, you know, like what we’ve been describing that relationship.
[00:14:48] And that, that, uh, that mentorship meeting in person, and then what we’ve all gone through for the last couple of years in COVID like meeting people through zoom is great and it’s, it’s cool, but sometimes it’s not quite the 
[00:14:59] Illana: same. [00:15:00] I agree. It’s not the same. I can’t wait truly until we can get back to in-person visits.
[00:15:04] I think there is a difference to be sitting in the board room to be shaking hands with someone, to hear what that woman has to say face to face. There just is a different. What the popup, the zoom mentorships let us do was to go a little more global. We had girls in different countries joining us. We had, you know, figuring out the time zones, but all of a sudden we were able to include more people.
[00:15:26] And that was a lot of fun. I couldn’t say, look, I’m limiting it to 20 people because Google’s only letting us bring 20 people. I could have 50 people on a zoom and it’s completely fine. So that was an advantage. I think also during COVID more of the women were available. You know, they were answering their own DMS on Instagram.
[00:15:45] They were answering their own LinkedIn messages. It was easier to get people to just say, let’s do this quickly. Um, how it works. Long-term, you know, look, I would love to have a club like this in every school. I think there’s something about democratizing the access [00:16:00] to these mentors and just saying it’s a super light lift for the school.
[00:16:03] You need one faculty advisor and a place to meet on campus for 30 minutes. Some schools meet once a month. Some schools meet. You know, the 
[00:16:11] Karin: girls are visiting. So do they have, sorry to jump over you, but do they have any kind of, um, I’m just thinking long-term in terms of some of those girls who are either in middle school or high school, and then they get to college and they want to reach out, but they may have only been in a zoom meeting with someone once, you know, a bunch of years ago.
[00:16:29] Do the, is there any kind of, uh, connection or way to keep in touch with that person so that they can keep that relationship? Sort 
[00:16:38] Illana: of fresh. We’ve had lots of women put their own email in the chat during the zoom and say, reach out to me. Um, other times I’ve done it. I’ll reach out specifically and say, you may not remember her, but a year and a half ago, we did this zoom.
[00:16:51] And what you said really resonated with this girl. Could she reach out to you? Um, a lot of it is one-to-one, you know, just, just figuring out slowly, um, in [00:17:00] the, in the book that we just did, the epic mentor guide, every woman who gave advice in the book listed her favorite social media. And said, cool. Please reach out to me, ask me more questions, follow me in real life.
[00:17:13] I want to be more than just a one-time mentor moment, you 
[00:17:18] Karin: know? So what would you recommend in terms of, you know, in terms of these lawyers who are thinking, first of all, they’re, they’re in a different career path oftentimes than the kind of, you know, they’re not at the international space station.
[00:17:31] They’re, they’re not, you know, they don’t have the similar kind of. You know, really kind of glitzy, uh, titles. Um, but they’ve had maybe really great success with their career. They’ve got, you know, entrepreneurship possibly that they can talk about, but how, how do you think they should? And I know this goes into your book as well, so we’ll, um, mention and link to the book as well, but where do they get started?
[00:17:56] How do they nurture that relationship? What recommendations. [00:18:00] For that? I think, 
[00:18:01] Illana: I mean, this is so close to my heart because I was a lawyer for many years. I did mergers and acquisitions. I was a knowledge strategy lawyer. So I, I was a lawyer for decades and I’d loved it. And part of what made me love it with the mentors that I had and, you know, female mentors, male mentors, but from day one at the firm.
[00:18:20] And I was at the same firm for my whole career. Um, tremendous mentors. So. Lawyers, whether the firm has an established mentorship program or it just works organically within a firm or in-house at a company. I think most lawyers know the value of a mentor from the very beginning. Something sparked them to want to be a lawyer.
[00:18:40] Something made them love those early associate years and later. So I think it’s already there. I think also most lawyers that I know have a streak of fearless. And that is what you need to be able to reach out on LinkedIn and say, you don’t know me, but I just read a paper that you did. And it really struck me.
[00:18:58] And I’d love to ask [00:19:00] you a question by email. I, you know, we’re not asking for coffee right away. We’re not asking to meet for dinner, but a light lift, like we were talking about with the visits, a light lift on LinkedIn to say, yeah, I saw your Ted talk. And I thought it was fantastic. And I thought this article might be a value to you.
[00:19:17] Those types of connections. Are the beginning of what could be a mentorship. The mentor doesn’t have to be in your law firm or at your company. It could be someone who has expertise in that, which you admire and you want to reach out. And that fearlessness, that curiosity that most lawyers share, I think that really feeds naturally into finding a mentor.
[00:19:41] Karin: So, how did you tell me some stories about your mentors and, um, did you reach out to them or what was the, what was your background in, um, as you were kind of up and coming with your career? 
[00:19:51] Illana: So my grandmother was a lawyer first and foremost, so amazing. Graduated from Brooklyn law in 1930. One of very few [00:20:00] women.
[00:20:00] My 
[00:20:00] Karin: God. So from the very big picture in the law school picture with all these 
[00:20:06] Illana: stands out right in the middle, you know exactly what you’re picturing is what that looks like. So cool. Um, but so I think she was always a mentor for me and I always admired what she did and how she did it. I went straight from college to law school.
[00:20:20] I loved law school. I was just the nerdiest, loved it so much. My law school friends who were my clothes. Um, and then I went straight to the law firm and I was assigned a mentor and she was a woman in mergers and acquisitions, which, you know, uh, was not completely male dominated, but certainly heavy. This was the early nineties.
[00:20:42] So more men than women in that department. And she was a rockstar and this was I’m going to date myself, but this was before. Cell phones. This is before email owned everything internet. So I was at the time I was at her cuff every day for, [00:21:00] I think I was, she was my mentor for a solid two years before they rotated me through.
[00:21:05] And I was perched on the couch in her office. I was in every meeting. I was just at her. Learning and absorbing what she did. And it was the most valuable thing. And she’s a mentor for me today, you know, to this day. And every mentor I had after that was held to her bar. Um, and that was, that was so important for me.
[00:21:26] When I started etra, it was again, a reset and recognizing what you don’t know, and all of a sudden I’m in a new space. And I realized right away that while I was busy finding mentors for girls every day, I needed some of my. And I started to reach out to people in the mentorship space, in the founder space, men and women, and meeting with them almost quarterly to say, this is what I’m up to.
[00:21:50] Where are my mistakes? What am I doing wrong? I am not looking for you to be a cheerleader and tell me everything’s great. Like challenge me. Tell me where I’m falling down. [00:22:00] You know, help me fix it. I’m new at this. 
[00:22:03] Karin: That’s such an important. Part of that mentorship relationship, I think is to set your ego aside and to recognize that you’re there not to just kind of have a therapy session and give each other a bunch of hugs and make it all warm and fuzzy, you’re there to get better.
[00:22:19] And so part of getting better has to recognize that, um, what’s what’s there now is maybe a Colonel. You know, great ideas and whatever, but there’s probably things that need to be fixed. Things that might need to be thrown away and, you know, different variations in the path that you were. So, where can you remember, like when you first started with that mentor, the first woman you were describing, kind of where your mindset was when you first started and kind of what you thought your career might look like versus the end of those two years, when you really kind of sat with her, saw the day to day and really kind of got in there and, um, start to sort of, to visualize what, what that [00:23:00] actually might look like.
[00:23:01] Yeah. 
[00:23:01] Illana: She was larger than life when I got there. Imagine living her life. I couldn’t imagine commanding a boardroom the way she did. She was creative. And what struck me all the time was that clients that came to her came with problems. They could not solve within their own company. They came with issues that their own general counsel couldn’t solve or something so big or so novel that the company needed the help of a behemoths law firm.
[00:23:27] Like. And she could walk through walls. She just was clever and brilliant and listened to her clients. And I watched so carefully how she interacted with them, not really shaped how I wanted to be. Um, as you get older and you get to be a mid-level associate, you realize your style might be different. Your approach might be different, but the light that she shown on everything was just so bright and it, it lit the way every mentor I had after.
[00:23:57] I knew I could ask anything because she constantly [00:24:00] said, just ask every question. It does mean no good. If you’ve got a question after the fact, ask it now, uh, if something won’t work, if a timeline won’t work, tell me early all of those lessons that she gave me. I then invoked when I was working with other mentors.
[00:24:14] Um, yeah, she was the gold standard. 
[00:24:17] Karin: Oh, that’s, that’s like such so inspiring. I’m almost picturing like, you know, a movie script about, you know, like it’s like, so, uh, so then how did that, I’m assuming that you then, as your career went through, you turned around and became mentors and brought, you know, people up behind you.
[00:24:35] Um, so where did you get started with that? And, and what was your thinking in terms of your own experience and then how you wanted to, you know, push that forward, um, as you became a. 
[00:24:46] Illana: I just recognized, first of all, the firm really fostered the firm I was at. It was a very collegial place. It was easy to walk into someone’s office and say, I have a question, I need a precedent.
[00:24:56] I saw that you did this deal. How did it work? That was an easy thing [00:25:00] to do there. Um, I loved when people came in to ask me questions, I loved when people came and raided my files. I thought that that was great. And. I wanted them to then want to do that. You know, it’s an interesting, interesting statistic about mentorship that 90% of those who have been mentored are likely to mentor somebody else.
[00:25:19] Just the value was kind of baked in. So it was an easy thing to look at younger associates, male, or female coming through and saying people a question I’m here. And if I don’t know the answer, I will know who to ask. So come ask me, you know, raise your hand the same thing I tell the girls all the time, raise your hand.
[00:25:37] Um, yeah. 
[00:25:38] Karin: Yeah. There’s something so important about that culture too. Um, versus, I mean, I’m sure everyone has had bad career moments where you get into a certain job and it’s very closed and the walls are all around or, you know, whatever it may be. It may be a social situation you walk in and it just feels IC.
[00:25:59] Um, and. [00:26:00] All of a sudden you realize, okay, I’m on my own. Everybody is kind of like got their teeth out and they’re kind of out to get you versus the culture of, you know, recognizing, um, the first thought I was having when you were describing that is that I’ve read. Uh, some things about the, the idea of samples.
[00:26:19] So you know how trader Joe’s always has their samples. There is a marketing strategy behind that. It’s not just because they want to be nice it’s because they know it drives sales, like though, whatever they’re sampling. Um, drive sales and it’s not just because it tastes good. It’s because there’s a psychology behind the obligation of a free sample.
[00:26:39] And so this idea that I’ve been mentored and someone has just dedicated some time and given me that. Gift really. And now I feel an obligation to do the same, or like if you’re in trader Joe’s now, I feel like I need to buy those crackers. Whatever that obligation is, there is some, some psychology in [00:27:00] that experience that I think is really critical in building that into the culture of, um, whether it’s in your firm or not.
[00:27:08] You know, if you are building a firm, it should be. Um, but if you’re working at a firm and it’s not there, then you just need to go outside or bring it in. Suggest 
[00:27:16] Illana: it, yeah, you’re out how there’s no question. This is going to be good for your firm. Right. You know, 84% of CEOs said that mentors help them avoid costly mistakes.
[00:27:26] There’s no question. Oh yeah. It’s a Harvard business review stat and it sticks with me. There’s no question that mentorship platforms within your own firm are good. They’re good for your people. They’re good for your business. Um, if it’s not in your firm, suggest it, bring it in. I think mentorship programs aren’t.
[00:27:45] To start small and scale up within a firm and you’ll figure out what works within that culture. 
[00:27:51] Karin: Yeah, absolutely. Okay. So let’s, let’s mention your book and then we’re going to move on to the, the book recommendation. So I know you have, um, your, [00:28:00] the book cover and everything ready to, um, this 
[00:28:02] Illana: is galley, but yes, the epic mentor guide launches on March 15th.
[00:28:07] Karin: Awesome. Okay. So that is that, you know, if, if we’re looking into how to do that, I feel like that’s a perfect segue into, okay. You’ve decided maybe your firm is missing this or they have some programs not, you know, it’s just, okay. Um, I’m assuming this book goes into depth about how to put it all together.
[00:28:27] Illana: I actually was born of when girls started asking questions and we couldn’t go into companies anymore in person during COVID. I was listening to all these questions, that high school, college age girls, women who are friends of mine were asking about the workforce, really specific questions. How do I get an internship at space X?
[00:28:44] How do I get my art scene at Pixar? What was it like for someone like Dawn Porter to leave the law and go make movies with Oprah? Um, what’s it like to be a lawyer or an accountant at a firm like Viacom or specific questions? And so we reached out and [00:29:00] got women at all this companies to answer that. So the book is a compilation of 180 questions from girls and young women and answers from 180.
[00:29:12] Karin: Well, and I can imagine that as you’re reading those questions, if you’re a potential mentor that also shows you where you’re playing, see how important it is and how you can kind of pull that in and make a difference and make that, uh, answer those questions and be that resource. And, and you know, how important that, that piece of no one 
[00:29:32] Illana: has said that.
[00:29:35] Karin: Thank you. Um, okay. So Alana, tell me what the book is that you are going to recommend that our audience, our tireless audience of lawyers spends their time. Yes. So on 
[00:29:48] Illana: March 22nd is launching a book by Fran Hauser who is terrific called embrace the work, love your career. It guided workbook for realizing career goals, with clarity, intention, and confidence.
[00:29:59] And what [00:30:00] I love so much about this book is that it’s not. Uh, clarifying look from 30,000 feet at re-evaluating your career because so many women right now, whether they’re lawyers or any other professional service firms after the pandemic, everyone really is. Re-imagined. What does my work look like?
[00:30:17] Where am I working? What does the firm balance look like? But it’s a workbook component to this. So it’s interactive. It makes you stop and think and pick up a pen. And ah, I love this book and lay it all out and embrace the workload career by Fran Hauser is definitely my recommendation. 
[00:30:32] Karin: Okay. Is that sounds amazing.
[00:30:34] I, in 2020, especially, and then, um, not quite as much in 2021, but. So many clients coming to me that all of a sudden, you know, at the beginning of the pandemic, when we didn’t know what the world was going to look like, uh, so many people were like, this is it. I have been thinking about doing this for years and years.
[00:30:53] And now is my moment. And I have to get up off of the couch and make this decision. So many [00:31:00] more than a normal year of, uh, of clients that were going solo that just found that moment. And whether you did it during the pandemic now after the pandemic, whenever you do it, there was something about this, this moment in history that has really shifted.
[00:31:19] People’s thought about the way they work, where they want to work, who they want to work with. Um, Like we were saying earlier, if your firm doesn’t have a mentorship program, maybe that speaks to the overall culture that’s happening there. And maybe that’s kind of speaking to your gut about whether that’s the right truly be, you know, big picture.
[00:31:40] And so, you know, it, it sounds great. It sounds like that’s the perfect kind of workbook to answer all those questions, put it together, figure out where your career needs to be. You’ll love it. Yeah, that sounds great. We will link to that in on the show page and also in our library with the book recommendations.
[00:31:58] So Alana, I could talk to [00:32:00] you about this for another hour, but I don’t think anybody wants to listen to me. Go on and on. Um, so what’s the big takeaway that you want our listeners to get from the episode? I think 
[00:32:10] we’re 
[00:32:10] Illana: at a time right now, whether you’re in the legal field or any other industry where the options have been blown wide, open, how you can work, where you can make.
[00:32:20] The type of mentor who can guide you there. I don’t know that the landscape of options has ever been larger. And so to me, I think, you know, think about what really resonates with you, where you feel the winds at your back in terms of your skillsets and your lifestyle and what you want to be doing every day.
[00:32:37] There was a mentor out there for everyone, and you don’t have to know that person right now to get advice from them. Reach out, be fearless, whether it’s LinkedIn, a cold email, And Insta DM, anything, ask your questions. I think everyone, if the lift is right, wants to help, everyone has something to teach.
[00:32:58] Everyone has something they can learn. [00:33:00] Um, I think, think about what you really, really want to do because there’s a mentor out there. 
[00:33:06] Karin: Yeah. And I think, you know, the right mentors when people reach out and ask those specific questions, it’s such a great implement. I mean, it should be taken in, you know, if they are asking questions and it looks like someone they can, uh, help or even a question, they can answer.
[00:33:21] It’s. Uh, it should be taken as a compliment. And so why not? Uh, at least just answer the question, make that connection and, you know, take it that way. Instead of, you know, this big responsibility you’ve got all these questions. It’s, it’s really, as a mentor, looking at people, approaching you, it should be taken as a compliment and just kind of a respectful response to your experience and extra 
[00:33:45] Illana: condition.
[00:33:47] Karin: Yeah. Awesome. Well, Alana, thank you so much. This was such a cool and inspiring conversation. We will link to your book, the book you recommended your website and of course extra so that all of [00:34:00] the women out there that have these cool experiences, um, can get connected. Look for mentors, be mentors, um, find a way to bring that into, you know, be a part of their, their life.
[00:34:10] So thanks. Thank you so much for having.
[00:34:14]
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