Norton Rose Fulbright
Q: How do you establish trust with mentees?
A: “Ask. Don’t assume. The long-standing assumptions about associate motivation are eroding. Most partners view associates as existing largely to serve the partners. To the extent there is a benefit for that service, the generally accepted views are: (1) the associates get paid a lot, and (2) if they work hard and do good work, eventually we will make them a partner and they’ll be one of us. The fundamental flaw in this logic is the assumption that associates are primarily motivated by either money or a desire to “join the club.” Only, most associates I know today don’t want to be like the partners they work for. To the contrary, they are decidedly opposed to that outcome. Remember that associates and young lawyers have their own goals and agendas. Few people stay in any job for their entire career. Listen to what associates say they want for themselves, and then support them in those endeavors. Find a way to help them chase their goals while also fitting them into the existing structure, process, and demands. If you invest in and support people, they will return the favor.”