On Mentorship: Advice for Black Associates and Law Students

Candace M. Arthur

“Regardless of seniority, I believe it is important to be intentional in what you do and how you do it. Intentional in the assignments you ask for, how you handle the matters you work on, the events and causes you carve time out to attend or support, and the relationships you create – among peers, clients, mentors and sponsors. If you are intentional then you will ‘show up’ every day with the right frame of mind and more likely than not achieve many of the goals you have set for yourself.”

Candace M. Arthur
Restructuring
New York

Adam B. Banks

“Build, embrace and showcase your speaking and writing skills – these are our most essential tools as advocates. Also, seek out mentors who are willing to provide real, constructive feedback about your work, writing and oral advocacy. Always strive to improve your craft.”

Adam B. Banks
Appellate Litigation
New York

Chantale Fiebig

“There is no substitute for mastering the hard skills, including legal research, analysis and writing. Strive to be excellent at those, and practice communicating legal issues as often as possible – orally and in writing – so that you become a fluid and effective communicator. All of that will help you succeed as a lawyer. Try also to find substantive work you enjoy and teams with interesting people who value your contributions. Those are the things that will help you succeed as an associate, because you must feel valued in order to produce your best work, and to have fun while you’re at it.”

Chantale Fiebig
Complex Commercial Litigation
Washington, D.C.

Barry Fishley

“I truly believe that there are a few key ingredients that aspiring lawyers should develop to enhance their success at any law firm. Integrity is key. Be reliable, trustworthy and consistent. Foster your relationships with everyone you work with at all levels. Seek out all opportunities to work outside of your comfort zone in order to learn about yourself and others. One final but very important piece of advice is, have fun!”

Barry Fishley
Technology & IP Transactions
London

Adé Heyliger

“My best advice to young lawyers is to treat each assignment, no matter how small, as a chance to expand your knowledge and your professional brand. Be proactive, take ownership and, particularly in your most junior years, focus on the details. Each assignment presents an opportunity to add to your skillset as well as your network of colleagues and clients who will be instrumental in guiding and advancing your career. It’s never too early to start building your professional reputation.”

Adé Heyliger
Public Company Advisory Group
Washington, D.C.

Jeff Malonson

“Always be mindful that every assignment is an opportunity to leave a lasting impression. As a young associate, I learned that small, less-visible assignments often present the best opportunities to create high-quality work product that is worthy of distinction. In other words, what you work on is far less important than consistently exceeding expectations in matters large and small.”

Jeff Malonson
Private Equity
Houston

Trey Muldrow

“During my career, I have been privileged to work with dynamic and thoughtful young Black attorneys. I am thrilled to see their successes as they navigate the legal world. But these successes come with highly involved sponsorship by many senior attorneys. I was fortunate to receive such attention throughout my career and I am sincerely happy to share any advice or insights as a means of paying it forward.”

Trey Muldrow
Private Equity
New York

Bambo Obaro

“It’s essential that you look for ways to showcase your ability to problem-solve. Be creative! There are many ways that junior attorneys can make significant and noticeable contributions to a project, and associates who recognize this early on tend to be more successful.”

Bambo Obaro
Complex Commercial Litigation
Silicon Valley

Jannelle Marie Seales

“The best career advice I have received is that no one who is successful has gotten there alone. You need mentors and sponsors who are willing to help guide you, invest in you and champion for your success. Identify your mentors and sponsors early on and lean on them.”

Jannelle Marie Seales
Real Estate
New York