There Are No Rules on Who Can Be a Mentor

Practicing at the intersection between law and public policy has afforded me the opportunity to work with clients around the world on complex global policy and regulatory challenges. In today’s rapidly-evolving legal and policy environment, this means there is no set playbook for my job. To succeed, we must be both highly strategic and exceedingly technical, which makes it fun.

Developing the wide-ranging skill set needed to become the international lawyer and leader I am today has meant taking every opportunity and experience—even the hard ones—and learning from, and being inspired by, a sphere of valued mentors. Support from those trusted relationships has made all the difference in my career, and I feel both a privilege and a responsibility to pay that forward.

As co-chair of the firm’s mentor program, I encourage young leaders to be expansive in how they define and recognize “mentoring.” In my experience, mentoring comes in many different forms, beyond the traditional top-down model. As one of only two women partners in my department, I have been fortunate to find female mentors and role models among my clients and peers, many of whom are in senior leadership and general counsel positions in what were traditionally male-dominated industries. At the same time, junior colleagues expose me to an array of new perspectives and learning opportunities.

The fact is that someone in your network has faced down the same challenges you are tackling today. So take the opportunity to learn from them. There are no rules on who can be a mentor—at its best, mentoring is a sphere, not a ladder.