Formalizing the Mentorship Relationship
I’ve often read that mentorships lose steam not so much because of a busy mentors but rather, reluctant or errant mentees who don’t want to be a bother or simply lose interest. Apparently, this phenomenon isn’t unique to mentorships in the legal profession, but applies across the board to all fields.
Now, at least on the technology side, there’s a solution: a Mentor Shares Agreement. As described by TechCrunch, the Mentor Shares Agreement codifies once loosey-goosey arrangements with clear terms defining the obligations of the mentors and what they’ll get in return. Even better, the agreement is fully automated so it can generally quickly online (though it didn’t work when I tried it) and backed by a couple of law firms so the parties can have some peace of mind that it can be enforced.
Could lawyers use the Mentor Shares Agreement to establish a relationship with a mentor? I don’t see why not. Though lawyers can’t give mentors “shares” in their law firm (at least without the mentors becoming presumptive partners), the template allows for a simple payment option, or even a non-financial relationship. Plus, the template provides another neat example of the cool things that document automation can do.