Affinity Mentoring Programs

Program Overview

The Law School is pleased to facilitate mentoring relationships between 1Ls and alumni by pairing first year students with alumni mentors in the Chicago area. These mentoring programs are intended to provide students with the tools to guide their success in the legal profession and to better connect them with the Chicago legal community.

Please see below for more details for each affinity program. Recruitment for the 2021-2022 programs will begin in early fall 2021. Please send in your application to be a mentee at the relevant link below by mid October. Watch for emails with more information.

Hear from former mentees about their experiences in the program in the Mentee Testimonials document.

Please contact the Office of External Affairs at alumni@law.uchicago.edu with any questions.

What is an Alumni Affinity Mentoring Program?

The Alumni Affinity Mentoring Programs provide first-year law students the opportunity to connect with the Chicago legal community to equip them with the tools and resources to guide their success in the legal profession. Mentoring programs allow students to meet and network with alumni in legal professions within a specific affinity group. 

Which affinity groups will host mentoring programs during the 2021-22 year?

  • Asian Pacific American Law Students Association (APALSA)
  • Black Law Students Association (BLSA)
  • Latinx Law Students Association (LLSA)
  • OutLaw
  • Women’s Mentoring Program

Who participates in the program?

Mentoring programs are open to all first-year JD students interested in being mentored by a UChicago alumnus/alumna working in Chicago. Mentors are recruited by the sponsoring affinity group student organizations and the Office of External Affairs.

What is expected of me as a mentee?

The mentoring programs span the length of the academic year. Therefore, we ask that all mentees to commit to being involved in the program from October 2021 through June 2022.

Your level of involvement with your mentor is entirely up to you and your mentor. Please remember that mentors have very busy schedules and that their time is valuable. During your first meeting, we encourage you and your mentor to discuss your expectations for the year with each other, including meeting/discussion frequency, meeting location, and medium for communication. The Law School will provide more information to guide your mentorship.

Be respectful of the time commitment required of mentors and make sure to respond promptly to communications, be punctual to events, and honor all commitments. We hope that at a minimum you will:

  • Meet in person or virtually with your mentor once per quarter
  • Participate in group events throughout the year, 
  • Communicate with your mentor via email, phone, or Zoom periodically as agreed upon by you and your mentor

While this program is designed for one academic year, we hope your mentoring relationship continues past your 1L year.

What is expected of me as a mentor?

The Affinity Mentoring Programs span the length of the academic year. Therefore, we ask that mentors commit to being involved in the program from November 2021 to June 2022.

Your level of involvement with your mentee is to be determined by you and your mentee. We are aware that your schedule is busy, and your time is valuable. We hope that at a minimum you will:

  • Meet in person or virtually with your mentee once per quarter
  • Participate in one or more group events
  • Communicate with your mentee via email or phone periodically as agreed upon by you and your mentee, and
  • Provide feedback, guidance, and encouragement to your mentee.

If you are unable to commit to being a mentor for the full academic year but would still like to be involved, we encourage you to complete the affinity mentoring program form to sign-up to be a Program Attendee to attend and/or participate in program-sponsored events. Participating this way includes 

  • Receiving invitations to approximately two mentoring program events during the academic year from the Office of External Affairs, and
  • Meet, mingle, and network with fellow alumni and law students at mentoring program-related events

Can I participate in more than one mentoring program?

Students may participate in a maximum of two Alumni Mentoring Programs to ensure the best experience for both student mentees and alumni mentors. The Law School Big/Little Sibling program is not included in this limitation.

Are there program-sponsored events?

Each mentoring program will offer approximately one mentor-mentee networking event. Events are scheduled by the sponsoring student organization and may vary by program.

How do I sign up?

Affinity Mentoring Program sign-ups will open fall 2021 for the 2021-2022 academic year. Please check back for the links to sign-up this fall. 

Important Dates

Please see below for important deadlines and upcoming events for the 2021-2022 Affinity Mentoring Program:

  • Deadline for Mentees to sign-up: October 1
  • Deadline for Mentors to sign-up: October 15
  • Mentoring Kick-Off Event: November 9 (Virtual) 

Who should I contact with additional questions?

Please contact Lauren Siegel, Assistant Director of Alumni Relations, at lasiegel@uchicago.edu or reach to the Office of External Affairs at alumni@law.uchicago.edu.

Additionally, please feel free to reach out to student organization leaders: