Early in Goodchild’s career, the mentoring dynamic was informal, organic. As law firms became larger and more dispersed, Goodchild recognized the need for a formal program to ensure all associates received the benefits of a consistent mentoring relationship, beyond those associates benefitting from informal mentoring-a “no associate left behind” approach. In 2007, Goodchild and partner Christina Fournaris designed the firm’s formal mentoring program as a component of an integrated associate development program.
The program created the opportunity for all associates to have an assigned mentor with a set of basic requirements, including frequency of meetings, goal setting discussions and attendance at associate evaluations. That was the baseline. The goal was to encourage associates to think about themselves, their professional and personal goals and allocation of time and effort to both. In a service profession like the law, a formal mentor program gives associates permission to put themselves first. It is an important benefit the firm can provide.
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