Making a Positive Impact Together
August 17, 2022 - MoFo Life, MoFo Pro Bono

How Mentorship Elevated the Summer Associate Program – Patrick Keeler

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To me, mentorship is about being actively invested in a person’s interests and success. Throughout my summer at MoFo, the summer associate program’s terrific coordinators were dedicated to my success. I was assigned two attorney mentors who provided constant support, and MoFo connected me, as a member of the LGBTQ+ community, with outstanding role models both within and outside of the firm. Altogether, MoFo’s investment in my interests and success elevated the summer associate program to a truly exceptional experience for me.

The importance of mentorship at MoFo was immediately evident in the firm’s careful pairing of partner and associate mentors with each summer associate. My two mentors were consistently available to provide guidance and opportunities. For instance, on the very first day of the summer program, I mentioned to Geoff Peck, my partner mentor, that I had an interest in secured transactions. Within a few days, Geoff had arranged for me to observe and contribute to a major (and unusually complex) credit agreement, taking plenty of time to explain the entire process and creating opportunities for me to contribute to the deal as it unfolded. My associate mentor, Dana Lyons, was equally invested in my interests and success, and was available at any time to answer questions about anything from navigating living in New York to helping me refine my career goals.

This feeling of support extended to the entire office. Our program coordinator and work coordinators did a terrific job, were consistently sensitive to my goals during the summer, and curated work assignments that furthered my objectives while challenging me to explore new practice groups. Additionally, our pro bono partner, Jennifer Brown, took the time to learn about my previous work in the HIV community and connected me with pro bono projects that aligned with my interests and previous experiences. More broadly, it was effortless to connect with individuals at all levels and practice areas throughout MoFo, many of whom have become friends and role models.

As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, I was equally impressed with MoFo’s commitment to creating LGBTQ+ mentorship opportunities throughout the summer. MoFo invited me to attend the LGBT Bar Association Foundation of Greater New York’s Annual Gala, encouraged me to participate in OutNEXT, a global LGBTQ+ leadership summit, and invited our fantastic summer class to actively celebrate Pride Month. Finally, MoFo’s many accomplished LGBTQ+ associates and partners enthusiastically welcomed me to the firm with encouragement and guidance.

Starting at a firm as a summer associate can be daunting, but with an emphasis on mentorship at all levels, MoFo enables summer associates to thrive as welcomed, supported, and inspired members of the firm. I am proud to be returning to MoFo’s Finance Group as a first-year associate and excited to contribute to mentoring our future summer associates!