that first. I think we lose sight of that in the professional world.” Forging connections Herdeman and Gisler are part of the law school’s award-winning Mentor Externship Program. A hallmark of the law school’s education, the program is part of the reason St. Thomas consistently ranks as one of the top three law schools in the nation for practical training. More than 1,700 lawyers and judges have served as mentors in the program that connects each law student, each year of law school, with a legal professional working in their area of interest.
The program strives to fulfill the law school’s vision of providing excellence in professional preparation. It offers every student a unique opportunity to build powerful relationships with legal professionals and helps students develop the interpersonal and professional skills necessary for a successful legal career, said Uyen Campbell, Mentor Externship Program co- director. Campbell said Gisler and Herdeman illustrate the power of the mentor/mentee relationship. “Instead of seeing the Mentor Externship Program as a
requirement, Erin treated the program as an opportunity, recruiting Laura to be her mentor and then seeking out career advice, asking questions and learning from her mentor,” Campbell said. “Erin was committed and excited to learn all she could from her mentor. Laura mirrored Erin’s enthusiasm by taking the time to structure experiences that would advance Erin’s skills in intellectual property law and being available to answer questions and provide candid advice. Laura, like Erin, saw their mentor-mentee relationship as an opportunity. As a mentor, she felt
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