Report on AHLA’s Networking Breakfast: “Making the Most of your Mentor Relationships”

January 2, 2018

American Health Lawyers Association - Connections December 2017 Issue
By Alex B. Foster

On November 7, 2017, AHLA’s Women’s Leadership Council and Young Professionals Council co-sponsored the “Making the Most of your Mentor Relationship” networking breakfast, which was held on the second day of AHLA’s annual Fundamentals of Health Law conference in Chicago, Illinois. The breakfast’s purpose was to discuss the significance of mentors in the health law industry and how to make the most of mentor/mentee relationships.


Mara Smith (Associate at Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads LLP and Member of AHLA’s Young Professionals Council) attended the breakfast and emerged with helpful insight into mentoring. She said the panel included a great mix of panelists: the individuals had varying levels of experience, different career paths, and worked in different areas of the country. Additionally, Ms. Smith found the discussion of “mentors vs. sponsors” enlightening. According to the panel, mentors are slightly senior to the mentee and are able to offer reflective and sometimes more personal advice, whereas sponsors are much more senior and are the lawyers at the firm who can “make the plays for you” (i.e., bring the sponsee up in career advancement conversations). Ms. Smith stated that, since the breakfast, she has become even more involved in AHLA’s mentoring program and is working with an AHLA mentor who is the general counsel for a hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


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