I am an associate attorney who has been working at Almazan Law for a year and a half. When I was job hunting, I emphasized to future employers that I was looking for a firm where I could find a mentor. I was starting to practice in a new area of law and needed guidance. I was coming from the State Attorney’s Office in Orlando where I gained a lot of experience, but the pace of the office and quick turnaround meant it was difficult to establish a relationship with a mentor. I saw the tremendous impact a mentor could have by speaking to some of my friends who were working at firms and lucky enough to find good mentors. However, most of my colleagues who were 2-3 year attorneys did not feel they had mentors at their firms. I found the right fit at Almazan Law.
In the worker’s compensation department, I was assigned to work with two partners, K. Kay Dodd Anderson and Mark Edwards. Both partners have so much experience and are busy running a growing department. However, they both still take the time out of their day to check in to see how I am doing, answer all my questions, review and supervise my cases. When I started at Almazan Law, I did not know anything about worker’s compensation. Within 6 months, I exceled and was assigned my own files to handle as an associate because of the time and effort both partners, and the paralegals, invested to help me learn. We truly work as a team which makes it easy to collaborate on cases. Not only have they helped me with my caseload, but to become an all-around better lawyer. We attend networking events together and they introduce me to their colleagues and help me establish relationships with lawyers and judges in the community.
It used to be much more common for young lawyers to have mentors at the beginning of their careers. One of the factors affecting young lawyers I have noticed recently is the increase in remote work since the Covid-19 pandemic. There are lawyers who have only worked remotely because they graduated from law school post-pandemic. While I acknowledge the benefits of working from home, I believe it has also made it more difficult for young associates to build relationships with partners or more senior attorneys simply because they do not interact as often. It is not impossible, but it does make it more challenging. A commitment to mentoring and developing programs to foster those relationships is extremely important. I have been able to establish a mentorship relationship with a partner who works remotely because she and I make it a priority to communicate and check in. Almazan Law makes it a priority to guide all associates who join the firm in all areas of practice, and I am grateful to be one of them.