CAMP Cairn | February 2021
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In This Issue

Upcoming Events

March 17th:

Beyond Legalization: The Evolution of Cannabis Law

April 20th:

Social Justice Law in 2021: Perspective from the Trenches

May 18th:

Retaining Diverse Lawyers in the Legal Profession

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 The phrase “Social Distancing” has occupied our vocabulary for almost a year now and has forever changed the way we develop and sustain professional relationships.

Maintaining professional connection may have understandably not been at the top of our “to do” list these last 11 months. Yet as we continue to navigate our new “distant” world, it is important to remember the imperative psychosocial functions of mentoring. As human beings, we can and must remain socially connected – even in times of pandemic. And as a community of lawyers, we can and must remain professionally connected even when we are physically apart.

In these uncertain times when every member of our community is impacted by this ever evolving crisis, this is in fact a wonderful and opportune time to discover, reconnect, and expand the professional relationships that provide our critical psychosocial growth.

A mentor exists to serve two main functions: career function and psychosocial function.

In the career function, the mentor helps a mentee to learn the ropes of the profession and prepare for career advancement. In the psychosocial function, the mentor provides a mentee with friendship, unconditional acceptance and confirmation, counseling, and role-modeling.

While both functions are essential to a meaningful and successful mentoring relationship, it is the psychosocial function that is essential in promoting the mentee's competence, self-efficacy, and overall development as a professional. Additionally, the psychosocial function of mentoring has been demonstrated to be effective in enhancing persistence of the mentee during the adverse times and promote career resilience.

Are you wondering how to be a psychosocial mentor during these complex times?

1. Be an Active Listener:
• Focus on what the mentee is saying to summarize what was said, in a way that they would agree with
• Provide uninterrupted time to meet with your mentee
• Allow mentee the time to explain situations completely before offering advice
• Be alert to nonverbal clues

2. Be a Cheerleader:
• Provide enthusiastic support for your mentee's efforts
• Reinforce belief in positive potential for your mentee to grow beyond the current situation
• Celebrate the successes of your mentee

3. Be a Compassionate Supporter:
• Recognize your mentee as an individual with a unique lived experience and value them as a person
• Listen to your mentee's career concerns and respond appropriately
• Act as an empathetic sounding board for ideas and concerns expressed by your mentee
• Establish an environment for open interaction and reflection
• Offer non-judgmental and sensitive responses to assist in clarification of emotional states
• Be sensitive to issues of inequity and discrimination of any type
• Pay attention to your mentee's need for direction, refocus, change, and respite

4. Be a Good Role Model:
• Demonstrate successful professional behavior (lead by example)
• Teach the values of integrity, professionalism, and civility
• Be secure in your own professional status and do not be threatened by your mentee's
• Do not betray confidences
• Show respect for all views, even for those with which you disagree
• Provide example of how to treat others
• Do not be afraid to admit your own ignorance
• Follow through on commitments

5. Be a Work/Life Integration Coach:
• Help your mentee plan strategies to achieve mutually agreed upon goals
• Help your mentee evaluate appropriateness of career options in relation to personal values
• Connect your mentee with other mentors as needed
• Identify well-being resources to help your mentee

6. Be a Constructive Feedback Provider:
• Use careful probing to assess readiness of your mentee to accept and benefit from different points of view
• Provide descriptive feedback based on observations rather than inferences
• Focus on the most likely strategies and behaviors for meaningful change
• Avoid owning and solving your mentee's problems
• Accept reciprocal feedback from your mentee
• Confront and clarify assumptions, perceptions, and issues
• Do not condemn mistakes, take credit for successes, threaten or lose critical oversight

The psychology of mentoring is not an expectation of the mentor to be able to break down a mentee’s exact problems and learn how to solve them using a series of psychological tricks, but to encourage them to change their way of thinking and build a new structure for success. 

Although physical distancing is still necessary, it doesn’t mean you can’t maintain close emotional and relational proximity with your mentoring partner. Use this moment in time to explore new ways of staying connected, show that you care, validate feelings of distress, develop talent, and challenge yourself to get out of your mentoring comfort zone.

CAMP Upcoming Events

Nearly 14,000 Colorado lawyers practice in rural and mountain Colorado – also known as Greater Colorado. The practice of law outside of the Denver Metro area is unique, challenging, and significant. Yet all too often, it is a forgotten feature of discussion in professional pathway development for lawyers. Join our panel of experts as they discuss the realities of law practice in Greater Colorado. We will discuss the dearth of legal talent outside of the Denver, tips and best practices for succeeding in rural/mountain law practice, and the benefits of practicing law over the river and through the woods.


Ian McCargar, Town Attorney Windsor

Sarah Coleman, Clerk of Court Gunnison County

Lauren O’Dell, Dufford Waldeck (Grand Junction)

Free CLE credit available!

Register to attend via webinar at

Psychedelics are powerful psychoactive substances that alter consciousness and brain function. Like cannabis, psychedelics have long been considered prohibited Schedule I substances under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. However, via the powerful psychological experiences they induce, psychedelics are now being shown to be viable therapeutic alternatives in treating depression, substance use disorders, and other mental illnesses, and even to enhance the wellbeing of healthy individuals. In May 2019, Denver, Colorado became the first city in the country to decriminalize psilocybin (the active compound in “magic mushrooms”) – we’ve now come a long way from cannabis! Join our panel of experts to learn more about the legal implications of psilocybin decriminalization and to receive an update on the current state of cannabis and industrial hemp law in Colorado.


Sean McAllister, McAllister Garfield, P.C.

Jean Gonnell, Gonnell Law

Adam Foster, Foster & Jones

Free CLE credit available!

Register to attend via webinar at

The racial equity reckoning of 2020, brought on by the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery to name a few, has caused many lawyers to consider their role in achieving social justice. Social justice law is practiced by lawyers who have incredible passion for human rights and equality. But what does social justice law look like in practice, and what does it take to become a human rights lawyer? Join our panel of experts as we consider how lawyers can advocate for and create policy to protect citizens and immigrants in the U.S. who face discrimination on the basis of race, gender, criminal background, economic status, and alienage.


Hannah Proff, Proff Law

Indra Lusero, National Advocates for Pregnant Women

Tiffani Lennon, Colorado Center on Law and Policy

Jessica Bednarz, Chicago Bar Foundation

Free CLE Credit Available

Register to attend via webinar at

Announcing the Career Kickstarter Workshop
Design Your Path Forward:  
An Overview of the Career Transition Process
Tuesday, February 23 at 12:30 p.m. (Virtual)

The New Year is a time of renewal, change, goal setting, and thoughts about the future.  What better time to think about your career direction? As we move into the second month of 2021, what kind of growth and change do you envision for yourself this year?  Is a career transition part of your plan?  We’ll give you an overview of the career transition process, sharing important questions to ask to kick off your thinking, and concrete steps to design your path forward.

HERE for the February 23rd event.

Learn more and apply to be part of the inaugural cohort at or
Laurie and Marian are available to speak at your organization about the steps involved in navigating career transition, the importance of communication and personal branding in designing a career path forward, and the benefits of the Career Kickstarter Workshop.  Please contact them at  You can also reach Laurie at or Marian at

3 Simple Tips for Improving Any Relationship
Really, Truly Listen:  Rather than monopolizing a conversation, figuring out ways to change the topic, or problem solving for the other person, stop thinking while someone else is talking and give them your undivided attention.

Ask for What You Want:  Too many of us assume that other people are “mind readers” who should inherently know our every unspoken desire, and then we get upset when people don’t do what we want them to.  Verbally communicate your thoughts, feelings, and wishes.  

Express and Accept Gratitude:  Learning to allow others to help us when we are caregivers or problem solvers can be challenging; remember to accept assistance from others and express your appreciation for it.  

For more information or for confidential assistance, please contact your Colorado Lawyer Assistance Program at 303.986.3345 or visit our website at

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