CAMP Cairn | May 2020
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  There’s no such thing as a self-made lawyer. All of us are where we are today because other people helped us along the way. But while mentorship is essential to every lawyer’s success, lawyers don’t form long-term professional relationships the way we used to. Such relationships are still immensely valuable, but they’re not always realistic in the modern law practice. As a result, lawyers must look beyond traditional mentorships and take a more individualized, proactive approach to mentoring that harnesses the power of the community.

Developing a New Culture of Mentoring
It’s easy enough to set up lunches or “coffee chats” with colleagues and simply hope that a mentoring relationship will flourish from there. However, lawyers who take this kind of approach to mentoring miss the mark when it comes to sustainability. 

For lawyers to reap ongoing benefits from mentorship, they must weave mentorship more broadly into the way they work and interact on a daily basis. Every lawyer is embarking on a career where the pathway is not always obvious and success is not guaranteed. It’s important for lawyers to follow the lead of scrappy, young entrepreneurs and create a personal culture of mentoring that connects them to peers in different environments and provides exposure to fresh ideas and new ways of thinking. So, do as the startups do and crowdsource your mentorship. 

Crowdsourcing, in short, is maximizing the power of many. The idea behind crowdsourcing is that instead of having one resource, you have many resources at your disposal. It may be time to let go of the idea (fantasy) that a single great mentor will materialize and put you on the path to success. It’s more likely that by leveraging the broader community, you will gain more insight, advice, and counsel than a single mentor could ever provide.
The key? A willingness to put your authentic self out to your crowd. 

Harnessing Your Crowd
If you’ve ever solicited advice, counsel, and constructive criticism from peers, colleagues, managers, and others, you’ve practiced elements of crowdsourcing. Use this same technique as you begin to cultivate a new crowd (network) that can provide you with the ideas, knowledge, and information you need to make decisions in your law career. Follow these steps to harness the power of your crowd.

Find Your Crowd
Your crowd will shift over time. It must be continuously refreshed, and sometimes a light spring-cleaning will also be in order. Not everyone in your vast network is a suitable member of your crowd. Don’t fall into the trap of believing that the most insightful members of your crowd will have achieved a certain measure of success in your professional area of focus. Instead, ask yourself: “Is this person someone I want to emulate?” “Do I trust their judgment?” “Do they bring a new perspective to my inquiry?” 

If the answer to any of these questions is yes, that person is likely a suitable candidate for your crowd. Think outside of the box and don’t be afraid to think outside of the profession. Look to peers, colleagues, bosses, clients, family, friends, professors, and acquaintances. 

Model the Behavior You Want to See
Putting out what you want to get back is indispensable to the success of any relationship. The way you speak, engage with others, and generally behave can and will inform responsive actions. So to successfully kick off your crowdsourced mentoring movement, it is critical for you to serve in a mentoring role for others. For example, if you want people in your crowd to invest time in sharing skills and insight with you, provide them with your expertise and participate in mentoring opportunities when they arise naturally within your community. The more you encourage this behavior in your crowd, the better. 

And remember, the benefit of crowdsourced mentoring is that there is no prescribed role of mentor or mentee. Every member of the crowd, veteran or novice, has experience to share and insight to impart. Don’t allow your age, practice experience, or professional stature to limit your perception of what you can model and contribute to your crowd.

Empower Others to Act
One way to embrace mentorship in your daily interactions is by seeking opportunities to connect and encourage people to share their knowledge. For instance, if you have a colleague interested in learning to effectively self-promote and you have another colleague who is great at it, connect the two and ask your “subject matter expert” to coach the other. Emphasize within your community the benefit of asking for and receiving help from others. In a culture of mentorship, everyone should be giving and receiving help regularly.

While this informal day-to-day empowerment can be extremely effective, it is sometimes not enough to build the crowd you need. So parallel to these efforts, it is critical to engage in activities that will support multiple mentoring opportunities. This includes participating in formal mentoring and networking groups, and creating a meaningful space in your life to support these efforts.

Listen and Learn
As with data, the advice that your crowd gives you every day is useless to you unless you capture (listen and absorb) it by using good judgment to make the best use of the consolidated data. Sometimes the best advice must be plucked from among unsolicited advice you have no interest in hearing.

Remember, feedback is the answer to a problem you may not have known you have. If you’re curious, you can become engaged in a conversation about unexpected or hard feedback. You don’t have to agree with the insight or act on it. But if you aren’t curious, you won’t hear it, you won’t be able to process it, and the gift will be lost to you.

Also, beware of the natural tendency to focus on ideas and advice that are already familiar to you. Many crowdsourced ideas fall flat because people are unwilling to address old habits or try new things. If you focus only on the advice that feels safe and easy, it defeats the entire purpose of crowdsourcing, which is to uncover new ways of thinking. 

Expect and Embrace Failure
One of the keys to successful crowdsourced mentorship is conveying a sense of belief in your crowd by successfully navigating your professional setbacks. In crowdsourced mentoring scenarios, failure is bound to happen from time to time. But it’s important to remember that failure can be an incredible teacher.
Encourage yourself to accept failure. This can be a scary leap, but the best crowdsourced mentorship pushes you outside your comfort zone and provides invaluable perspective and experience so you become wiser, more agile, and better able to face challenges as they arise in the future.

We need different mentors at every stage of our careers, and some of us need multiple mentors at the same time. The norms of having one mentor, or a single-professional focus, are changing. Meanwhile, lawyers should continue leveraging the greatest tool in their arsenal: one another. 

We are all responsible for changing the culture of legal mentoring by investing in the power of our community. We can work together to build effective crowds and meaningfully leverage the feedback and insight they source. We can build a culture of legal mentoring in Colorado that spreads openness and passion while challenging each other and reducing fear of failure. When one of us does better, we all do better. We can create a profession where everyone is seen as a business partner. Disrupt your career by crowdsourcing your mentorship and take your professional goals to the next level.
CAMP Upcoming Events

Lawyers of the future? will need to develop new leadership literacies in order to transition to a new way of leading if they want to be successful as the practice of law continues to evolve. This event is for up-and-coming legal professionals and practitioners looking to advance their career with purpose and vision while creating a path for leadership. Join our panel of experts to explore imperative leadership literacies including diversity & inclusion, design thinking, and multidisciplinary teams.


Phyllis Wan
Mark Beese
Gabriela Sandoval



To attend in person, please register at

To attend via live webinar, please register at


The law is changing. It always has changed. Slowly, to be sure, and incrementally, but steadily. A slow-motion revolution. Simplistically, the theory of disruption says that newcomers to an industry may find ways to profitably serve the needs of people who are not customers of incumbent businesses because they are not profitable to serve under the incumbent companies? business models. Join our panel of experts to learn how technology, alternative business structures, and access to justice are leaving a lasting (and bettering) impression on the practice of law.


Lauren Lester
Yev Muchnik
Christina Brown

To attend in person, RSVP at

To attend via webinar, RSVP at


In fiscal year 2019, CAMP delivered exceptional value to participants through our work in individual mentoring, group mentoring and professional development services. We responded to changes in the profession by embracing new technologies and developing a wide range of innovative solutions to help our participants achieve their professional goals. We delivered consistently high-quality results through more efficient and effective ways of working with Colorado lawyers.

As progressive thinkers, we are constantly looking forward for our participants and delivering effective, high-value mentoring solutions today that will help improve their results tomorrow. Among the many new ideas we developed and implemented this fiscal year, we delivered:

  • Profession-leading mentoring curriculum that improves relationship quality and efficiency through deep analysis of professional identity affecting a participant's career pathway;
  • 10 unique professional development events to inspire and educate participants in areas of ethics, well-being, and practical skill development; and,
  • Group mentoring experiences that accurately and easily centralize expert mentors and thought leaders across practice area and environment.

We believe that quality is our foundation, and over the past year we proved our dedication to this belief. After many years of quality feedback from our participants, our latest results reflect mentoring quality amongst the best in the profession. We will continue to strive for ever-higher quality in the future.

Our program is strong, growing and stainable. Our focused growth strategy executed through our 2017 -2020 strategic plan delivered results. We expanded relationships with existing partners and gained exciting new partners to serve a wide range of lawyer needs. Overall participation for the fiscal year increased by 21%, an impressive result for our program.

Going forward, we are realizing our vision to be the most admired lawyer mentoring program in the nation. We are working diligently to strengthen our program and deliver results for our participants.

Check out our 2019 Annual Report and let us know what you think about the future of the CAMP program! 

Join ADR Family Law Mentoring Circle

Are you looking for practical tools to help you build a law practice you love?

Check out a new resource created by CAMP Mentor Lauren Lester!

"On Purpose Legal" is a community of legal professionals defining success for themselves and building careers that support the lives they want. In essence, we’re a bunch of happy lawyers and allied professionals.

Practicing within the legal profession is often stressful, uninspired, and rigid. Although many of us came to the profession to do good and make things better, we can often feel burnt out, unfulfilled and our authentic selves unwelcome. We believe it doesn’t have to be that way.

We believe that if each lawyer and legal professional embraces their purpose and builds an intentional career aligned with it, they will lead a happier, more fulfilling life and positively impact the community around them. Ultimately, our vision is to redefine what it means to be a successful member of the legal profession. We hope to help create a thriving legal profession where everyone is happier, healthier, and better positioned to do good and solve the bigger problems of the world.

The profession is ready for change. We hope you’ll join the On Purpose Legal community and ignite your impact!

Click below to learn more or join us today!

Join Now

Simplify Your Life
     If you are feeling busy or overwhelmed, it’s the perfect time to determine what areas of your life you can simplify.  Whether it’s spending less time on the internet, de-cluttering your environment, planning your meals ahead of time so shopping is quicker and easier, or slowing down and breathing mindfully so you can gather your thoughts, take some steps to simplify your life.  One simple exercise is to make a list every morning of 3 or 4 tasks to accomplish that day, and focus on accomplishing those without distraction.  When you think of other tasks for your to-do list, write them down immediately so you can mentally “let them go” while you focus on your most important tasks.

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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