Best practices for mentorship in IP


William Peterson and Julie Goldemberg

Best practices for mentorship in IP

Drazen Zigic /

As January marks National Mentorship Month, Morgan Lewis partners William Peterson and Julie Goldemberg explore their journey and offer takeaways for a successful dynamic.

Both mentors and mentees stand to benefit from building strong and successful mentorship relationships, especially in the relatively small and specialised intellectual property legal sector where the norms and uniqueness of the field can create a steep learning curve.

While assigned mentors can be helpful for a new attorney who is trying to integrate into a practice, developing organic mentor relationships that provide for on the job learning opportunities is critical. Ideally, those relationships will allow both the mentor and the mentee to expand their networks by introducing each other to contacts in the close-knit field.

As a mentee, be passionate about the practice of learning. As a mentor, aim for intellectual equality and learning from each other. Foster an environment in which questions and ideas can be exchanged freely. By nature, lawyers have curious minds and when partnering with a mentor or mentee who brings a skillset different than (but just as applicable as) your own, leverage every opportunity to teach and learn from each other. For lawyers outside the IP space who collaborate with IP specialists, there is particular value given the diverse range of perspectives, including scientific, IP lawyers bring to bear.

Morgan Lewis, mentorship, IP lawyers, hybrid work, Federal Circuit, Supreme Court, attorneys