It’s about the conversation…

As parents, one of the primary roles we play in the lives of our children is about maneuvering the perils of friendships, teachers, love interests, their first bosses or co-workers, roommates and the list goes on. I was always of the belief that it was not my role to step in and have the conversation on their behalf, but to help them find their voice. When they were convinced that “my teacher” hates me and “this is the reason I received a poor grade in the class,” I would listen, and then have a conversation with them about what else may have caused the poor grade. Ultimately, it was about encouraging them to find the words to have the conversation with their teacher. I was never the parent that would step in before they had the conversation on their own.

Now that they’ve reached the working world, I find they listen even harder to my advice. Like me, Brian works for a membership organization, a Country Club with golfing members. I have said it before, he has a really nice way about him as he maneuvers this world. He has a great club pro, John Spelman, whom Brian learns from on a daily basis. But fortunately, he has identified others in his life that serve as his mentors as well. Primary is his uncle, Cary Corbitt. Cary is the Golf Pro at the world famous Harbour Town in Hilton Head, South Carolina. When Brian needs PGA counsel, or some other career advice, Cary is a phone call away, and they stay in regular touch. Brian also tracked down and met a teaching pro, Joe Hallett, who coaches Stacy Lewis, the former #1 ranked player in the LPGA. Brian, who does quite a bit of coaching for members, learned about Joe, and strategically sought him out and has formed an invaluable friendship/mentorship with him, all while learning more about how to improve his own teaching skills.

brian swings

Bringing this topic back home now, you have heard for some time about the “Mentoring for a Moment” Program that we have established this year. The idea was not to impose the requirement of establishing long term relationships, though that is always a wonderful thing, but instead, to create a resource in which a young lawyer can call or email someone if he or she needs an opinion on a particular question, client or case. They need someone to call in the moment for this counsel. Thus, the creation of Mentor for a Moment Program by the Membership Committee.

To date, we have about two dozen mentors signed up, and ready to accept calls and emails from mentees anxious to learn more from these seasoned attorneys. I have written on this topic in the past, and am writing about it again, because it is so important. I ask you to think back to your early days. When there were mentors early in your career that had a big impact on you, your practice and your view of the profession. This is a critical time for these young lawyers. Many of them that are working within law firms, still desire to create new alliances, but if you are a solo and hanging your own shingle, then you really need to know there are people you can call. I hear repeatedly from seasoned attorneys that young lawyers need help in their early years of practice, especially those not at a big firm. This is your opportunity to help! To learn more about Mentor for a Moment, click here. To become a mentor, please click here. We really need you as does future of the profession.

So here is one way you can immediately get involved, while having fun! With the winter vortex now past, and spring clearly in the air, we have decided to create an opportunity for the mentors to meet the mentees at the May BarSTOP. Next Thursday, May 15th, is our “3rd Thursday of the Month — MCBA BarSTOP. Since November 2013, we have been gathering at the Hyatt on Main Street. But with the weather revolution underway, we thought it would be nice to get out into some fresh air. So next week’s BarSTOP is set for Label 7, located in Schoen Place in Pittsford. A great location with a patio and great bar space.

Bustling BarSTOP

Your job is to mark your calendar right now to join us next Thursday at the BarSTOP at Label 7. We will be getting things started at 5:00 p.m. with free appetizers and great drink specials. If you  happen to be a golfer, and you agree to mentor, I will get you a lesson with Brian the next time he is in town.

Sponsors include Kammholz & Messina and Canandaigua National Bank. Please plan to gather your friends, colleagues, better half, your staff and come on out to Label 7. Promise you a good time, good people, good food and drink, and good conversation.

Thanks for checking in,



3 thoughts on “It’s about the conversation…

  1. Does your son know that you’re volunteering his time next time he’s in town or do you just happen to know that he’s never in town, or at least not when the weather is good. 🙂


  2. “to find the words to have the conversation with ” – Excellent advice from any parent or elder to a child or young person.

    I will not be available for the next BarStop, but I do recommend them – for the conversations and the listening. I look forward to the ones that will follow.
    (Some of the conversation has even reminded me of the bredth of my experience.)


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