Mentorship pays off

Tasha E. Moore '98 and Sarah M. Washington '16 attending a Mentor Reception

“As an attorney, it’s so important to have people you can go to who are going through the same things that you are.”

How to prioritize your work assignments.

How to treat the law firm partners with respect.

How to balance having a career and having a family life.

For Sarah Washington ’16, all of those issues and more are fair game as she consults her School of Law mentor, Tasha Moore ’98.

“As a first-generation law student, I can’t call Mom or Dad with those questions,” says Washington, who now works as an associate with the Buffalo litigation firm Connors LLP. “It’s a bond that was important to nurture so I can always depend on it.”

That collegial bond was formed while she was still in law, and Washington says her mentor’s advice was invaluable as she thought about making the transition to her legal career. “You can shadow an attorney for a day and see what a day in their practice is like,” she says. “And I asked a lot of questions about cover letters for a job, interview questions, how to dress for interviews, and even ‘is this firm a good fit for me?’ ”

That support extends to the school’s Graduates of the Last Decade (GOLD) Group, which provides new graduates with social, educational and networking opportunities as they begin their professional careers. “As an attorney, it’s so important to have people you can go to who are going through the same things that you are,” Washington says. “The day-to-day of ‘how do I do this in practice’ is critical. The GOLD Group really connects you to the legal community. It’s a great resource.”