No Longer Flying Solo -- The BBA's Solo & Small Firm Group Mentoring Program

Born out of the success of the BBA's (Diversity & Inclusion Section) Group Mentoring Program, the BBA has officially launched a Solo and Small Firm Mentoring Group, where two experienced solo and small firm practitioners, Nina Parker (Parker & Associates) and Laura Unflat (Law Office of Laura M. Unflat), will mentor a group of 8 new solo/small attorneys over the course of the year. The Mentoring Committee created the Solo and Small Firm Mentoring Group in response to the changes in the legal market for new lawyers. 

"Being a solo practitioner is challenging in many respects," said Parker. "There is often no one to talk through the practical aspects of every day practice or to bounce ideas off -- whether it be what type of health insurance to purchase or how to research a complicated legal question.  Solo practitioners in a mentoring group can exchange ideas, gain from other lawyer's experiences and support each other (ways) to foster their respective professional development."

The Solo & Small Firm Mentoring Group will meet monthly, with tangible short and long term goals in mind. The short term will provide strategies for career development and satisfaction, networking opportunities and addressing concerns and questions that plague solo/small firm attorneys on a daily basis. In the long term, the program will expose the mentee's to the benefits of practicing law in Boston's legal community and to help expose participants to the existence of career advancement opportunities and encouraging participation and leadership through bar association activities. The first group mentoring meeting, which took place on Monday, October 24th, already has members and co-chairs geared up for the year ahead.

"By the end of our first meeting (which lasted longer than we had expected) people were chatting about their experiences and we had a list of ideas for things to do over the next few months” said Unflat. “We left with the excitement of knowing we would meet again within a month. We hope that the group will continue to be a resource to each other over the long term as we develop long and lasting professional relationships."

The Group Mentoring Program was created based on the findings of the 2009 BBA Diversity Leadership Task Force, which states that that creating long lasting relationships and a supportive environment for lawyers at an early stage in their careers would be an effective way to promote career advancement and career satisfaction. Since its inception in 2009, the BBA’s Group Mentoring Program has matched a total of 180 diverse mentees with 39 seasoned mentors.

For information on getting involved in the BBA's Group Mentoring Program, please contact Susan Helm at shelm@bostonbar.org.

This year's Solo & Small firm mentors and mentee's: