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The Bar Bulletin
Jax Daily Record Monday, May 7, 201808:29 AM EST

Judge Gary Flower: Create mentoring moments: Find opportunity for you

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Whatever your ability, wherever you are in life, if you have a story to share or guidance to give, there is a place for you as a mentor in our profession. 

By Duval County Judge Gary Flower,  JBA Mentor Program Committee chair

Mentoring moments have mattered in my life in ways I continue to realize daily. 

As I grow and my perspective changes, I can look back at the twists and turns of life and see how the guidance from trusted mentors helped me to navigate obstacles and embrace opportunity.

Some of these moments were in the course of established employment; but frequently the insights that have shaped my decisions have come to me organically through casual conversation with someone who was simply sharing their story.

I feel fortunate to have had a long-standing mentorship that has been a constant source of encouragement. Even that relationship with the same individual has taken different shapes throughout my career. Sometimes, it is more formal mentor/mentee in function and at other times it is more of a mutual exchange of thought-provoking discussion with someone who I know just gets me.

Recently, hoping to continue to evolve, I have purposefully engaged with attorneys who might traditionally have been my mentee, but they have a grasp on technology, branding or a subject matter that I know I want to develop. These may be brief moments or take nontraditional forms; but these mentors still impact my path of personal growth.  

Whatever your ability, wherever you are in life, if you have a story to share or guidance to give, there is a place for you as a mentor in our profession. 

With the rising number of solo practitioners, mentoring truly matters and the informed guidance of experienced attorneys is crucial to the preservation and, hopefully, elevation of professionalism.

Now, more than ever, from flexible to formal, temporal to long term, virtual to in person, there is a channel of service for any level of commitment that feels generous to you.  

For more information on mentoring in the Jacksonville legal community or for help determining what type of mentoring might be a good fit, contact Judge Gary Flower, chair of the JBA Mentor Program Committee at [email protected] or (904) 255-1354 or Carla Ortiz at (904) 399-4486.

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