New York Partner Stephanie Wickouski authored an “Insight” article published Oct. 30 by Bloomberg Law concerning the key differences between mentors and sponsors, and the critical importance of both in BigLaw. “Both mentors and sponsors exist in BigLaw, but the two roles do not always coincide,” she wrote. “There is an implicit expectation that partners both provide guidance to associates (e.g., act as mentors), as well as advocate for their advancement (e.g., act as sponsors). The two roles can overlap, but not as much as one might think. While partners sometimes are mentors, sometimes are sponsors, and sometimes are both, there is an inherent tension between the roles of mentor and sponsor, especially in a law firm.” Wickouski is the authored of the recently released book Mentor X: The Life-Changing Power of Extraordinary Mentors.

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