Director of Diversity and Inclusion Yusuf Zakir was quoted in a Legal Management magazine article discussing how new lawyers can acquire skills that are necessary for their success in the profession but may not be taught in the classroom. Many of these skills are focused on business development, such as reading balance sheets and understanding basic business communication, and law firms can play a role in helping lawyers obtain these skills. Mr. Zakir explained that having a champion within a firm is especially important for lawyers who are historically underrepresented. He described how sponsorship programs can help women and diverse lawyers grow through actively engaging them while ensuring that any mistakes are kept in perspective.
"Sponsorship is not mentorship. It's a more involved, engaged and proactive relationship where the sponsor actively invests in the success of their protégé, facilitates their growth and development, and encourages the protégé to seek stretch and growth opportunities, including higher-profile and higher-risk work," he said.
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