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Mentoring and Leadership

Mentoring is a powerful tool that enables law students and new lawyers to gain advice, guidance and opportunity. Vanderbilt Law School has dedicated mentorship and leadership programs that offer resources for personal and professional growth.

1Levate Leadership Program

Professor Suzanna Sherry talks with students.

1Levate is a highly selective leadership training program for Vanderbilt 1L’s, specifically focused on underrepresented, first-generation, and other law students with unique personal stories and challenges. The program aims to:

  • Provide a collaborative learning experience for underrepresented populations in law school and beyond,
  • Promote a culture of diverse leadership,
  • Remove barriers to success, and
  • Teach skills necessary to become active leaders in the law school and legal profession.

Each year, the program selects a cohort of ten first-year students based on their meeting qualifying criteria and how well they demonstrate promise as a future leader. Students are each matched two mentors: a current 2L or 3L student and a prominent local attorney or judge. The program entails:

  • Pre-orientation bootcamp
  • Regular meetings and communication with student and attorney/judge mentors
  • Monthly leadership training workshop and student support session
  • Special private meetings with high profile law school visitors
  • Invitations to special law school events
  • Local service opportunities
  • Receptions at the beginning and end of program

Interested 1L students may contact the Office of Student Affairs for detailed information. The application will open to students committed to Vanderbilt on June 1.

Mentorship Program for Underrepresented Students
(2L and 3L)

VLS buidling manager Robert Dortch converses with then 3L David Mitchell

The VLS Mentorship Program  for Underrepresented Students provides eligible 2Ls and 3Ls with a dedicated VLS alumni mentor throughout their time in law school.

  • Mentees receive guidance from their mentor about law school life and navigating the pathways of the legal profession.
  • We match mentors and mentees in accordance with their expressed professional interests and backgrounds.

Through a long-term partnership between mentor-mentee, we hope that our students will, in due course, grow to serve as mentors to those that follow in their steps.

Students wishing to apply should complete this survey.

Alumni wishing to act as mentors should complete this survey.

Students who have questions about the program, may contact the Office of Student Affairs. Alumni who have questions or would like more information may contact Eileen Cunningham.