Cowan helps Tiered Mentoring Program kick off third year

Issue December 2011 By Andrea Burke

Mentors motivated William "Mo" Cowan, chief of staff to Gov. Deval L. Patrick, to fight against the social norms of his small town and pursue his dreams to become the first college graduate and lawyer in his family. Cowan was the keynote speaker at the opening ceremony of the MBA's Tiered Community Mentoring Program at Suffolk University Law School Oct. 27.

"A mentor without a mentee is nothing," said Cowan, who reminded participants to take advantage of the program and to actively seek out help. "A mentor today can be a mentor forever."

The event also featured remarks from Camille A. Nelson, Suffolk University Law School's dean and professor of law.
Nelson encouraged participants to surround themselves with people who would help them achieve their goals. "A good mentor will carry you a great distance."

Now in its third year, the MBA's Tiered Community Mentoring Program matches up 10 practicing lawyers with more than two dozen students from high school, college and law school, including New Mission High School, Roxbury Community College, UMass-Boston, Suffolk University Law School and Boston University School of Law.

MBA President Richard P. Campbell told students how important his mentors have been, enabling him to become a confident trial attorney early in his career in Newark, N.J. He encouraged program participants to push themselves toward their personal goals. "I look forward to having you join us in this profession," he said.

The mentoring program was the idea of Norfolk Probate and Family Court First Justice Angela M. Ordoñez. "It is my hope to get a greater diversity of people to join the legal profession," she said, ending her remarks by reminding participants in the program to "pay it forward" and give back to the community