Trellis White paper Ad 770 Spot #6
share TWEET PIN IT share share 0

60-Minute Mentoring: Less Complicated, More Efficient — and Much More Enjoyable

How to expand your network and your knowledge.

By Joan Feldman

Attorney at Work is pleased to announce the release of “60-Minute Mentoring for Lawyers and Law Students: Small Commitments, Big Results” by Amy Timmer and Matthew Cristiano.

Small Commitments, Big Results

In this timely new how-to guide, “60-Minute Mentoring for Lawyers and Law Students,” Amy Timmer, Associate Dean of Students and Professionalism at Western Michigan University’s Cooley Law School, and young lawyer Matthew Cristiano describe how episodic mentoring works — and how it benefits law students, young lawyers, bar associations and the legal profession.

60-Minute Mentoring for Lawyers and Law Students Book CoverSimply put, episodic mentoring is based on short-term episodes between two people focused on a particular topic,” says Timmer. Meetings may be as short as 20 minutes or as long as a couple of hours, but one hour seems most popular — thus, “60-Minute Mentoring.”

Timmer designed and oversees Cooley’s award-winning Professionalism Plan, which includes mentoring for law students and developing 60-minute mentoring programs with local bar associations.

“Episodic mentoring is becoming more popular as a way to address the problems discovered when traditional matched-pair programs fail. These problems range from the intense administrative resources required to identify, match, train, monitor and re-pair the matched pairs, to the unhappiness caused by a bad match.”

Further, whether it’s their law firm’s associate mentoring program or a volunteer law school program, older lawyers may not be interested in being matched for up to a year with someone they don’t know. And law students and young lawyers may be alarmed by having only one mentor.

Episodic mentoring encourages mentees to arrange mentoring episodes with many lawyers and not feel restricted to just one mentor,” Timmer says. “That helps them get to know more attorneys, expand their network and, most important, get many different viewpoints on one topic.” Of course, she says, these brief episodes can be the start of a long-term traditional mentoring relationship.

“In this book, we mean to spread the word about the benefits of episodic mentoring for law students and new lawyers, as well as for bar associations and law schools attempting to establish meaningful programs without overburdening their resources.”

For Law Students, Lawyers, Firms and Bar Associations

In “60-Minute Mentoring,” Timmer and Cristiano bring extensive knowledge and warm practicality to show how episodic mentoring can lead to being a better law student, lawyer and colleague. With sample questions, anecdotes and checklists, the book explains everything you need to know about how episodic mentoring works, including:

  • Traditional versus episodic mentoring
  • How to find, plan for and maximize mentoring sessions
  • Questions you should ask — and how to behave
  • Mentee personality types
  • How to become a mentor
  • Mentor personality types and approaches
  • What an episodic mentoring session looks like
  • Episodic mentoring and diversity
  • Why teaching professionalism matters
  • Follow-up: continuing beneficial relationships

Chapters for bar associations describe how episodic mentoring programs can be used for:

  • Membership development
  • New member orientation and retention
  • Attorney development
  • Partnering with local law schools

Call it 60-minute mentoring. Call it episodic mentoring or even speed mentoring. Just keep this in mind: When you learned something that changed your life, something that really left an impression, did it take a year with someone to get that nugget? Momentous things can happen in a moment and episodic mentoring creates such moments.


Review copies and interviews with Amy Timmer are available upon request by emailing


60-Minute Mentoring for Lawyers and Law Students
by Amy Timmer and Matthew Cristiano (Attorney at Work, 2018)
List Price $35 (print); $24 (digital)
Format: 6 x 9 soft-cover, PDF and Kindle
123 pages
Published by Attorney at Work®, USA
ISBN-13: 978-0-9895293-9-6

© Copyright 2018 Amy Timmer and Matthew Cristiano

Illustrations ©

For purchasing information visit the Attorney at Work Bookstore here.

What People Are Saying About “60-Minute Mentoring”

In this must-read book, Amy Timmer defines effective collaboration for mentors and mentees with a keen emphasis on professionalism and ethics. Her use of episodic mentoring enables platforms where a mentee, in this case, co-author Matt Cristiano, reaches out to potential mentors regarding specific topics of mutual interest and arranges 60-minute meetings. The meetings are focused and in turn become quite fulfilling. With the expertise in this book, you will have no limitations except those you self-impose. The more you put yourself out there, the more natural the process becomes. You will learn the places to go, the people to seek out, and how to start the conversations you need to make this work.

“’60-Minute Mentoring’ is an easy read but it takes your courage to make it work. I urge you not to discard it when done. It will be your constant reference on how to get to the people you want who have the answers you need … and this will change your life.”

Judy Brosky
The Moxie Mentor

Amy Timmer and Matthew Cristiano have written a highly useful, timely book that is an essential read for anyone involved with mentoring. They make a strong case for ‘episodic’ mentoring: short mentoring sessions that can address a specific issue important to the mentee. Sometimes matters need immediate attention and it is always a good idea to have multiple mentors. Episodic mentoring is a way to achieve both.

“Lawyers and law students — as well as law firms, bars and law schools with more traditional mentoring programs — can benefit from encouraging episodic mentoring in addition to formal programs. This an important book on a tool that both mentees and mentors can use to gain the maximum benefit from mentoring.”

John E. Montgomery
Dean Emeritus, University of South Carolina Law School and Director, The National Legal Mentoring Consortium

“One of the shifts taking place in mentoring is the focus on the mentee’s learning rather than the mentor’s teaching or advising. Episodic mentoring supports this shift by emphasizing that law students and young lawyers need to be self-directed learners who find or create ‘learning moments’ by reaching out to others with more experience and knowledge. Unlike traditional mentoring, episodic mentoring is not grounded in a personal, trust-based relationship; however, it creates multiple opportunities for those relationships to form. As described in this book — which clearly explains both the benefits and limitations of episodic mentoring — this process is an expedient and useful way to help young lawyers learn and connect professionally. ’60-Minute Mentoring’ is a valuable guide for anyone interested in episodic mentoring.”

Ida Abbott
President, Ida Abbott Consulting and author of “The Lawyer’s Guide to Mentoring” and “Sponsoring Women: What Men Need to Know”


Attorney at Work publishes the website, providing “one really good idea every day” for enterprising lawyers, and publications and books for the legal profession. Other books published by Attorney at Work are:

  • Getting Clients: For Lawyers Starting Out or Starting Over
    by Merrilyn Astin Tarlton
  • One of a Kind: A Proven Path to a Profitable Law Practice
    by Jay Harrington
  • Sponsoring Women: What Men Need to Know
    by Ida O. Abbott
  • Evolutionary Road: A Strategic Guide to Your Law Firm’s Future
    by Jordan Furlong
  • Winning at Local Search
    by Mike Ramsey

Visit the Attorney at Work bookstore at for more information and subscribe to our daily law practice tips newsletter to make sure you receive information on discounts and special offers.

share TWEET PIN IT share share
Joan Hamby Feldman Joan Feldman

Joan Feldman is Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of Attorney at Work, publishing “one really good idea every day” since 2011. She has created and steered myriad leading practice management and trade publications, including the ABA’s Law Practice magazine where she served as managing editor for a dozen years. Joan is a Fellow and served as a Trustee of the College of Law Practice Management. Follow her on LinkedIn and @JoanHFeldman.

More Posts By This Author
MUST READ Articles for Law Firms Click to expand

Welcome to Attorney at Work!

Sign up for our free newsletter.


All fields are required. By signing up, you are opting in to Attorney at Work's free practice tips newsletter and occasional emails with news and offers. By using this service, you indicate that you agree to our Terms and Conditions and have read and understand our Privacy Policy.