Posted in: Lawyers › Mentoring Program, Announcements
After conquering the Bar Exam and being admitted to the SC Bar, all new attorneys are excited to launch their career, but how do they begin to gain connections, set career goals and find new opportunities within the legal profession? Questions like these have surely been echoed by nearly every new attorney and have become the driving force for the South Carolina Supreme Court’s Lawyer Mentoring Program.
“Although beginning one's career as a lawyer is exciting, it can be daunting,” says South Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice Donald Beatty. “Our lawyer mentoring program is designed to help new lawyers navigate their entry into the legal profession. By sharing their personal and professional experiences, mentors help new lawyers establish a solid foundation to begin their careers. Without question, a new lawyer will benefit from this guidance. Equally important, I believe our profession benefits when seasoned lawyers invest their time and energy into helping the next generation of lawyers. The Lawyer Mentoring Program, administered through the SC Bar, connects new lawyers with experienced lawyers for a year-long mentorship.”
For their outstanding efforts and dedication to the program, Janet Holmes and Kevin Hardy have been selected as the joint recipients of the 2020 G. Dewey Oxner, Jr. Mentor of the Year Award.
Janet Holmes, of the McKay Firm in Columbia, has guided her mentee, Lauren Trask, by helping her gain connections and get involved in various legal associations. When asked about her mentor, Trask described Holmes as someone who always advocates for the truth, is humble in victory and willing to drop everything to prioritize her mentee.
“She would not only help me work through the angles of any issues, but she also helped ease concerns by explaining situations that she had experienced and by leaning on her years of practice for reference,” says Trask. “My mentor would give people the benefit of the doubt, reach out to them, and try to work through issues. She demonstrated grace when faced with attitude and anger.”
For her part, Holmes also learned from her mentee.
“Encouraging Lauren as she boldly faced the challenges that we’ve all encountered during our early years has been a rewarding experience, particularly as she mastered tasks and developed her talents and skills,” Holmes says. "I am fortunate to have had this experience as Lauren’s mentor and am excited to see what her future holds as she continues to thrive in her abilities as a lawyer.”
Holmes practices in all areas of civil litigation and has over 20 years of litigation experience. She is also involved in many organizations including the Inn of Court as well as the Federal Bar Association, where she is the president elect.
Kevin Hardy, of Quinn & Hardy in Columbia, helped his mentee, Robert Grimm, after Grimm was thrust into a new role of operating an established firm a mere 24 hours after he was sworn in. Hardy was eager to assist his new colleague with all of the basics of law firm ownership including how to manage staff, handle payroll and the ethical practice of law.
“Kevin has shown me what it means to be an effective and ethical attorney,” says Grimm. “I have learned more about how to be a lawyer in the year-long mentor program, than I did from any professor that I had during my three years in law school. Often times, I am faced with a difficult decision and I either reach out to Kevin for guidance, or I think to myself, what would Kevin do?”
Hardy proved to be invested in his mentee as he stressed the importance of continuing to learn and pursue knowledge and experience in areas outside of Grimm’s primary practices areas to make him a more well-rounded attorney. He also made sure to share the importance of having a satisfying life outside of the workplace with his personal relationships, hobbies and his community.