The FBHLS Mentoring Program assists attorneys to network and build professional relationships; promotes leadership and professional development; identifies career planning opportunities; and helps participants develop health care law competencies.

Participant Eligibility:

  • Mentors and Protégés must be current FBHLS members.
  • A Protégé must have less than six years of experience in a health care law field, specialty, or practice area.
  • A Mentor must have at least five years of experience in a health care law field, specialty, or practice area. Individuals with less than five years of experience may mentor students.

Pairing of Mentors and Protégés:

Prospective Mentors and Protégés will complete the FBHLS Mentorship Application, and if known, identify their desired Mentor/Protégé. If no Mentor / Protégé is identified, a designated member of the FBHLS Young Lawyer’s Group will pair applicants based on specific requests contained within the application, and the applicants’ respective practice setting, specialization, and geographical location. Both the Mentor and the Protégé must agree to a pairing before it becomes final.

Length of Mentor-Protégé Relationship:

Mentor-Protégé pairings generally last one year. Mentor and Protégé may mutually agree to extend the formal pairing for successive year(s).

Monitoring and Feedback:

FBHLS will periodically circulate surveys and other tools to Mentors and Protégés to obtain feedback and suggestions about the Mentoring Program. Mentors and Protégés are encouraged to thoughtfully complete these surveys. FBHLS also welcomes informal comments from Mentors and Protégés at any time about the Mentoring Program. If you would like to provide feedback to FBHLS, please contact

Mentors are encouraged to make appropriate introductions of the Protégé to other FBHLS members, if the Protégé desires.

If a Protégé is a member of an underrepresented group, or otherwise identifies with such a group, the Mentor and Protégé are encouraged to discuss the associated opportunities and challenges for career development.

Guiding Principles of Mentor/Protégé Program:

The Mentor’s role is to assist the Protégé to develop into a successful, satisfied and well-connected health care attorney through introduction to the field of health care law, a specific subspecialty, a particular practice setting, or other mutually agreed upon goals, as well as utilization of FBHLS’s resources and opportunities.

The FBHLS Mentoring Program is intended solely to complement or supplement similar activities available within the Protégé’s practice setting. It is not intended to usurp or interfere with mentoring programs already available to the Protégé..

The Mentor is not intended to serve as a tutor on substantive law issues, but as a conduit to existing FBHLS and other resources on substantive law issues of interest to the Protégé.

The Mentor and Protégé should avoid discussing particular legal cases that either of them are handling, in order to avoid problems with conflicts of interest and confidentiality.

The Mentor and Protégé will maintain the confidentiality of their discussions unless both agree otherwise.

Mentor-Protégé Responsibilities:

Mentors and Protégés should interact with each other at least quarterly on a scheduled basis and be available for ad hoc interactions as needed. Geographical considerations may determine whether interactions occur in person, by phone or through other electronic means, but Mentors and Protégés are encouraged to meet in person, if possible. One opportunity for a personal meeting might be at an FBHLS event of mutual interest.

Mentors should help Protégés ascertain their career goals and discuss strategies to achieve those goals. Possible topics for discussion include:

  • Building a substantive knowledge base.
  • Building a personal reputation of excellence.
  • Attracting and retaining clients (in private practice) or promoting client satisfaction (in-house).
  • Balancing professional and personal life.
  • Overcoming obstacles to career development.
  • Charting a course to a leadership position at FBHLS.
  • Maintaining the highest standards of ethical practice

Mentors and Protégés should always conduct themselves professionally. FBHLS reserves the right to remove a person from the Mentoring program at any time.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Program matches volunteer health care law lawyers (Mentors) with less-experienced health care lawyers and law students (Protégés) to facilitate the sharing of professional experiences and values, to establish a resource for Protégés to address practical concerns and challenges in advancing their careers, to form new professional relationships, and to promote greater involvement in FBHLS and other professional associations.

We encourage each Mentor-Protégé team to talk at least quarterly, but you are free to talk more frequently depending upon your schedules and needs. At the initial contact, we suggest that you discuss the frequency and form of communication that will work best for both individuals.

Absolutely. We encourage such face-to-face meetings (e.g., at FBHLS programs or if the Mentor and Protégé are in the same locale). However, we recognize that geographical challenges may make such meetings unfeasible. We do not think the lack of face-to-face contact will be an impediment to establishing a meaningful Mentor-Protégé relationship.

You are not precluded from serving as a Mentor/Protégé because of your limited involvement with FBHLS. We hope your participation in the Program will enhance your interest in FBHLS and other opportunities for greater FBHLS involvement.

Mentor-Protégé pairings are expected to last at least one year. Each Mentor-Protégé is asked at the end of the year if he/she would like to continue the pairing or develop a new mentorship relationship with another colleague. If the assigned Mentor-Protégé relationship is not working for you (for whatever reason) at any time, please contact us at

If you have any questions or concerns about an established Mentor-Protégé relationship, please email or and you will be contacted by a member of FBHLS’s Young Lawyers Group.

You have the ability to customize an email that can be sent to the potential Protégé, declining the match. Our goal is to facilitate a process where Mentors and Protégés find matches that are compatible for both individuals.

After completing your profile, you will have access to several helpful resources through FBHLS’s website. Please review these materials and email or if you have any remaining questions.

Now, more than ever, all of us – but particularly those new to the health care law field will benefit from receiving general support, a listening ear, and assistance in identifying ways to develop and grow as health care lawyers generally and specifically within FBHLS. Both Mentors and Protégés will benefit from working with other health care professionals to identify approaches to enhance their knowledge and skills, to address practical concerns and problems faced in advancing one’s career, and to develop professional relationships within the health care field and within FBHLS.

Yes. You would simply designate this in your application.

The number of pairings will fluctuate from year to year, in the sole discretion of the Executive Council.

Mentoring First Steps

Choosing a Mentor

What: Find out what it is that you want to learn or achieve.

How: How will you learn or achieve this new skill? By watching others perform the skill, by asking others that know how, by trying it yourself with others.

Who: Find out which person in FBHLS has the skill that you want to learn.

Where: Decide if geographical location is important to you in your decision on whom to choose as your Mentor.

Commit: Make sure you are ready to put in the extra time and energy needed to learn this new skill.

  • Learn about the Protégé, including his/her personal and career goals and aspirations, strengths and weaknesses.
  • Encourage and help the Protégé to identify clear career goals.
  • Encourage and help the Protégé to achieve desired goals by taking specific, practical and meaningful steps.
  • Provide learning opportunities to move the Protégé in the direction of his/her goal.
  • Evaluate your Protégé’s goals and career path and give actionable advice and feedback.
  • Share your experience, your successes and failures in how you achieved the same goal or goals that the Protégé has set.
  • Provide support when Protégé is stressed or frustrated.
  • Provide a listening environment where the Protégé can try out his/her ideas.
  • Think of situations and people that you know that would benefit the Protégé.
  • Provide observation situations where the Protégé may watch you appear before a board or judge (if possible or when appropriate).
  • Open doors to, orchestrate and sponsor challenging assignments that further your Protégé’s career path.
  • Help your Protégé understand the FBHLS executive council’s processes and procedures.
  • Highlight your Protégé’s accomplishments to leaders within FBHLS.
  • Be a good role model.
  • The following questions will help you get your established mentorship off to a good start.
  • How do you view the roles and responsibilities of the Mentor and the Protégé?
  • What prompted you to participate in this program?
  • What is your desired outcome of this Mentor-Protégé relationship?
  • What are your subjects/areas of greatest interest?
  • To Protégés: How would you describe the environment in which you work?
  • To Mentors: How did you get to where you are today in health law? What do you do in FBHLS and how did you become involved? What made you decide to join and what makes you remain a member?
  • What is the best way for us to communicate? Think about time of day, frequency, preferred communication channels, etc.
  • Are there any potential conflicts of interest that need to be considered? Specific examples could include a Mentor who works at a law firm and a Protégé who is in-house counsel at a client of the firm.