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Big Law Attorneys Share Why Mentoring Matters: Part Seven

May 18, 2022, 8:00 AM

In the seventh part of our “Why Mentoring Matters” series, two Big Law attorneys—a partner at Cadwalader in Washington, D.C., and a partner at Polsinelli in Denver—write about their personal journeys and why mentoring or being mentored helped their careers flourish.

Cadwalader partner Cheryl Barnes says the most successful mentorships aren’t just focused on career advancement, but include “every aspect that plays into having a fulfilling life, including personal relationships, finances, and family life.” She credits the informal connections that she has made for sustaining her for nearly three decades in Big Law.

And Polsinelli partner Kristin Walker shares what she says is the most important part of any mentorship: trust. It wasn’t there for her as a mentee early in her career, and this influenced her decision to move on to another firm. “I strongly believe that trust is the foundation of a good mentor/mentee relationship and that a good mentor/mentee relationship fosters loyalty and improves morale for both individuals,” she says.

Click on the attorneys’ names below to read their stories of how being a mentor, or receiving that kind of coaching or guidance, has played a significant role in their lives and careers.

Then, join us again next week for our eighth installment of “Why Mentoring Matters.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Robert Wilhelm in Washington, D.C. at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Lisa Rockelli Gordon at; Lisa Helem at