Finding a mentor is crucial to your future satisfaction as an attorney.

Does this story sound familiar? An attorney finally landed the job that he wanted. To get there, he invested a great deal of time and money and even became fluent in a new language. But now that the attorney has arrived, the difference between the land of the academic hypothetical and the real world has him breaking out in a cold sweat. What should he do?

Or consider another scenario: A lawyer has been at the firm for a while and really feels as though she knows her way around. But maybe it's time to blaze a new trail or cultivate and refine some of her rougher terrain. What should be her next move?

In both cases, the effective use of a mentor could be part of the answer. Most attorneys, who haven't seriously thought about working with a mentor, probably should. Some people believe that having a good mentor was the single most important factor in achieving associate satisfaction and, thus, loyalty to the firm.