Brooklyn Bar Association is ready for National Mentoring Month

January 8, 2023 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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The local legal community is big on mentorship and that is especially true for Judge Joanne Quinones, who literally takes in about a dozen mentees and interns each year.

It is why she has been counting down the days until January — she’s not a big fan of New Year’s — instead she is waiting for National Mentoring Month and this year, as usual, she is ready.

Judge Quinones, who chairs the Brooklyn Bar Association’s Mentorship Committee with co-chair Natoya McGhie, has organized two Mentorship events for this month.

On Wednesday, Jan. 11 at 1 P.M., Judge Quinones and the Brooklyn Bar Association will host “The Power of Mentorship” on Zoom. Then on Wednesday, Jan. 25 at 6 P.M., there will be a #Thank Your Mentor/Mentee” networking mixer.

The first event, on Zoom, will be virtual and will be designed to impress upon members and prospective members the benefits that mentorship offers. Judge Quinones is quick to tell people that there are no age limits to be a mentor or a mentee, and added that some people even take on both roles simultaneously.

Judge Joanne Quinones (right) and Natoya McGhie co-chair the Brooklyn Bar Association’s Mentorship Committee that is hosting two events this month as part of National Mentoring Month. Eagle photo by Robert Abruzzese

The second event will give those people who met online to continue to develop those relationships in person during a networking event at the Kimoto Rooftop located on Duffield Street in Downtown Brooklyn. That event is sponsored by Cavallo Law, PLLC.

Judge Quinones explained that mentorship is so important to her because of her the path her own career has taken. Originally from Bushwick, the Judge said that it was early on in her life when mentors impressed upon her the importance of education, and later it was mentors who helped guide her to become an excellent lawyer and eventually a judge.

McGhie’s story is similar, as she explained that it was an internship with Judge Nancy Bannon that exposed her to local bar associations and eventually helped to connect her with mentors that have shaped her career.

“It was only through my involvement in associations that I was able to find mentors, like our
Committee Chair Judge Joanne Quinones,” McGhie said. “My mentors have been invaluable to
my growth and professional development. We hope that the Committee can continue to
support and guide our mentees and mentors, and help them develop lasting relationships.”

The BBA’s Mentorship Committee is robust and offers a free one-on-one program that both mentors and mentees have expressed a lot of satisfaction in. The BBA Mentorship Committee recently held a happy hour mixer at Circa Brewery in Downtown Brooklyn this past August.

More recently, the committee hosted a speed networking event in October that attracted approximately 50 members.

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