Don’t get me wrong, anytime I would email or call these fab female attorneys, they would answer, give great advice and that is why I always make it a point to respond to students and newly admitted attorneys today. I never really had that mentor–that one person who I felt like had me under their tutelage with guidance as a newbie to the legal field. And this is my fault honestly.

While most professionals may be cautious in outright “knighting” someone as their mentee, they are nonetheless (most of the time) willing and available to offer guidance and assistance. The key, however, is to not stalk them and/or become disrespectful of their schedules and other responsibilities. Many colleges, neighborhood programs, professional organizations and companies offer official mentoring programs, however, if that is not readily available in your immediate network, don’t be afraid to reach out to someone you see making strides in the area you would like to succeed in.

I have mentors and, yes, some of them may be what I consider “mentors in my head,” but nonetheless I follow their careers, keep up with how they navigate in my fields of interest and I make it a point that they know me. So while you may be in at a precarious point in your quest for success, and looking for a little guidance and advice, reach out! I have had tremendous success with getting nuggets of information and advice from women I look up to, even if it was not the “typical” mentor/mentee relationship.

Rashida Maples, Esq. is Founder and Managing Partner of J. Maples & Associates ( She has practiced Entertainment, Real Estate and Small Business Law for 9 years, handling both transactional and litigation matters. Her clients include R&B Artists Bilal and Olivia, NFL Superstar Ray Lewis, Fashion Powerhouse Harlem’s Fashion Row and Hirschfeld Properties, LLC.

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