Alumni Mentorship Program graphic (aqua background)

Published on March 23, 2016 | by LawNews

Mentorship Program Spotlight: Helene Weiss 3L and Rebecca Abensur ’10

In fall 2015, Hofstra Law launched a pilot 3L Mentorship Program that pairs third-year law students with alumni working in the students’ fields of interest. The goal of the program is to help graduating students be better positioned to secure employment by leveraging Hofstra Law’s alumni network. Alumni mentors are providing their mentees with advice, introductions, interview preparation, professional development support, and more.

Helene Weiss 3L and Rebecca Abensur ’10
Helene Weiss 3L and Rebecca Abensur ’10

Helene Weiss 3L, a former president of the Hofstra Trial Advocacy Association, was paired with Rebecca “Becca” Abensur ’10, an assistant district attorney for the Nassau County District Attorney. Helene recently accepted a position as an assistant district attorney for the Nassau County District Attorney.

Helene and Becca discussed their experience in the program.

Helene, why did you sign up for the mentorship program?
I wanted to take every opportunity to help secure a job before graduation. I knew the mentorship program would provide me with a chance to connect with alumni, branch out, and make new friendships with potential colleagues. Professor Neumann recommended that I sign up for the program — so I immediately applied. Deans Caruso and Telfeyan have been extremely helpful throughout the entire process.

Becca, what has been your approach to mentoring Helene?
Helene is very talented. She already had a first-round interview when I met her. We talked generally about what she should be considering, how to prepare for interviews, making sure you know about the office you are applying to, building a rapport with your interviewer. She is very prepared. I was a cheerleader.

Helene, is there a piece of advice you received from Becca that has really stood out to you?
Becca helped me better understand the interviewing process for district attorneys’ offices. She encouraged me to be myself during the interviews and to not be afraid to reach out to the offices. She also advised me to keep them updated on my progress during the semester. I was grateful to receive her guidance and valuable advice.

Since you are going to be colleagues, is it safe to say you will stay in touch?
Helene: Definitely! We have stayed in touch and have texted since my job offer. I’m excited to be working in the same office as Becca. It’s comforting to know that I already have a friend in the office!

Becca: Yes, I’m very excited that Helene is going to be working here. It is great to start and know people in other areas. We have a large office, and I can introduce her to other people. I have also kept contact with many of the people I met from the initial mentoring reception. Our entire table stays in touch through an email group.

Becca, would you participate in the mentorship program again?
I would definitely participate again. Mentoring a student is an investment in Hofstra Law. As an alumna, I want a student to do well and go on to have a successful career. This program is a good way for alumni to get involved and meet students. People may forget how overwhelming the job process is. To have somebody there to help build connections or give you some advice, or just someone to be your cheerleader, is great.

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