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Musings on mentoring

Mike Unger

by Mike Unger

We are all mentors. Whether we know it or not. I was reminded of this recently when asked to speak at the retirement party for attorney Mike Sieben of Hastings. While I was in high school Mike ran for the legislature fresh out of law school. As a working class kid, I had never met a lawyer before. Mike was my first and I got to know him as I helped him campaign. As I reflected on this before giving remarks at his retirement gathering, it dawned on me that his modelling behaviors had an effect on me. I am sure it didn’t occur to him that he was a “mentor.” He was just being himself. But forty years later, this impressionable high school kid wound up serving as President of the State Bar. His example as a public servant and a fine lawyer, contributed to forming my interest in our profession. Whether we know it or not, our own professional example does have a ripple effect.