Yoon-Young Lee was a young associate at a major Washington DC law firm, Wilmer Cutler & Pickering, when she first encountered Ted Levine, a senior partner in the firm’s securities practice. Levine was a lateral hire from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), where he spent the first fifteen years of his professional career. The case examines Levine’s sponsorship of Yoon-Young Lee as a young associate at Wilmer Cutler & Pickering. The (A) case describes Lee’s relationship with Levine from the perspective of a junior associate. At first Lee tried to avoid working with Levine, but she eventually became an important part of his practice. The (A) case includes the views of several colleagues of Lee and Levine from the SEC and Wilmer Cutler & Pickering, several of whom were also sponsored by Levine. The (B) case provides a first-person narrative of sponsorship strategies directly from Levine.
The case highlights the difference between mentorship and sponsorship. A mentor provides informal career advice and personal support. In contrast, a sponsor provides concrete and appropriate career opportunities for their junior colleagues.
The case highlights the difference between mentorship and sponsorship and provides context around the development of working relationships between senior and junior lawyers in law firms.
Sponsorship, Professional Development
Geographic: Washington, DC
Industry: Law firm, securities practice
Event Year Begin: 1988
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