Eversole Law Firm October 2018

Eversole Monthly

October 2018

The Value of a Good Mentor How I Found My Mentor Our senator Lindsey Graham said in a television interview that the recently deceased Senator John McCain was a valuable mentor to him when he first went to Washington D.C. as a congressman. Without that mentorship, his early experience in the hallowed halls of our government would have undoubtedly been more challenging. Good mentors, in any occupation or endeavor, are priceless. They help guide you through uncharted waters until you can sail on your own. It is no different in the practice of law. I started my legal career as an assistant public defender, representing people charged with breaking the law. My mentor then was Richard Jourandby, the elected Public Defender in West Palm Beach, Florida. His mentoring gave me guidance in protecting the rights of the accused and the strength to persevere in difficult, high-stakes cases. When I moved to Beaufort, I left criminal law behind and headed in a new direction. That is when I met my next mentor, Sherwood N. Fender, who sparked my interest in real property law, where the clientele is generally a happier crowd. I remember my interview with Sherwood when I was first looking for a job here in Beaufort. He was sitting behind his large desk with a solitaire game displayed on his big clunky computer screen. I think it was the only thing he used his computer for. It was sometime in 1997, just about the time when computer software was being developed for real estate closings. Sherwood asked me what salary I would need. I don’t recall exactly what I told him, but he replied in his robust southern drawl, “Well,” while shaking his head, “I can’t afford you.” I learned later that salaries in West Palm Beach were much more generous than what was available here in Beaufort. Time went on, and about a year later my husband and I went to Seamers to have dinner, and Sherwood was there. He was surrounded by a number of people near the bar. We said our hellos and chatted for a bit, and then he asked what I was doing for work. At that time, I was working for a workers’ compensation/personal injury law firm,

which was not really my cup of tea. He then said to me, “I may have an offer you can’t refuse. Come see me.” I did, and he made me an offer I could not refuse. It was an opportunity to eventually have my own practice after he retired. He was my mentor in real property law for the next five years. Over those years, I discovered that real estate law is not only complex, but also an area of practice that requires guidance from a person with experience in the field. The textbook law learned in law school does not equate to having sufficient knowledge and competence in real- life real estate circumstances. Believe me, I would not be where I am today if it was not for my friend and mentor Sherwood Fender. Having a good mentor is priceless. It lessens the risk of making mistakes and helps you build confidence in doing your work. I recommend that anyone in any career or profession seek the guidance of a good mentor. -Alysoun Eversole www.eversolelaw.com 1


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