Here is the one piece of advice I would want a mentee to remember always: Question authority. I know that sounds odd. After all, collective wisdom says that mentors teach and mentees learn. That's not quite right. As a dying Buddha remarked to his disciples, "My finger may point you to the moon, but do not confuse my finger with the moon."
How can a mentee discern when to question authority? Ask if the guidance springs from org-chart authority or moral authority. Determine the mentor’s intention. Is it to obtain compliance? That’s org-chart authority. Is it to develop the mentee as a lawyer, so he or she gets better — maybe even better than the teacher? That counsel comes from moral authority.
Had I listened to org-chart authority, I would not represent one of my best clients nor have edited an employment law newsletter for the last 23 years. Lawyers often elect to follow org-chart authority because we are conditioned to seek approval, to obtain validation from others, to prize acceptance as part of the group. Yes, these are all nice feelings, but as Shakespeare cautioned, "All that glistens is not gold." So, go ahead, question authority. You'll be glad you did.