Mentoring isn’t just what Kenneth V. Hallett does, it’s who he is.
“I don’t put down on my calendar ‘I’m going to mentor from 3 to 4 today,’” the Quarles & Brady LLP partner said, “I incorporate it into everything I do. I just keep my eyes and ears open to other people and provide guidance where needed.
“Leading by example is also key.”
Hallett’s approach is necessary to allow him to keep up with mentoring younger attorneys at the Marquette Law School Volunteer Legal Clinic and Quarles & Brady. He serves as national chairman of the firm’s corporate services practice group and maintains a vigorous practice focused on securities law and general business law.
“I definitely was the beneficiary of a lot of good mentoring along the way,” Hallett said. “I didn’t always realize it was happening, but as I looked back I could see people who had opened a door for me or showed me a new horizon.”
That led Hallett to start doing the same for others. He’s been on the firm’s Associate Development Committee for more than 12 years, serving as chairman for nearly half that time.
“Mentoring and helping others just makes me feel good,” he said. “I see people as a potential colleague and not someone who just works for me.
“If I can help him or her to get better, it’s in all of our best interests. They may learn from me, but frankly I learn a lot from them, too.”
In securities law where experience is essential, Hallett said he will build in teaching moments by asking other attorneys what they think, walking them through a situation and listening to their reasoning.
“There are a lot of judgment calls,” he said, “and since I have more experience I can share what I know and what I’ve seen.”
His dedication is noticed and appreciated throughout the firm, said Ann Murphy, the Milwaukee office managing partner for Quarles & Brady.
“Through the years, I’ve seen the contributions Ken has made to our firm, his clients and our younger attorneys,” she said. “He’s really made a difference in their lives.
“They know attorneys are busy, but Ken takes the time to talk with them, to work with them.”