I have been walking past this sculpture regularly ever since I was a judicial clerk in 1987-1988. It is in the plaza between the Federal and DC court houses. It is dated in the subject matter. The partner-associate relationship has shifted over the years, both from the inclusion of women in the law place and the changing economics. The shift in economics to assume that most associates will not be partners because the firm simply does not have the space for more partners and because the associates feel freer to move around and for a whole host of other reasons, some more benign than others, has left new workers bereft of the support of a mentor. In the disruption of the continuity of the workplace, those who stay are less motivated to serve as mentors and lose the delight and strength that comes from the action of mentoring. Those who come into a workplace without a mentor never learn the way they could. Although some of the changes are good, the missing mentor is indeed a loss.
Though the sculpture reminds me of something lost, I love this sculpture, especially where it is set. It is absolutely suited to its location and was made with great skill and love.