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Mentoring Q&A

Mentoring Q&A

By Law Institute Journal


Mentor: Nerida Wallace Why be a mentor? Younger people usually have issues that we have encountered and we can offer them a safe path forward. It is very satisfying to give back and ensure that knowledge hard won is available to the next generation. How does your expertise/experience help? My experience in government, private sector and my current role assists in expanding the range of potential career paths and also in identifying what skill sets might be obtained at each step along the way. Best advice given? It really is “follow your passion”. Most do not know what their passion is and are following what appears to be a well-trodden path without much serious reflection. I often pose questions to try to draw out what they might have enjoyed in their work. This can help in making immediate choices and also empowers them. It is their life not anybody else’s. If the passion is there, my job is to facilitate. Who was your mentor? My most influential mentor was the first director of counselling of the Family Court of Australia. She taught me how to be a professional woman, read the room and present to the best advantage. Other mentors include my husband and business partner and some senior people in the law and the public and private sectors. Nerida Wallace is LIV CEO. Mentee: Joel Silver Why have a mentor? The preparedness to ask questions – and often – is important, and having a mentor means you have someone reliable to ask. Best advice received? Listen more, and say less. I’ve heard that from several people who I consider mentors. Saying less can make for effective advocacy, but I’ve also found you earn more respect as a team player or leader. What are the arrangements? Nerida and I meet every few months. The agenda has been more fluid since I finished as Young Lawyers (YL) president, and we now discuss issues generally. Benefits achieved? Having Nerida’s guidance meant that I had a successful year as YL president. While I began knowing little of the LIV’s internal workings, having that relationship meant that I spent little of my term on the starting block, and achieved results. Joel Silver is a barrister.

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