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Mentoring program benefits whole profession

Mentoring program benefits whole profession

By Kleo Cruse



Lawyers can benefit from mentoring, no matter what stage of their career, says LIV president Belinda Wilson of the Law Institute of Victoria’s expanded Mentoring Program.

“It doesn’t matter where you are in your career, it is so important to have a mentor, one you can look up to and be inspired by,” Ms Wilson says. “I always look to someone who is where I would like to be in 10 years.”

The mentoring program has expanded significantly in 2018, with 245 participants involved this year – 150 mentees and 95 mentors.

With the expansion comes a change in the demographics and scope of the program. This includes penultimate or final year students and new lawyers, as well as lawyers returning to work, managing their own firm, or experienced lawyers looking for support and connections as they navigate the changing legal landscape.

Among them is Perveen Maan (pictured above), a lawyer at White & Mason Lawyers and a mentee in the judicial mentor group, who has signed up to the Judicial Mentoring Program for a second year.

“The Honourable Justice Saccardo is a wealth of knowledge of course, but most importantly he is candid about his experiences.”

It's the practical skills as much as the support that is invaluable about the program, Ms Maan says. “One of the most useful sessions we have had was about court craft. Justice Saccardo went through basic court etiquette to ensure we have the right foundation to build our legal careers on.”

Mentors from across the state of Victoria are participating in the program, including members of the judiciary from the Supreme, County, Family and Magistrates court.

Judicial mentoring is now being offered in Geelong, Shepparton and Ballarat. And for the first time in the program’s history, this year also sees partnering with the Victorian Bar New Barrister’s Committee, creating mentoring relationships between barristers and lawyers.

President of the Court of Appeal Justice Chris Maxwell says he welcomed the opportunity to mentor a group of new and emerging lawyers again this year. "I found the experience of mentoring in 2017 to be thoroughly rewarding. 

“The enthusiasm and intelligence of the group quickly led to a collaborative exploration about what type of lawyer each mentee wanted to be. The process appeared to give each member of the group renewed faith in their capability and employability, as well as greater confidence to take the next steps in their career journey.”

The LIV’s Member Support and Wellbeing lawyer, Anna Alexander says that no matter what stage of your legal career you’re at, you can connect with a mentor. “The program highlights the foundation of a lawyers’ role - helping people.”

It’s not just the individual who benefits from the program either, she points out, it’s the legal profession as a whole: “Through the program, members are supporting each other which ultimately adds to the sustainability of the profession.”

Find out more about the LIV's Mentoring program here.

Disclaimer: Views expressed by commentators are not necessarily endorsed by the Law Institute of Victoria Ltd (LIV). No responsibility is accepted by the LIV for the accuracy of information contained in the comments and the LIV expressly disclaims any liability for, with respect to or arising from any such views.

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