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Mentoring Q&A

Mentoring Q&A

By Liberty Sanger and Emma Starkey


Why be a mentor? I have benefited from the wisdom and advice of those before me, and I’m now enjoying being able to offer something to the next generation. The unexpected delight is being reverse-mentored. Emma has provided insights into how to best support younger lawyers, and how I can become a better leader. How does your expertise/experience help? What worked for me 10 or 20 years ago might not work today. What’s important is bringing a contemporary frame to a common experience and learning from past mistakes or successes. Emma often knows what she should do. She is really looking for someone to bounce ideas off safely. Best advice given? Life is a long-distance race, not a sprint. Give yourself at least six months to settle back into work after parental leave – it takes time for the new home and work patterns to emerge. Know that you have support and take the time you need to adjust. Who was your mentor? I haven’t had a formal mentor but have been guided by many inspiring leaders, including John Cain, Maurice Blackburn’s managing partner when I undertook my articles in 1997. He has provided me with great advice throughout my career, and inspired me to do the same. Liberty Sanger is a principal and board member at Maurice Blackburn Lawyers.

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