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NZLS Mentoring Programme - Interview with Lacey Fulford, Solicitor at Simpson Grierson

10 December 2019

Have you had a mentor or been a mentor? Please can you describe the experience in a few words.

Lacey Fulford

Yes, I was part of the AULSS mentoring programme at Auckland Law School. I was a mentee in my second year and a mentor in third year. It was a fantastic programme for integrating students into law school in second year and getting everyone involved in the social events.

How do you think mentoring could assist /assists/assisted you with your career and personal development?

I think that mentoring could assist by connecting people with role models within the legal industry to provide realistic advice on career development and opportunities. Sometimes it can be difficult to have honest discussions within your own workplace and therefore mentors can provide a useful outside perspective.

In a recent NZLS Lawyer Survey only 36% of lawyers reported feeling well connected to others in the profession, and just 29% of lawyers agreed that the legal profession values diversity and inclusion and meets the needs of diverse groups. In your view, how can mentoring programmes help?

Mentoring programmes can be an excellent tool for expanding your network, especially in the context of the legal profession where people tend to stick to friends they made in law school or colleagues they have met in their jobs. Mentoring can bring people from different backgrounds together and encourage inclusivity, particularly for those who might feel isolated in their roles or find it hard to reach out. I also hope that this programme will encourage more young lawyers to attend the educational and social events organised by the Auckland Young Lawyers (AYL).

How can mentees drive the mentoring relationship?

By not always leaving it up to the mentor to reach out. If mentors are busy, propose times and places that are convenient for them — maybe lunches, coffees or drinks after work. Mentees should keep in mind that mentorship programmes are also really beneficial and enjoyable for mentors, it’s not just about mentors providing advice.

Last updated on the 10th December 2019