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Law Society Mentoring Programme

“Mentoring is inherently valuable at any point in your career...it can provide meaningful advice on practical steps moving forward.” Interview with Victoria Rea, Solicitor at Wilson Harle

Looking for that person who can provide wise career counsel, share their knowledge of the legal profession and career management, or for an opportunity to share your personal insights with someone less experienced than you? If the answer is yes, then the New Zealand Law Society | Te Kāhui Ture o Aotearoa can offer you this through our new National Mentoring Programme.

The new national programme is free and virtual. We are using an online platform, MentorLoop to match mentors and mentees. It’s a version of the sharing economy where lawyers from all over Aotearoa New Zealand can come together and form mentoring partnerships from anywhere. In our new COVID-19 operating environment virtual mentoring is an ideal way for lawyers to connect and support each other professionally.

Mentoring is an informal and voluntary way of networking and learning; your own personal professional sounding board where you and your mentor, or mentee, get to shape the agenda and choose what is important to you both. At some point, many of us have sought guidance either to help find new ways of looking at things or to provide direction on career issues. Whether you are looking for support, or want to give back, our national programme provides the perfect opportunity wherever you are in New Zealand.

What is a mentor? Who can be a mentee?

Mentors are experienced advisors who offer wise counsel – their knowledge may centre on the legal profession, and law as a business, or they might have expertise in how to use technology or adopt new ways of working. Either way, they can offer assistance, support and career advice to help other lawyers along their professional journey. Not only do mentors have the satisfaction of sharing their knowledge, they inevitably also learn from their mentoring experience.

Mentees can come from across the profession and be at all stages of their career. The common factor for all mentees is that they value the advice and wise counsel of another lawyer with whom they don’t work or have an existing professional relationship. It’s about having a desire to learn and be challenged to think about career paths, and the profession, in different ways. Mentoring is a two-way street and both parties agree on what they would like to achieve through the partnership.

Photo of Sarah Armstrong“Those who have a passion for working alongside different people and organisations quickly earn the trust and respect of clients and it is rewarding to see how that often materialises into new opportunities for them.”
Sarah Armstrong on her career, mentoring and work/life balance

To have a successful relationship, both parties need to be committed, self-aware and respectful of the other’s time and skills.

Who can participate?

The Law Society’s National Mentoring Programme is open to all lawyers. We invite lawyers from all areas of legal practice – regardless of the stage of your career, ethnicity, mode of practise, gender or place of work – to participate in the programme, as either a mentor, a mentee or both.

Although primarily designed for those currently holding practising certificates, we are aware that these are unusual times and welcome interest from anyone who has been admitted but is not yet practising, and anyone who is between roles and therefore does not have a current practising certificate.

How to participate

  1. If you hold a current practising certificate, you will have received an email with a link from our President Tiana Epati. To sign up from the email, click on the Register here for Mentorloop button. If you did not get this email, please contact mentoring@lawsociety.org.nz
  2. Once on Mentorloop, you will have to confirm you are happy to commit to the terms and conditions and Code of Conduct, then you will answer a series of questions so that the software matching programme can create a profile for you.
  3. Every fortnight, the data pool is updated with new participants to help with matching. You will be notified when you have been matched with a mentor or mentee. Please note, this process might happen quickly for some of you and for others it may take more time. Once a match is made you both have an opportunity to see if it’s the right match for both of you.

Read more about getting off to a great start.

Other support available

The programme is a professional support network and sits alongside other Practising Well programmes provided by the Law Society.

If you are seeking support for grief, anxiety, distress or mental wellbeing, you may wish to access the Law Society’s Legal Community Counselling Service which is designed to support these needs.

See our other resources for where you can go to for specific issues affecting you:

Last updated on the 14th May 2020