“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.
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.
“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.
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.
Read more about getting off to a great start.
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: