To support the quest for access to the profession and quality of services, LEAD facilitates a mentorship programme between attorneys at different law firms. This mentoring programme elevates the competence, professionalism and success of attorneys through positive mentoring relationships.
| What is a mentor
|| What is a mentee
A mentor is an attorney with at least eight years’ experience in a specific area of law who provides professional guidance and shares his/her practical knowledge and skills with a mentee.
A mentee is an attorney who is newly-admitted (5 years of experience or less) or who has not had the opportunity to gain the skills required to practise in an area of law in which he/she has shown a keen interest.
We are looking for mentors in the following subjects
- Practice development
- Specialisation of women practitioners in litigation and commercial law
The mentees and mentors are matched according to the skills to be transferred and the location of the parties. Through training, LEAD provides mentors with guidance on how to become successful mentors and build relationships of mutual trust and respect. The number of mentors taking part will determine the number of matched mentoring pairs the programme is able to support. Mentoring is a win-win situation for the attorneys’ profession and public. The mentees learn best practices which improve their confidence and professional judgment, thereby providing their clients with a better service. By helping others to practise law, mentors often find that mentoring cements their own knowledge on best-practice strategies. In addition, mentors get the satisfaction that comes from a sense of giving back to the profession.
|'The legal profession is constantly changing. Through his or her mentoring, the legal mentor is placed in an advantageous position of having to reflect on their own experience and legal expertise. The best way to learn and expand one’s own capabilities and ultimately broaden one’s own outlook is to teach.'
Michelle Beatson BLC LLB (UP) is an attorney at Lanser & Williams in Bela-Bela. Read more here.
|'As a mentor, I experienced the truth of an old adage that the best way of learning is often to teach, because it forces you to make sure you know what you are talking about, and I certainly found myself thinking consciously about several things which, over years in practice, had become automatic. But most importantly, the feeling of assisting the success of others, and benefitting, in however small a way, the profession, the developing business community and the national economy was the most rewarding part of it all.'
Ian Jacobsberg BA LLB (Wits) is an attorney at Hogan Lovells in Johannesburg Read more here.
Take the next step to becoming a mentor
If you are able to mentor an attorney, or if you are an attorney who would benefit from being mentored, please e-mail mentorship@LSSALEAD.org.za.
During the enrollment process, both the mentors and mentees will select preferences in two legal areas. Thereafter, the process will be as follows:
- The mentor will receive a guide to mentoring and skills transfer in the profession.
- The mentee will receive an email setting out the steps that are followed in a mentoring relationship.
- LEAD will do its best to pair a mentee to a mentor. The parties will be matched according to the skills to be transferred and the location of the parties.
- The parties will agree on expectations and requirements upfront and complete a mentorship agreement.
- The mentors and mentees can agree on the time frames involved. We suggest, however, that the mentor provides at least 20 hours direct and personal mentorship within a maximum twelve-month period.
- The mentors and mentees will participate in interim and post appraisals to determine the effectiveness of the programme.
- While we will make every effort to match you with a mentee, the match depends on the number of mentees in your area plus their skills transfer needs. Therefore, we cannot guarantee an immediate match. We will, however, keep your details on our database and continue to look for a suitable match.
Contact person: Jeanne-Mari Retief. Please email your queries on the mentorship programme to: mentorship@LSSALEAD.org.za