NEW:  GCD&I Spotlight Session Mentoring for Junior Lawyers:  Key Takeaways

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GCD&I Spotlight: Mentoring for Junior Lawyers –  Key Takeaways

On the 21 November 2023 the GCD&I Working Group led a Virtual Session on Mentoring for Junior Lawyers.

Speakers

  • Matt Lepore, Group General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer BASF (Board & Joint Lead for Gender Community)
  • Louise Waldek, Chief Legal & Risk Officer, Company Secretary, IMI (Board & Lead for Social Mobility Community)
  • Hannah Kung, Group Senior Corporate Counsel, AXA (Working Group) (Panel Facilitator)
  • Tom Reid, Associate General Counsel, APAC, CSL Behring
  • Lucy Cole, COO at GROW Mentoring and Trainee Solicitor, Clifford Chance
  • Sherena Masharani, Trainee Solicitor, Centrica

Recording available here

Background

This is one of a series of Virtual Sessions which aim to provide Signatories, and the wider GCD&I Community, with an opportunity to share practical insights, experiences, and challenges with a view to driving greater Diversity, Equity and Inclusion across the legal profession.

Our panelists highlighted the important role mentoring can play in shaping a junior lawyer’s career and spoke passionately about their learnings from establishing and participating in mentoring schemes.

Key Takeaways

  1. Mentoring can (and arguably should) happen at every level. We all have something to give (even the most junior lawyers will be able to assist aspiring solicitors and those following behind them) and, equally importantly, we all have something to learn (including the most senior lawyers – be it through reverse mentoring schemes or more generally).
  2. Don’t limit yourself to one mentor: build a community of advisers. There is value to hearing and receiving multiple perspectives.
  3. All participants need to “lean in” and commit to mentoring. A two-way dialogue is essential as is creating a safe space where both parties feel they can bring their whole self.
  4. Set clear and realistic goals at the start of any mentoring relationship and periodically check-in to ensure the relationship remains fit for purpose.
  5. Don’t expect your mentor to “solve” problems: often the most powerful mentoring relationships are where the mentor helps the mentee find their own answers.
  6. Consider how mentoring learnings can contribute to sustainable change: share general learnings through workshops and/or peer to peer sessions so others can benefit.

What should you do if you are interested in mentoring?

  1. Formal mentoring schemes may already exist within your organization. If they do, seek them out and sign up.
  2. If they do not, consider checking out the independent junior mentoring schemes listed here.
  3. If you think there is a gap in the market and/or you are looking for something different, consider setting up your own mentoring scheme.

It is also important to remember that there is no one-size fits all when it comes to mentoring.  You don’t need to participate in a formal mentoring scheme and/or have a mentoring “label” applied to a relationship in order to derive benefits.  Furthermore, formal training is not a prerequisite to being a good mentor.  The important tenets of mentoring are:

  • Engaged & committed parties;
  • A relationship built on trust & confidence; and
  • A genuine safe space where dialogue is encouraged and disagreement is permitted.

 

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GCD&I Working Group Note: Published December 2023

 

 

 

Published on 18 Dec 23

  • All
  • Disability
  • Ethnicity
  • Gender
  • LGBTQI+
  • Social Mobility