The elevator pitch for ‘why mentoring matters’ goes something like this...
We all reach a stage at some point in our careers when we could benefit from some help, whether it concerns progressing to our next role, making a leap into a new company or sector, or even developing a new skill we find difficult. A mentor is a dedicated person to offer wisdom, ask the right questions and help us get to where we want to be.
We have two streams of our mentoring scheme available, to serve two different sets of needs from mentees.
Our mentoring schemes
We run two mentoring schemes for our members, which support you at all stages of your career. You can register as a mentor or mentee for both of these schemes using our online platform, as well as switch between them as you move through your career.
Career development mentoring scheme
Our career mentoring scheme was launched as a pilot programme back in 2013 and now is a permanent part of the professional support we provide to serve our present and future members. This scheme is open to anyone aiming to advance their professional career, including students and graduates, trainees and solicitors at any level of your career.
Our objectives are
- to support mentees with goal setting and career management
- to share expertise and provide information about different options and career paths
- to support mentees in taking responsibility for their own skills and career development
Student:trainee mentoring scheme
In 2017, we identified that a lot of students were coming forward hoping to get support relating to their traineeship search, so we launched a scheme specifically for them. It made sense for their mentors to be trainees who, having recently gone through the recruitment process themselves, are well placed to offer support and guidance.
Launched initially as a pilot scheme matching just 16 pairs of mentors and mentees, the demand was so high and feedback positive, we have now made this available to all students and trainees in Scotland.
We use an online platform to run both streams of our programme, to allow more people to be able to take part. You will create your own profile as a mentor or a mentee, although mentors will have to undertake a day's training programme before becoming an active user.
You must create a profile using your Law Society login details. This means only members who are solicitors, accredited paralegals, trainees or student associates can register.
On your profile you will detail your areas of expertise if you're a mentor, the areas you'd like to develop if you're a mentee and where you're based georgraphically. Mentees can search for mentor 'matches' based on their criteria and both parties can exchange messages before deciding to meet face to face for the first time. This might happen straightaway, or you might not be able to find a match instantly as there may not be someone who fits your criteria active on the platform. It might be a case of checking back over the course of several months to see a suitable candidate.
On the online platform, there are various handbooks and videos available to give you the support you need. Our staff team are also always on hand to give you advice and more information when you need it.
"A mentoring relationship lasts for a period of approximately 12 months, although there are no hard and fast rules. It's more about ensuring that where appropriate, the mentoring goals have been met and at this time, the pairing will come to a natural end. We usually recommend pairs meet face to face about once a month."
The benefits of mentoring, for both sides
As a mentee you can benefit from getting support with realising your career goals and ambitions, while improving your self confidence and access an enhanced network of legal professionals who work in your area of interest.
Our mentors find the experience of passing on their knowledge and expertise really valuable and a great way to give back to the legal profession. It's also a great way to develop your own leadership and management skills.