Nadine Martin is an associate in the family law team at Harper Macleod. She is an accredited specialist in family law, child law, and family law mediation.
Mentoring – Is it for me?
During my time in practise there have been many occasions when I wished that I could have the benefit of a mentor – someone who could listen to me, ask questions and work with me to make the right decision. When I saw that the Law Society of Scotland were offering mentoring training I jumped at the chance to participate. I had many questions at the outset of the training and my time in Edinburgh working with a specialised mentoring trainer helped answer many of these questions.
Who would I be mentoring?
There will be a broad spectrum of people looking to access mentoring – from newly qualified solicitors navigating their first jobs to those looking to re-enter the profession after time away to long practising solicitors looking to achieve ongoing career goals. You will make a profile and choose which elements of mentoring you would like to participate in, so you get to decide what would be the best fit for your skills and life experience.
Could I really be someone's mentor?
At the start of my training this worried me too! It became apparent during my training that mentoring really is something that people can access at whatever stage they are in their career and whatever they think their particular skills are. A listening ear, a willingness to share experiences, and a desire to "pay it forward" is all that is required. The Law Society's training is comprehensive and by the end of it I felt confident that I had much to offer people who wanted to become mentees.
Will it take up a lot of my time?
The Law Society were clear that they are cognisant of the time limits upon people and the constraints of the profession and there are options to pause or to limit the amount of mentoring taken on during a professional year for example when times are busy. The Law Society is aware of our own obligations which can vary from month to month but the commitment of time is not so great that it should impinge upon you being able to do this and work too!
Will I be supported?
I felt really supported during the course of my training. I felt as though the Law Society had a very clear programme there are people to speak to both within the Society and by way of contacting the trainers. My training group encompassed people from partner level to newly qualified from large firms to high street firms and there was a great sense of camaraderie.
Would I recommend it?
I would recommend to anyone who has a desire to pass on some of the knowledge that they learnt during their time in the profession to think about doing the mentoring training. Separate to any question of giving back to the profession, this training will make you think about how you communicate with clients, with peers, with superiors, and with decision makers. It will help you to identify your own goals and how to achieve those and I would thoroughly recommend this to other solicitors.