David Bryson (Senior Legal Counsel, Baillie Gifford & Co) Charlotte Edgar (Solicitor, Morisons LLP) and Emma Shewan (Trainee Solicitor, Pinsent Masons LLP) formed a panel that received questions from an audience of prospective mentors and mentees at a recent Mentoring Information Evening held at our offices. Here is a selection of some of key questions that the audience wanted answers on:
"It depends! But typically, mentoring pairs aim to meet once a month however the current of focus of the relationship will drive how often mentors and mentees will catch up and sometimes pairs may engage more often, especially at the outset. As relationships mature the frequency of meetings often reduces."
"The pilot student-trainee mentor scheme ran for a 12 month period, with meetings taking place approximately once a month. As mentoring is a flexible relationship, mentors and mentees can arrange their meetings to fit within their study and work commitments."
"From a mentee's point of view, it helps to set out the end goal you are looking to work towards at your initial meeting. For meetings, I'll typically contact my mentor around a week beforehand to let them know what topic or challenge(s) I'm keen to explore. In terms of preparation, I tend to write down a few thoughts and brainstorm further points I want to cover – it helps give the meeting a structure and ensures the important points aren't forgotten!"
"Mentors and mentees are free to decide how long each mentoring session will last. We would normally expect meetings to last between thirty minutes to an hour, depending on the topics discussed. The mentor and mentee might also carry out some brief preparation before each meeting, for example thinking of questions to ask or possible short-term goals to set."
"Yes. Mentors on both the career development and student:trainee schemes receive a full day’s training from the Law Society’s external trainer. Most mentors find they can apply what they learn in other aspects of their lives as well as to mentoring relationships. This ‘free to you’ training will count towards your CPD for year as an added bonus."
"Yes you can. It has been said that ‘the best mentees make the best mentors’ and we would expect that being mentored would improve your own mentoring practice and having a mentee will help you learn how to get the most out of your mentor."
"In short, yes. It's absolutely fine to shift the goalposts if you've achieved the aim you set yourself at the beginning of the process. It's worth bearing in mind that the process itself can be a fluid one - if the 'mentoring relationship' is still working for both mentee and mentor, then all the more reason to continue."
If you are interested in participating in our award winning programme either as a mentor or a mentor, please visit the mentoring section of our website for more information or email the team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our upcoming mentor training sessions are on 8 May and 4 September 2019 and they're filling up fast! If you would like to book a space, get in touch at email@example.com as soon as possible.