As a business lawyer, my favourite hat to wear is that of business litigator. I truly enjoy my role in the court room above any other. However, there are many other interesting hats I wear and as I become more senior in the practice, those hats are worn more and more frequently.
The lawyer as mentor is a role we take on from day one as a newly called lawyer. We are de facto mentors to the articling students and others who are considering a career in law, but have not yet entered the profession.
We can encourage high school students as they select undergraduate paths of study and recommend the best LSAT study format that we know of.
Mentoring does not have to be for a long period of time, it can simply be for the length of a conversation.
Formal opportunities to mentor exist for lawyers through the Law Society of Upper Canada as well as many associations, including the Canadian Bar Association. The new Ryerson LPP program will use lawyers to mentor groups of four students: what a fantastic way to get involved with new and (hopefully) enthusiastic lawyers.
As legal professionals, I believe we have a duty to mentor: it’s part of what makes us professionals.