Mentoring opportunities at Legal Aid Ontario
One-on-one mentoring can be arranged through the district offices. Some maintain a local roster of mentors who have been approved, in advance, by the director general. In districts where a pre-approved list of mentors does not exist, the mentee may identify a mentor and submit the details to the director general for approval. If a mentee is having difficulty identifying a potential mentor, the district office may be able to assist. Mentors who provide one-on-one mentoring do so on a volunteer basis.
Scope of mentoring relationship
It is recommended that at the outset of the mentoring relationship the scope of a mentor's support be clarified to ensure both parties' expectations are aligned. The following checklist can assist in tailoring the mentorship to meet the expectations of both the mentor and the mentee.
Determine mentee's goals of mentorship
The mentee will clarify at the outset his/her needs during the mentorship:
- To have access to a mentor's advice during a specified period of time as matters arise to generally improve practice skills; and/or
- To have access to a mentor's advice relating to a specific case with respect to strategy, preparation, presentation, trial tactics, and feedback at conclusion of the matter.
Clarify terms of consultations
The mentor is volunteering his/her time and may determine at the outset:
- The duration of the mentorship, i.e. a specific number of months, or the expected duration of a specific case
- The frequency of consultations
- The methods for consulting, e.g. telephone, email, in person.
Clarify the mentee's role & responsibilities
The mentee is expected to:
- conduct his/her own research and to identify areas needing clarification. The mentor will assume that appropriate preparation has occurred prior to consultation - time is valuable;
- be receptive to honest feedback to ensure the maximum benefit of the mentorship;
- respect the time limitations of the mentor's resources;
observe the confidential nature of the relationship all matters discussed during the course of the relationship shall be confidential unless both parties agree to disclosure.
Clarify the role & responsibilities of the mentor
The mentor is expected to:
- clearly identify the scope of the relationship in terms of its duration and frequency of contact, to avoid unrealistic expectations;
- provide open, honest feedback in a context of professionalism and mutual respect;
- observe the confidential nature of the relationship;
- exclude direct involvement in: any dispute resolution; personal and financial matters; career advancement.
No-fault termination of mentorship
Either party may choose to conclude the relationship prior to the full term of the mentorship; at the onset both parties may wish to discuss the need to provide notice as a courtesy.
Acknowledgement and waiver
Mentoring acknowledgement form
This is to acknowledge that (Mentor) and (Mentee) are entering into a formal mentoring relationship
How to sign-up
To participate in the Legal Aid Ontario's mentorship program, please contact your district office. More information about the district offices is available on our Contact page.
Peel York district office
Director general: Paula Beard
Phone:1-905-595-3660 / 1-844-360-3660 (toll-free)
Toronto Central district office
Director general: Cynthia Harper
Phone: 1-416-598-0200 / 1-800-668-8258 (toll-free)
Toronto North district office
Director general: Tom Kelsey
Fax: 1-647-255-0157 / 1-844-573-1980 (toll-free)
North, Central and Eastern Region
Director general: Christine Lunn
Phone: 1-705-737-3400 / 1-888-590-3961 (toll-free)
Director general: George MacPherson
Phone: 1-613-238-7931 / 1-877-3174-0933 (toll-free)
Director general: Louise Huneault
Phone: 1-705-673-8182 / 1-866-366-4441 (toll-free)
Director general: Andreas Asmus
Phone: 1-807-737-3074 / 1-800-465-7552 (toll-free)
Director general: Carmelo Runco
Phone: 1-905-528-0134 / 1-877-449-4003 (toll-free)
Director general: Janet Froud
Phone: 1-519-433-8179 / 1-877-449-4001 (toll-free)
Director general: Kaitlyn McCabe
Phone: 1-519-255-7822 / 1-877-449-4002 (toll-free)
Fax: 1-519-255-1795 / 1-877-288-2372