Information for lawyers

Mentoring at LAO

Information for Lawyers

Scope of mentoring relationship

LAO One-on-One mentoring program


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.


1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.