Mentoring opportunities at Legal Aid Ontario
Second Chair Program
Directed exclusively at private bar lawyers who are working on LAO‑funded cases, the Second Chair program allows new or mid‑career lawyers to benefit from the knowledge and experience of more experienced or senior lawyers. One lawyer serves as the “second chair” on a case, providing new or mid‑career lawyers with an opportunity to obtain hands‑on training from more experienced or senior counsel.
Learn more about the Second Chair program here.
LAO LAW case-by-case mentorship program
The Case-by-Case Mentorship Program is administered by LAO LAW.
LAO LAW has created an approved list of mentors who provide advice via email to certificate lawyers who have questions regarding practice and certificate matters. Questions submitted electronically are fielded through LAO LAW, who will contact lawyers on the approved list of mentors to ensure availability.
Questions will be forwarded to mentors on a rotating basis, to avoid excessive demand on individual mentor’s time.
Lawyers wishing to access this service must log in to LAO LAW’s website, where they will be provided with a response and advice within 48 hours.
Note that while LAO LAW’s services are provided free of charge, lawyers accessing the services must be registered with LAO and be representing a client using a legal aid certificate.
Mentorships for roster members
The following mentorships for LAO roster members are administered by the director general in the district where a lawyer practices.
One-on-one mentorship is relatively informal and LAO expects the scope of the mentor‑mentee relationship to be agreed upon and structured by the mentors and mentees.
Details about one-on-one mentoring can be found here.
Shadowing opportunities for new duty counsel lawyers
Lawyers interested in doing duty counsel work may take advantage of opportunities to shadow experienced duty counsel to gain an understanding of the pace and nature of duty counsel work. These opportunities will be identified by and coordinated with the district director general or the local supervisory duty counsel.
Lawyers wishing to take on duty counsel work must apply to the manager of duty counsel services or the relevant supervisory duty counsel.