One-on-One mentoring

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.

  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.

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.

  • Central East District
    – includes the counties of Haliburton, Bracebridge, Peterborough, Coburg, Durham, Kawartha Lakes, Orillia, Newmarket and Barrie

    Director General: Lisa Banerjee
    Phone: 705-737-3400 / 1-888-590-3961 (toll free)
    Email: banerjl@lao.on.ca

  • Central West District
    – includes the counties of Norfolk, Haldimand, Brant, Hamilton, Niagara, Halton, Peel and Dufferin

    Director General: Cynthia Harper
    Phone: 905-528-0134 / 1-877-449-4003 (toll free)
    Email: harperc@lao.on.ca

  • East District
    – includes the counties of Hastings, Lennox and Addington, Frontenac, Leeds and Grenville, Lanark, Renfrew, Ottawa and Carleton, Prescott and Russell and Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry

    Director General: Annik Wills
    Phone: 613-238-7931 / 1-877-314-0933
    Email: WillsA@lao.on.ca

  • North District
    – includes the districts of Kenora, Rainy River, Thunder Bay, Cochrane, Algoma, Timiskaming, Parry Sound and Sudbury

    Director General: Andreas Asmus
    Phone: 807-345-1972 / 1-866-297-5559 (toll free)
    Email: asmusa@lao.on.ca

  • Toronto District
    – includes East York, Etobicoke, North York, Scarborough and Old Toronto

    Director General: Tom Kelsey
    Phone: 416-598-0200
    Email: KelseyT@lao.on.ca

  • West District
    – includes the counties of Essex, Lambton, Chatham-Kent, Bruce, Grey, Huron, Perth, Oxford, Elgin, Middlesex, Wellington and Waterloo

    Director General: Kaitlyn McCabe
    Phone: 519-255-7822 / 1-877-449-4002 (toll free)
    Email: mccabek@lao.on.ca