Last week I attended a conference organized by the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers. During the Q&A session my former classmate, a friend and a passionate human rights advocate inquired about mentorship opportunities available to us, new calls, who are interested in pursuing careers in social justice. This is how I learned about LAO’s Second Chair program.
This program allows new calls and junior lawyers seek mentorship from more senior lawyers. There are two types of mentorship.
The first one is a case-by-case opportunity whereas a new call is tackling an interesting case which can benefit from the knowledge and expertise of a more senior lawyer. This opportunity is also open to a senior lawyer dealing with a case that he or she believes would provide a useful learning to a new call.
The second opportunity is open to practitioners working on small or medium sized cases. These lawyers can obtain a pre-approval for a pre-determined number of mentoring numbers.
Benefits of the Second Chair program:
- New Calls get an opportunity to work closely with senior counsel
- Mentors are paid for their mentoring
- Exposure to interesting and complicated cases
Shortcoming of the program:
- Applies only to legal aid funded cases
- Need to have a specific case to apply for mentorship
- Mentors need to take active role in obtaining the pre-approval
For more information about the program, please click here.