STLA's Mentorship Program

 

PROGRAM OVERVIEW and OBJECTIVES

The STLA Mentorship Program is based on the belief that our members’ knowledge and experience is one of STLA’s most valuable assets. In large law firms, new lawyers often have the benefit of drawing upon the knowledge of experienced lawyers within their firm to assist them with specific situations.  As many STLA members practice in smaller firms or are sole practitioners, this type of one-on-one counseling and advice may not be readily available. Thus, STLA has established the STLA Mentorship Program to meet this important need.

 

Mentors shall provide guidance, support, and information to Mentees.  Topics covered will include, but not be limited to:

  • Development of practical skills
  • Discussion of career and practice management issues
  • Integrity and civility within the Saskatchewan Bar
  • Legal customs and appropriate decorum in and out of court
  • Encouragement of best practices and the highest ideals in the practice of law and the service of clients
  • Work-Life balance

The mentorship relationship between Mentees and Mentors is meant to foster and enhance professional and personal relationships within the litigation bar.  Specific cases, clients, and legal research will not form part of the Program’s content.  Client confidentiality and the ethical and reporting obligations imposed on members of the Saskatchewan bar shall be honoured by all participants of the STLA Mentorship Program at all times.

 

PROGRAM MISSION

Guidance, Information and Support for Trial Lawyers

 

PROGRAM TYPES

TIP – Transitioning Into Practice

The TIP branch of the STLA Mentorship Program is intended to be for law students and articling students wanting mentorship as they are transitioning into practice.

 

L2L – Lawyer to Lawyer

The L2L branch of the STLA Mentorship Program is intended to create and foster supportive relationships between active lawyers, regardless of their year of call.

 

The STLA believes that its members carry with them diverse personal and professional experiences which might be of benefit to each other.  

 

HOW THE PROGRAM WORKS

A paid STLA member may request the assistance of a Mentor from either the TIP or L2L programs by completing an application and signing a waiver form. The Mentorship Committee, with guidance from the STLA Executive Director, shall endeavour to pair up Mentees with registered Mentors. As a member’s practice changes or new challenges develop, that member might choose to apply to be a Mentee either for particular topics or with a more wide-ranging motivation.

 

Mentorship pairings are designed to be for a period of six months which can be deviated from as necessary in consultation with the Mentee, the Mentor, and the STLA Mentorship Committee.

 

Application for a Mentor is done through the STLA office by submitting a Mentorship Application (currently under development).

Application for a Mentee is done through the STLA office by submitting a Mentee Application (currently under development).

 

FAQs 

How much time is involved?

  • When specifically paired up, Mentors are expected to be available to a Mentee for a minimum of an hour per the six month mentorship.  The allocation of this time, and the manner of the communication between the Mentor and Mentee is up to the participants.  Additional time and meetings is up to the discretion and availability of the participants.

I’d like to be a mentor, but am I ready?

  • Even the most junior lawyer has gained valuable experience which can be shared to the benefit of another.  Junior STLA members with 5 years of call or less are encouraged to be a Mentor within the TIP program.  As all lawyers can remember, the process of transitioning into practice from student to practicing lawyer is a hard one – there is much to learn beyond the books and the classroom!

I am a veteran litigator, how can the Mentorship Program benefit me?

  • Every litigator faces continual changes in the form of new colleagues, evolving client bases, and various technologies in practice management and/or research.  As the litigation practice continues to change it is important for STLA members to continue to support each other, regardless of their year of call.  By becoming involved you can pass on some of your best habits and valuable war stories to younger lawyers and you might even learn a thing or two from them as well.

Would I be expected to fulfill the role of an articling principal or research assistant?

  • Absolutely not.  The STLA Mentorship Program is intended to compliment the articling program, the CPLED program, and other existing resources already available to lawyers. These mentorships are meant to be more informal relationships in which Mentees can be open and honest in their search for guidance and support that may not be available within these parallel and pre-existing programs.  No client files or information, and no specific legal advice or research should be discussed.

How are Mentors and Mentees paired up?

  • The STLA Mentorship Committee will review a Mentee’s application which shall include specific topics of interest as well as the Mentee’s relevant personal details. Any mentorship pairing will be made with the goal of providing the Mentee with the best available Mentor.  Consideration will be given to the Mentee’s stated interests, the Mentor’s reported history and expertise, and acknowledgment of any geographical or communication realities.

 

What if I don’t want to commit to a six-month one-on-one mentorship pairing?

  • The STLA Membership Committee will also organize small group meetings where a Mentors and Mentees will mix and mingle in a more informal and unassigned manner.  These casual settings will have limited participation so as to foster direct connections without longer term commitments.  Examples would be a ‘speed-dating’ format or just a group breakfast or luncheon centred on a specific, pre-arranged topic.

What are the limits of the mentorship?

  • Ongoing client confidentiality and Law Society reporting obligations must be honoured by all participants.  No specific client details shall be discussed.  Any criminal or unethical activities discovered during the mentorship that require reporting to the Law Society or any other authority shall be so reported.  The mentorship shall be used as a means of assisting a participant with their specific workload or professional obligations.  If a mentorship relationship is not working, participants are encouraged to bring the issue to the attention of the STLA Executive Director and/or the Mentorship Committee.  Mentorship pairings and activities can be reorganized as necessary.

Questions? 

Call or email Karen Roden, STLA Executive Director at 306.955.7850 or admin@stla.ca.

 

 

Events

 

Save the Date:

May 3, 2019

STLA Spring Conference

Civility, Ethics & Practice Management

TCU Place, Saskatoon

Anticipated CPD “ethics” credits are 6 hours.

For more information contact the STLA office via email admin@stla.ca

 

Short in CPD Credits?

Order past Teleseminars:

See Registration Form for programs offered

1 CPD Credit/Teleseminar
To register, complete the registration form above or contact the STLA office at admin@stla.ca