Tag: Mentoring

21 Oct

Mentoring: An Offer You Can’t (or shouldn’t) Refuse

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On Monday I wrote about the importance of mentoring. Today I’d like to illustrate. A November 2008 report by former Superior Court Chief Justice Patrick LeSage and University of Toronto law professor (now Superior Court Justice) Michael Code questioned the adequacy of sanctions for courtroom misconduct.

Up until recently, judges had two options to deal with inappropriate behaviour in the courtroom: a finding of contempt or referral to the Law Society of Upper Canada for possible disciplinary action. Out of the Code/LeSage report has come the recommendation and recent implementation of mentoring as a third option for behaviour not serious enough to merit disciplinary action.

Mentoring has traditionally been a learning mechanism that is completely voluntary, in that it is sought out and arranged by mentor and mentee on a more or less informal basis. Mentoring is taken to the next level with the new LSUC Mentoring Referral Protocols, which invite Ontario Court and Superior Court judges to identify lawyers in need of mentoring. 

Requests go to LSUC’s CEO, Malcom Heins. If mentoring is considered an appropriate response, the lawyer will receive a letter identifying the impugned behaviour together with a consent form. If the lawyer accepts mentoring, he or she will be referred to the Advocates Society, the Criminal Lawyers Association or the Ministry of the Attorney General to be paired with an appropriate mentor in his or her area of practice. For more information see this article in The Lawyer’s Weekly.  

Many legal organizations offer mentoring on a casual, as needed or ongoing basis. Here are some for your reference, should you wish to be a mentee or a mentor:

  1. The Advocates’ Society
  2. The Criminal Lawyers’ Association
  3. The Law Society of Upper Canada
  4. The Ontario Bar Association
  5. The Women’s Law Association of Ontario

It is worth noting that although our regulator has reponsibility for those amongst us who do not act as we should, LSUC’s Mentorship Program extends far beyond the Mentoring Referral Protocols. It is comprised of three initiatives that match volunteer lawyers with those interested in becoming lawyers; students-at-law to provide assistance and advice with their careers; and practising lawyers in general need of advice.

Happy Mentoring!

Sharon Davis

Sharon Davis – Click here for more information on Sharon Davis.

19 Oct

Lexpert Zenith Awards

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Last week Lexpert held the inaugural event for its Zenith Awards Celebrating Leading Women Lawyers. In a room sparkling with cool acrylic chairs and brilliant crystal chandeliers, brighter still shone the accomplishments of the 23 extraordinary women who were honoured for their outstanding achievement in the legal profession. Click here to see the list of recipients and to learn more about the Zenith Awards. 

Award winners were surrounded by the women and men who supported them throughout their careers and continue to do so. Navigation of the labyrinth takes dedication, smarts and resolve, true; but a little help can’t hurt every now and then. Support from peers is a gender neutral need that is undiminished by the passage of time or the accumulation of awards. In recognition of the necessary value of that support, at the heart of the Zenith Awards was the dedication of the recipients to mentoring. Honourees were paired with young women who, over the next year, will benefit tremendously from their mentor’s experience, support and network. 

Mentoring is not only a useful “nice-to-have” for Mentees; it is the fundamental component of excellence in the profession. We have a collective obligation to our peers and society to provide the guidance and support required to ensure we continue to flourish as a respected profession.

Many thanks to Lexpert, a Thomson Reuters Business, Editor-in-Chief extraordinaire Jean Cumming, and the incomparable Paula Todd, Emcee, for providing a spectacular evening of celebration.


A little motivation for a "Mentoring Monday" as you start your week!

Sharon Davis

Sharon Davis – Click here for more information on Sharon Davis.


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