Under the programme, students will have access to senior lawyers, barristers and prosecutors
College of Law NZ has introduced its new Multiple Mentoring Programme to support law graduates as they make the transition from completing their degree to beginning their legal career.
The programme gives LLB and JD students access to senior lawyers, barristers, partners and prosecutors in New Zealand. Participants are given the chance to interact with several mentors at the same time, in contrast to typical one-on-one mentorship programmes.
“The mentoring board and mentors have been delighted with the level of interaction from the outset. Mentees have been asking a variety of detailed questions ranging from law school paper selection through to the best ways in which to stand out in a busy employment market,” College of Law NZ CEO Marcus Martin said. “It is hoped that this level of interaction continues, and everyone involved benefits from the programme.”
The mentors for the Multiple Mentoring Programme were specially chosen by the mentoring board to represent “a wide cross-section of the profession,” College of Law NZ said.
“Our mentors reflect a broad spread of practitioners from international law, public law, and private practice, including commercial, environmental, criminal and family law. Unless a mentee’s question is practice-specific, it will be put to the mentor most able to answer it,” board chair Dr Robert Makgill explained. “Unless there is a specific calling for a mentor to have a deeper mentoring relationship with a specific mentee, we’re going to facilitate different mentors to different mentees.”
This process exposes mentees to experts from a wide range of practice areas, and makes it easier for mentors to manage time commitments, Makgill added. Crucially, the College of Law NZ’s team of clinical psychotherapists have helped to prepare the mentors, all of whom underwent a training process for the programme.
The NZ Bar Association has backed the initiative, as have the deans of the country’s law schools and the student presidents of law schools.