Mentoring is a collaborative learning partnership where both the Mentor and the Mentee will benefit and learn from each other. The parties should, at the beginning of the mentoring relationship, set out the goals they would each like to achieve over the course of the year. Setting this out in writing will assist the parties to be clear on the expectations and the learning agenda of the Mentee and, if appropriate, the Mentor.
Goals can include professional development, career planning, networking, work-life balance issues and any other professional or personal issues that the parties agree to discuss.
Mentoring is not counseling. Mentors do not have experience in recognizing or helping with issues such as suicide, depression, substance abuse or other serious medical conditions. Mentees are encouraged to seek independent medical or mental health assistance for these or any other conditions and not look to the Mentor for assistance in these areas. For example, the parties may wish to investigate the assistance provided through the Lawyers Assistance Program and PPC Canada.
If a Mentee believes that she may be facing discrimination or harassment in her workplace, then she may be able to discuss the matter with her Mentor; however, if the Mentor feels that the Mentee should speak to someone more formally, then the parties may wish to investigate the assistance provided through the Law Society’s Equity Ombudsperson.