Successful lawyers want on-the-job training

Firms use mentoring programs to attract new lawyers

A new poll reveals that 80 per cent of lawyers surveyed believe that mentoring junior-level associates on either an informal or formal basis is “very important.”

The Affiliates, a staffing service specializing in project lawyers and legal support personnel, developed the survey. It was conducted by an independent research firm. One hundred lawyers from among Canada’s 500 largest law firms responded.

As The Affiliates’ Sheron Hindley-Smith pointed out, “Mentoring programs require careful planning, implementation and evaluation in order to ensure value for all parties.” It was not clear from the survey how many law firm mentoring programs – some of which are “informal” – actually meet these criteria.

According to Hindley-Smith, however, law firms are recognizing that mentoring programs attract new lawyers. For that reason, firms may be willing to invest the time and resources needed to establish a successful program.

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