26 THE ADVOCATE
VOL. 77 PART 1 JANUARY 2019
Thompson Rivers University with participating lawyers from across the
Mentoring can also happen informally, through personal connections.
Friends may have children or other family members who are interested in
the law. More frequently, law students and graduates will contact your firm
looking for work experience or an articling position. Even if your firm does
not have a position available, consider taking the time to meet the individual
for coffee. Mentoring takes many forms—ask a student to bring in a
resume and offer them feedback; offer some insight into your practice area,
especially if they are unsure about the area they want to specialize in; recommend
books or articles; and ask if they would be interested in “job shadowing”
(when appropriate). For example, if you are a litigator, ask them if
they want to watch you in chambers or observe an anticipated interesting
cross-examination during one of your trials.
Mentoring can be beneficial to all concerned. Most senior counsel will
always remember the lawyers who helped them when they were at an early
stage of their career. As a younger lawyer, do not underestimate the impact
your perspectives will have on others who are interested in the profession.
CONTRIBUTING TO THE COMMUNITY AT LARGE
As lawyers, we are often confronted with prospective clients unable to
afford our services. Some may require a lawyer in a different area of law.
While it is necessary to balance time and fees, it is also important to provide
individuals with information about resources and the next steps. Advocacy
begins at your own firm. Prospective clients look to lawyers for answers,
and a little research can go a long way to point prospective clients in the
right direction while building goodwill towards your own practice or firm.
Beyond providing legal advice and advocacy, a great demand exists for
law graduates in non-law-related organizations and charities. Many groups
would love to have a law graduate or a young volunteer lawyer to provide a
unique perspective. Giving back to the community is a great way for young
lawyers to start their career. It can help by expanding your network and setting
yourself apart in future interviews and interactions with senior counsel.
Pro bono is rewarding on many levels. Most organizations are flexible about
their time commitments, and a young lawyer can volunteer almost anywhere,
for a few hours a month to a few hours a week.
There are countless benefits to volunteering for a pro bono program. In
addition to contributing to the community, you gain valuable advocacy skills,
better your client-management skills, increase your confidence and develop