“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” Those sage words are the guiding spirit behind the OTLA mentorship program. There are few things more worthwhile than mentorship. For the mentor, it provides the satisfaction of helping others. For the mentee, it provides an opportunity to learn and be guided by those who have come before. Mentorship is very much a labour of love.
This year, OTLA is reconstituting its mentorship program in the hope of furthering these principles. A booth has been set up outside where interested persons can sign up and participate. The program is not just for younger lawyers. All lawyers at all levels of experience feel the need to bend an ear from time to time. We are assembling a group of experienced practitioners to provide this support. In order to take full advantage of this, we are anxious to have any lawyers who might feel the need to talk, to sign up as mentees. Advice can be obtained on issues of substantive law, procedure, trial practice, ethics and even practice management, including setting up a law office, employment issues, marketing and dealing with the bank or Law Society.
Undoubtedly, many people feel embarrassed to ask for help. The mentorship program, however, is completely confidential. Interested persons would call the OTLA office and be put in touch with an experienced mentor, who is bound by strict confidence in dealing with the mentee. It might also be said that a mentorship program is unnecessary seeing as how we have the chatline.
The mentorship program, however, serves a very different and, in many ways, a more important function. It is there to deal with issues that do not admit of an instantaneous response. Follow up questions can be asked and guidance and support will be provided.
The members of the Mentorship Committee urge you to visit the booth and learn more about the program. We are certain that both mentors and mentees will benefit greatly from it.