A Mentor Moment with Joan Blumer

June 22, 2023

“Working with these eager young people has helped me to acknowledge and recognize that there are many different ways to achieve practice goals.”

Joan Blumer has been a mentor with the Law Society’s Mentor Connect program since 2017. 

Q: Why did you get involved with Mentor Connect?
A: “I had been reducing my practice to part-time in preparation for retirement and found myself with some extra time. I had found over the years that it is very difficult for new lawyers in the criminal defence realm to feel confident in their practical approach when they practice alone and have no one nearby from whom to seek help. Mentoring seemed a good fit with this perceived need and my more flexible schedule.”

Q: Tell us a bit about your current mentoring relationship(s):
“I have, over the past 5 years, been fortunate to mentor three energetic and dedicated young lawyers. The formal aspect of each of the mentorships has ended, but I am honoured that they still get in touch to discuss ongoing strategies and approaches to their legal practices.”

Q: How long have you been involved in mentorship?
“I have been involved in mentorship through the Law Society of Alberta since 2017.” 

Q: What do you enjoy the most about your role as a mentor?
“I have thoroughly enjoyed every one of the mentees for their unique practical approach to the practice of criminal law, and to the management and administration of their practice.”

Q: What do you hope your mentees take away from working with you?
A: “I hope that each mentee has been able to find some help in working through work/life balance issues, and the complex administrative requirements of running their own office and practice.”

Q: What have you learned from working with your mentees?
“Working with these eager young people has helped me to acknowledge and recognize that there are many different ways to achieve practice goals. Everyone approaches each issue from their own experience and perspective, which is very refreshing to witness.”

Q: If another lawyer is thinking about becoming a mentor, what should they know beforehand?
“Lawyers approaching a mentoring relationship will appreciate the flexibility of the commitment. They can commit whatever amount of time to mentoring that they have available. So long as parameters of the relationship are defined ahead of time and means of contact and consultation are clear to both parties, it will be a very satisfying relationship.”

The Law Society of Alberta offers Mentor Moments to acknowledge the contributions made by volunteer lawyers in their mentorship programs and to encourage other Alberta lawyers to consider participating. Read more Mentor Moments.

We do not attempt to verify mentors’ statements in their Mentor Moment profiles and the opinions expressed are solely their own. The Law Society of Alberta does not endorse any individual profiled or contents provided.