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Mentor Express is like online shopping for mentors. Mentees browse an online listing of mentors and choose sessions with whichever mentors they are interested in meeting. The self-match system allows mentees to seek guidance and insight relevant to their own career development with a variety of mentors in different work settings.
How does it work?
- Interested mentors and mentees fill out online applications to be considered for the Mentor Express program. Mentors must have practised at least five years to join the program.
- Once approved, mentors fill out a short online profile about themselves with a photo and provide some dates when they would be available to meet with mentees. We ask mentors to make themselves available for up to six sessions over the course of the program year.
- As part of their profiles, mentors also choose specific tags to better describe the perspective they are able to offer (practice areas, interests, experiences).
- Mentees can visit the mentor listing as often as they wish to see who they may be interested in meeting.
- Mentees book meetings with their preferred mentors on a first come, first served basis. They do this by simply clicking on the meeting dates listed on mentors’ profiles.
- Mentees can log in to their “My Sessions” page to see a list of the mentoring sessions they have booked and get their mentors’ contact information.
- Mentors can see which mentees have booked sessions with them by logging in and viewing their “My Sessions” page.
- Mentees are responsible for contacting their mentors to confirm when and where they will meet and to make any changes if needed.
- There are no assignments, tasks or deadlines. Conversations and topics are driven by the mentee.
- To get the most out of Mentor Express, we encourage mentees to prepare by asking themselves: Why did I choose to meet this specific mentor? What guidance or insight am I seeking from them? What are some questions I’d like to ask them?
Frequently Asked Questions
The Mentor Express program facilitates one-time one-hour meetings between experienced lawyers as mentors and less-experienced lawyers or articling students as mentees. Each mentor meets with a cross section of mentees over the course of the year. Each mentee may meet with multiple mentors or choose to hold all sessions with the same mentor if agreed upon.
The Law Society offers two other kinds of mentorship programs:
- Mentor Connect matches mentors and mentees for a traditional one-on-one mentoring relationship. The Law Society does the matching based on areas of law, location, personal experience and similar interests. One mentee. One mentor. Lasts one year.
- AdvisorLink connects lawyers or articling students with more experienced lawyers to answer one-off substantive law inquiries. Requests are made to the Law Society by phone or through an online form.
Some lawyers have told us that while they would love to be a mentor through Mentor Connect, they don’t have the time to devote to a long-term mentoring relationship. While there is unrivalled value in long-term mentoring, the Law Society has created Mentor Express for mentees and mentors seeking broader exposure and more flexible mentoring relationships.
Like Mentor Connect and AdvisorLink, participation in Mentor Express is free and available to all Alberta lawyers and articling students.
In the future Mentor Express may be available to law students but for now it is limited to lawyers and articling students.
Almost certainly you are. Having practised for at least five years, you have gained hard-won experience and insight into how best to deal with clients, other lawyers and judges. You enjoy practising law without letting it be the only thing in your life. Your successes and failures have taught you lessons that might benefit others, and which you are willing to share.
Mentor Express is different from other mentoring programs that require mentors to devote significant amounts of time and energy getting to know a single mentee. In Mentor Express, a mentor’s time commitment is limited to one hour a month and spread over several months with multiple mentees. Participation looks like this:
- A mentor fills out an online application on our website to be part of the Mentor Express program.
- Once approved, you fill out a short online profile about yourself with a photo and provide some dates when you would be available to meet with mentees. We ask mentors to make themselves available for up to ten sessions over the course of the program year.
- As part of your profile, you also choose specific tags to better describe the perspectives you can offer (practice areas, interests, experiences).
- Mentees book meetings with their preferred mentors on a first come, first served basis by simply clicking on the meeting dates listed on mentors’ profiles.
- Mentors can see who booked their sessions by logging in and viewing their “My Sessions” page.
- There are no assignments, tasks or deadlines. Conversations and topics are driven by the mentees.
That is up to you. We recommend doing an average of one mentorship session per month. One of the key features of this program is that scheduling is completely up to you. We advise against posting all mentorship sessions for a single day or week as this may not provide the best experience for you or the mentees you meet.
Mentor Express offers a unique learning and relationship opportunity which you direct yourself. You match yourself with the mentors you want to meet. The self-match system allows you to seek guidance and insight relevant to your own career development and interests. Participation looks like this:
- Interested mentees complete an online application form on our website.
- Once approved, Law Society staff will send you the link for the Mentor Express platform.
- From there, you can visit the mentor listing as often as you wish to see who is available and the dates you might meet them.
- Book meetings with your preferred mentors on a first come, first served basis by simply clicking on the meeting dates listed on mentors’ profiles. Note: You are limited to one session per mentor but can meet with up to ten different mentors.
- You can log in to your My Sessions page to see which mentor sessions were successfully booked and your mentors’ contact information.
- You are responsible for contacting your mentors to confirm when and where you will meet and to make any changes if needed.
I would like to talk to a mentor living in another city. Do the mentor sessions have to be in-person?
No. While in-person mentorship sessions are best, we understand this may not always be possible. You are able to arrange online meetings and mentees are responsible for technological arrangements.
As a mentee, what can I do if I’m interested in meeting with a specific mentor but they do not have any sessions available?
Participating mentors are asked to commit to up to six mentorship sessions over a year. If the sessions of your preferred mentor(s) are filled, we ask you to respect their availability and seek other mentors.
After a mentee books a mentoring session, it is up to them to contact the mentor to confirm meeting details. If the session needs to be re-scheduled, the mentor and mentee should contact each other directly to make alternative arrangements.
The goal of Mentor Express is to facilitate one-time meetings between multiple mentors and mentees. If both of you are willing, you are more than welcome to arrange additional meetings outside the Mentor Express program.