By DebbieH 03 Dec 2013 7 min read

Law student mentoring scheme attracts over 600 volunteers

Legal practitioners who have volunteered to act as mentors to the next generation of lawyers, convened at The University of Law’s London Bloomsbury centre last week for the launch of its annual mentoring scheme.

More than 200 legal professionals are taking part in the scheme across the University’s two London centres alone, with a total of nearly 620 mentors recruited across the University’s eight nationwide centres.

Under the scheme students with limited previous experience of the legal profession are matched with mentors from the practice areas they are interested in. Mentors offer guidance on vital areas such as network-building and gaining experience, writing job applications and dealing with interviews.

The University of Law launched its mentoring scheme in 1997 with just nine mentors. The popularity of the programme with both students and mentors led to the extension of the scheme to all of the centres nationwide, making the University one of the first law schools in the country to deliver mentoring on a national scale.

Bridget Lavin, Careers Consultant at The University of Law and the organiser of the London scheme, said: “More and more solicitors and barristers are coming forward to offer their services as they know how challenging it can be to gain a foothold in the profession and many volunteer year after year. Successful lawyers can share a wealth of practical experience and wisdom and taking part also contributes to their own career development by building their mentoring and people skills.

“The students find it invaluable as they learn more about their areas of interest and gain a deeper understanding of what it means to be in practice, which builds their self-confidence.”

The scheme attracts solicitors from corporate, commercial and high street law firms as well as publicly funded and government organisations. Mentors at the University’s Birmingham and London Bloomsbury centres also include practising barristers. All receive full support from University staff before being paired with their mentees.

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Photo: Mentor Rebecca Aron (left) chats to her mentee Richard Acheampong, a student at the University’s London Moorgate centre, and his fellow student Sahel Pirzadeh from the London Bloomsbury centre