The Ontario Trial Lawyers Association has established a mentorship program that offers mentoring support to its members. The purpose of the program is to offer guidance and assistance on various issues, including those that relate to their practice, general advice on handling their matters, or work / life balance.

OTLA encourages mentoring as a practical way for members of the profession to enhance their professional and personal growth. Mentoring also provides excellent opportunities for individual lawyers to connect with others who practice Plaintiff Personal Injury law and share their experience.

This guide has been developed to support OTLA's mentoring initiatives. It is a practical resource for both mentors and mentees. The guide offers useful advice in developing a mentoring relationship and a framework how to make a mentoring relationship work.

***As per our Disclaimer, the Mentors and Mentees acknowledge that OTLA shall not bear any legal responsibility arising out of any aspect of the Mentor/Mentee relationships.

What is Mentoring?
Mentoring is defined as, “...the passing on of skills, knowledge and wisdom from one person to another. Mentoring relationships can be informal and unstructured, more complex and procedure-based, or somewhere in between”.

The Program
OTLA’s mentoring program will allow mentees to choose from a list of OTLA members offering mentorship on different topics. The intent is an informal matching of mentors and mentees on a one-time basis, although more long-term mentoring relationships may naturally develop. 

Mentoring sessions should be kept short to encourage both mentors and mentees to use the service. 
The intent is not for the mentor to teach an area of law to the mentee; rather, the intent is to provide a resource for mentees to receive guidance or assistance with the challenges they face in the practice of law and to provide the member an experienced colleague they can contact to receive advice and guidance on specific topics on an as-needed basis.

The Role & Expectations of the Mentor
•    Recognize that mentors will not make decisions for the mentee. Mentors will, however, offer advice, guidance and act as a sounding board.

•    A Mentor should not be expected to find a job for the mentee nor should the Mentee approach a Mentor in this regard.

•    Be patient with your mentor's schedule and respectful of the fact that your mentor is giving up valuable time to provide you with guidance. The mentor is providing an invaluable service that should not be taken for granted. When appointments are scheduled, please show up prepared and on time.

The Role & Expectations of the Mentee
•    Recognize that mentors will not make decisions for the mentee. Mentors will, however, offer advice, guidance and act as a sounding board.

•    A Mentor should not be expected to find a job for the mentee nor should the Mentee approach a Mentor in this regard.

•    Be patient with your mentor's schedule and respectful of the fact that your mentor is giving up valuable time to provide you with guidance. The mentor is providing an invaluable service that should not be taken for granted. When appointments are scheduled, please show up prepared and on time.