Live Long and Mentor

As a mentor, you can make a tangible impact on a law student’s school experience. In return, mentoring a law student can be rewarding for any practitioner.

August 2020

Live Long and Mentor

Mentorship has always been a key component to success for a first-year law student. Think back to who shaped your career in law. Did you have a mentor, or perhaps wish you had? Do you remember lessons and advice you received that you still use today? A mentor can make a real difference in an aspiring lawyer’s career, while giving back to the profession more broadly by guiding the next generation of lawyers.

This year, more than others, is an important one for mentoring students. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, most universities have shifted to primarily online instruction. Law students will study online with minimal opportunity for in-person learning, let alone attending industry functions, meeting lawyers or seeing our profession in action. As a mentor, you can make a tangible impact on a law student’s school experience.

In return, mentoring a law student can be rewarding for any practitioner.

For senior lawyers, seeing the world through someone who is just entering the profession provides a fresh perspective. It prompts questions and thoughts that can benefit even the most seasoned lawyer. A student's energy and passion is contagious and can renew inspiration in a long-standing career. Law students also tend to keep up with the current trends, so they may be valuable resources to navigate legal technology innovations.

New lawyers are uniquely positioned to provide the current advice on networking, finding articles and those first few years out of law school. Plus, guiding someone's introduction to a career in law provides opportunities for leadership development and supervisory experience.

I have been a mentor with the CBABC’s Law Student Mentorship Program at UBC since my first year of practice, and at TRU since its early days. I find it enriching and rewarding to connect each year with new students and to learn about why they have taken the step to seek a legal education. Indeed, it often reminds me of why I went to law school myself. I also recognize the incredible benefits that mentorship can have on the development of one’s career – especially for those from diverse and traditionally marginalized backgrounds.

Preston Parsons, Overholt Law

Need another reason to become a mentor? The well-known Harvard-Grant study, which tracked a group of 268 Harvard students from college through death, over 75 years later, found the following:

[Those] who were mentoring and building up the community, were much more successful in life than those who never did. They were happier, less likely to be depressed, and lived on average 8 years longer.1

So, there is actual science that says mentors live longer, are happier, and reach fulfillment in life from mentoring.

This year, our mentorship program is moving to the easy-to-use MentorCity platform. It offers a friendly, safe and confidential environment for communication between mentors and mentees, and includes many resources such as e-guides and online courses.

There are hundreds of first-year law students anxious to be matched every year, and we expect this year's enrollment to be even higher.

We need mentors in every area of the province. We are seeking mentors in every practice area and hope for a diverse pool of lawyers to match with BC law students, whether they are located locally or studying online from other Canadian provinces and abroad (e.g., UK and Asia).

Have you never been a mentor? No problem; we can provide tips and guide you through the process.

As Spock once said to Captain Jean-Luc Picard, “One can begin to reshape the landscape with a single flower, Captain.”2

Enrollment for the CBABC Law Student Mentorship Program opens on August 17.

1Why the Happiest People are Mentors” by Serena Gobbi, The Mentor Method |

2 Star Trek: The Next Generation |