find the latest legal job
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Banking and Finance Law | Location: All Perth WA
· Freelance opportunities through Vario from Pinsent Masons
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Adelaide SA
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Insurance Lawyer (1 PAE)
Category: Insurance and Superannuation Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Great Career Opportunity ·
View details
Insurance and Health Lawyer (1-4 PAE)
Category: Insurance and Superannuation Law | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· New position to support Growth ·
View details
Mentoring forms key piece in retention puzzle

Mentoring forms key piece in retention puzzle

Fay Calderone, DibbsBarker

The legal profession can prevent young lawyers from leaving the industry prematurely by offering them more support through mentorships, according to a DibbsBarker partner.

Speaking with Lawyers Weekly, DibbsBarker partner Fay Calderone (pictured) said: “We are losing young lawyers, and particularly young female lawyers, at a rate greater than we should be, and anything we can do to stop that is critical.”

She continued: “I think mentoring is one of those keys to not only harness talent, but stop them from leaving the profession prematurely.”

Mentoring young lawyers helps them to “understand their strengths and overcome their weaknesses”, developing them into successful professionals, according to Ms Calderone.

“A lot of the time, young lawyers are high achievers. They've come through with good grades, and they tend to be perfectionists and black and white in their thinking,” she said. “So it’s important they have that reassurance and support through a mentor that they don't necessarily have through a supervisor.”

Another benefit of having a mentorship is that it can help address and prevent mental health issues, Ms Calderone said.

“The statistics in our profession about depression and anxiety and people struggling with mental health are devastating,” she added.

“These things shouldn’t be happening and we need to recognise it and address it. Those channels where people do have a lifeline, or someone that they speak to at a more senior level who helps them develop and gain perspective, is critical.”

While it’s important that mentorships have structure, it’s also important to have informal channels of communication in place, she continued.

“Naturally, the times that they need you most will not be the planned meetings; it'll be when things go wrong from time to time.”

From a mentor's perspective, Ms Calderone said the role should not be looked at as a burden, but as an investment of time to help grow the future of the profession.

Ms Calderone said that while all young lawyers benefit from having a mentor, minority groups and females – who face additional challenges in the profession – benefit especially.

“Women are more likely to be discriminated against, bullied or sexually harassed at work. They're also likely to doubt their own abilities and suffer from imposter syndrome more," she explained.

“A good mentor can help young women confront their challenges, embrace vulnerabilities, focus on their strengths and let go of perfection.”


Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Mentoring forms key piece in retention puzzle
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Please, Continue (Hamlet), Melbourne Festival
Oct 16 2017
Hamlet suffers slings and arrows of top Victorian barristers
Victorian judges and barristers have performed the unique play Please, Continue (Hamlet) at the Melb...
Julian Assange
Oct 13 2017
When justice fails, according to Assange
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has dismissed the capacity of judicial systems to deal with complex...
Aussie anti-terrorism laws, detention of 10-year-olds
Oct 13 2017
Treatment of kids under Aussie anti-terrorism laws an over-reach: ABA
The Australian Bar Association has urged the government to reconsider proposed reforms to Australian...
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...