find the latest legal job
Corporate and Commercial Partner
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Full time · Join a leading Adelaide commercial law firm
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Sydney NSW
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
Legal Inhouse / Lawyer / Company Secretary
Category: Other | Location: Brisbane QLD 4000
· Fantastic Company · Potential to be Part Time / Flexible Work Pattern
View details
Part Time Risk & Compliance Officer
Category: Other | Location: Brisbane QLD 4000
· Brisbane City · Flexible Part Time Hours
View details
Mentoring fosters confidence for women in law

Mentoring fosters confidence for women in law

The confidence that structured mentoring offers women as they enter the legal profession cannot be underestimated, lawyer Magda Marciniak has said.

Ms Marciniak, special counsel at Melbourne-based Justitia Lawyers and Consultants, has actively mentored students every year since 2009 as part of a program run by the Victorian Women Lawyers and the Women Barristers’ Association.

"In my experience, having a mentor can improve a mentee’s confidence immensely. A big part of that confidence boost comes from the mentor simply demystifying the legal industry and providing encouragement.

"If you have confidence in yourself, you are half way there already," Ms Marciniak told Lawyers Weekly.

The Victorian lawyer now has a mentee tally of nine bright women, some who have since joined her firm. Ms Marciniak firmly believes that women in particular benefit from guidance traversing the common hurdles of a career in law.

"The mentoring program is an opportunity for women lawyers to help those coming into the industry after them. It enables students, many of whom have either limited or no experience of the [profession] to connect with women in law who want to assist them in the transition from university to working life," Ms Marciniak said.

"A mentor or network of mentors can assist more junior women to stay in the [profession], as a good mentor should be able to provide advice and encouragement about how to overcome difficulties, how to enjoy work and how to make a career in law work for you," she said.

With over a decade of experience in legal practice, Ms Marcinak also points to the value of a frank and open space where people can exchange honest feedback and share their experiences.

"I do not place any value on exclusivity and sugar coating," Ms Marciniak said.

"I also value women’s relationships, personal and professional, and think that the relationships we have with each other can be incredibly empowering and supportive. The mentoring program allows me to live my values in the legal industry," she said.

Ms Marciniak is one of a number of women in the ranks of Victoria’s legal fraternity who have offered a hand to up-and-comers as part of the Victorian Women Lawyers and the Women Barristers’ Association mentoring program.

The two associations joined forces in 2008 to offer a structured way to pair law students with women who have blazed their own professional trails in law for a period of 12 months. This year marks the ninth year that the program has been offered to Victoria’s next generation of lawyers, with 185 pairs of students and practitioners connected.

"This mentoring program creates connections between women of different ages and stages of professional life that might not otherwise be created without a formal program. For women students who may not have any pre-existing connections in law, this is a great opportunity to tap into a network of supportive women lawyers," Ms Marciniak said.

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 fosters confidence for women in law
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Nov 23 2017
Education a passion for YL president
Promoted by University of Melbourne. Melbourne Law Masters student Phoebe Blank is successfully j...
Crowd
Nov 23 2017
Anti-radicalisation programs playing ‘second fiddle’ to terrorism laws
Several academics have questioned the balance between Australia’s counterterrorism legislation and...
 William Ah Ket
Nov 23 2017
‘Bamboo ceiling’ thought piece wins inaugural law prize
A paper that explores the idea of affirmative action to achieve greater diversity among members of A...
APPOINTMENTS
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'...
opinion
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...
Help
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 & ...