As ACLA chief executive Peter Turner points out, junior lawyers can often find themselves thrown into quite senior in-house legal positions. But if they're working in small teams, or even as a sole practitioner, they might not have a more experienced colleague to turn to for advice.
In an effort to address this issue and other unique challenges new in-house lawyers face, ACLA has initiated a national mentoring scheme. Under the scheme, experienced senior in-house lawyers undergo a structured training program and then are paired with those seeking a mentor.
The mentor and mentee meet monthly over a six-month period, the mentee having the opportunity to seek guidance on a range of issues in a confidential setting.
According to Turner, the program has been extremely popular with the sector. "It's a resource our members turn to very willingly," he says. "And the interesting thing is we're getting positive feedback not just from the mentees, but also from the mentors, who find it very refreshing to be exposed to the views of younger and newer practitioners in the field."
More information about the ACLA national mentoring program can be found at www.acla.com.au.
Read more about the benefits of professional peer networking for in-house counsel, in Lawyers Weekly's feature -- Making the connection: Networking for the busy lawyer
For the latest news, views and analysis of issues affecting in-house lawyers, check out Lawyers Weekly's dedicated in-house site www.lawyersinhouse.com.au