New mentorship initiative for junior lawyers

Junior lawyers who are stressed at work and need a listening ear can soon turn to a senior in the profession who acts as mentor under a new initiative by the Law Society of Singapore.

It was announced by LawSoc president Gregory Vijayendran on Monday, during his speech at this year's Mass Call, a proceeding that formally admits lawyers to the Bar.

When the scheme is rolled out in the next two months, the society will match junior lawyers - those with fewer than five years of experience - with a senior mentor, on request.

Mr Vijayendran said at the event held at the Supreme Court auditorium: "We cannot underestimate the extraordinary work pressures and job stresses in Singapore that may lead to (setbacks)." He added that the legal world is, similarly, not immune to this.

Junior lawyers will be able to turn to their mentors for career counselling or when faced with ethical conundrums.

The new scheme will focus on relational mentorship, unlike the society's current PracMentor scheme, which allows young lawyers to seek technical advice in specialised practice areas from senior lawyers.

Of the 5,117 practising lawyers here, around 34 per cent - or 1,750 - are in the junior tier, according to the latest figures from the society. A LawSoc spokesman said the numbers are expected to increase after this year's Mass Call, as newly called lawyers begin to apply for their practising certificates.

Mr Vijayendran hopes to have at least 50 mid-tier and senior lawyers on board to provide one-on-one mentorship.

Ng Huiwen

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 30, 2017, with the headline 'New mentorship initiative for junior lawyers'. Print Edition | Subscribe