|For immediate release||June 21, 2013|
Aboriginal mentorship program launched today is first of its kind in North America
Vancouver – Coinciding with National Aboriginal Day, the Law Society has launched a new program designed to retain and advance Aboriginal lawyers in BC.
The Aboriginal Lawyers Mentorship Program pairs experienced lawyers with Aboriginal lawyers who have been practising for fewer than three years. The senior lawyer acts as a mentor and provides support and professional development guidance to the less experienced lawyer.
“Aboriginal people are underrepresented in the legal profession,” said Maria Morellato, QC, chair of the Equity and Diversity Advisory Committee. “The Law Society wants to see more young Aboriginal lawyers stay in the profession and we believe strong mentoring is a good way to start.”
The Law Society is currently recruiting mentors for the program. Lawyers who want to volunteer must have more than three years of call in any jurisdiction in Canada, be willing to commit for one year and be prepared to meet with the Aboriginal lawyer at least once per month, either in person, by phone or at networking events.
“Mentoring is a tradition in the legal profession, but this is the first time a program has been created specifically for Aboriginal lawyers,” said Andrea Hilland, policy and legal services lawyer with the Law Society.
The program is a partnership between the Law Society, the Canadian Bar Association, BC Branch's Aboriginal Lawyers Forum and the Indigenous Bar Association.
The Law Society of British Columbia regulates the more than 10,000 lawyers in the province, setting and enforcing standards of professional conduct that ensure the public is well-served by a competent, honourable legal profession.
For further information or to arrange an interview contact: