Mentoring, for purposes of continuing professional development (CPD) credit, is a relationship in which a lawyer with experience or expertise in a practice area or practice skill (the “mentor”) provides guidance or advice in support of the professional or practice goals of another lawyer, or an articled student in another firm, who requests assistance (the “mentee”) (Rules 3-26 and 3-30).

Mentoring can be either face to face or by telephone, including real time videoconferencing or by electronic means.

Mentor qualifications

  • A lawyer in practice either full or part-time, in Canada for seven of the 10 years immediately preceding the current calendar year
  • A lawyer who is not the subject of an order of the Credentials Committee under Law Society Rule 3-30(4)(c)
  • Need not be senior to the mentee, but must have sufficient experience or expertise in the subjects under discussion to enable the mentee to learn

Mentoring an articled student

You can claim credit for mentoring an articled student provided the student is working in another firm or workplace separate from yours. You cannot claim credit for mentoring a law school student or a law firm summer student.

Development and approval of a mentorship plan

The Law Society must approve in advance a mentorship plan.

A mentorship plan must include:

  • The mentee’s specific development and learning goals.
  • The mentoring goals must comply with the same categories of subject matter as required for any other CPD credit.
  • Mentoring goals that do not qualify for CPD credit include subjects such as client or business development, marketing or profit maximization, wellness or work life balance issues, or seeking advice on specific client files.
  • Mentoring must not simply answer questions about the handling of specific files. Mentoring should encompass broader practice issues and skills.
  • If the mentoring goals change, the mentorship plan must be revised to reflect the new goals.
  • A brief description of the mentor’s expertise or experience in the subject areas in which the mentee wishes guidance.
  • Whether the meetings are to be face to face or by telephone or a combination of the two.
  • An agreement that the parties plan to meet for a minimum of six hours over the course of the year.
  • An agreement to document the time spent and to finalize the mentorship plan when the six hours are complete.

Recording your credits

When the requirements of the mentorship plan have been completed, the mentor must log in and mark the plan as complete. The mentee’s record will automatically be updated. The six hours must have been completed before the mentor marks the mentorship plan as complete.

Accreditation of a mentor

The Credentials Committee, on a referral by the Executive Director or on the recommendation of the Discipline Committee, Practice Standards Committee or its own motion, can deny a mentorship proposal where sufficient concern exists about the suitability of the proposed mentor.