Six dedicated members of the Mentoring Committee voluntarily work collaboratively towards realizing the goals of the Committee, including developing inspiring programming, providing community outreach, matching mentees with mentors, and promoting the WLAO’s vision through impactful messaging.
The Mentoring Program is at the heart of the Mentoring Committee. Through this Program, the Committee provides information and networking opportunities to WLAO members. Each spring (March) and fall (September), the Program matches newer Association members, members contemplating job changes, and members desiring guidance with established and experienced members. While matching members, the Committee places a special emphasis on personal fit to ensure each match will provide the opportunity to relate on a professional level.
The Committee also organizes events to target the different needs of mentees. A recent event, “Paths to the Bench,” featured a panel discussion by three special guests, The Honourable Justice Eugenia Papageorgiou of the Superior Court of Justice and former Law Society of Ontario bencher, Master P. Tamara Sugunasiri of the Superior Court of Justice and The Honourable Justice Laura Ntoukas, administrative judge of the Ontario Small Claims Court.
Through the WLAO, Vagmi Patel, chair of the Mentoring Committee, has found a community of security and support and encourages others to consider joining the WLAO. The Mentoring Committee echoes this sentiment:
“Despite the many strides the profession has made in the last few decades, there are still instances where certain experiences are isolating for women. It is important to know and remember that support is available to each WLAO member and to reach out.
Having a mentor early on in your legal career is very important. These relationships may help you define the practice areas you may want to practice in or the kind of lifestyle you may have to live. We now aim to create similar opportunities that we benefitted from for others through the mentoring committee.”
Mentoring – CHAIR, Vagmi Patel
It is the responsibility of the mentoring committee to provide information and networking opportunities by advising and matching newer Association members or those contemplating job changes or desiring guidance with established and experienced members. To accomplish this goal the committee will plan, promote and present regular opportunities for the of Association’s membership to meet. Applications for Mentoring program participation are solicited throughout the year, so that mentors and mentees can be matched.