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Dear future mentees in the LPP

By Inga Andriessen

I’ve had the privilege of being a mentor lawyer to over 24 of the law society’s Law Practice Program (LPP) candidates over the past three years. These are lawyers who have graduated law school and are choosing the LPP instead of articling.

The last week of August will be the fourth year of the program and I’m looking forward to being a mentor again. Before I learn the names of my mentees (I actually call them mentos because it is just more fun that way) and at that point, make it more personal, here is my “welcome letter” to my future mentos.

Dear future mentos:

Congratulations on choosing the LPP! This program is amazing and will give you the opportunity to be a very well rounded, ethical and focused lawyer as you start out on your law career.

I’m excited to be your mentor and play a role in your development as a lawyer. Let’s be clear here: while this will be amazing and rewarding, it won’t be easy.

If you have never been told you need to improve, odds are, I will be the first person telling you how you can improve. If you are used to having someone find “the good” in a completely terrible piece of work, it won’t be me. I’m not getting you ready for your next step in your education: I’m getting you ready to be a lawyer in the Province of Ontario.

I expect you to think about the audience you are writing for. I expect you to learn the Rules of Professional Conduct and discuss them thoughtfully. I expect you to consider the fact that you will soon be paid over $ 100 per hour to give advice: that advice had better be spell and grammar checked.

I also expect you to have a life. A real life. Not the one where “I read case law in Latin in my spare time.” No. We are going to dive deep into that “work/life balance” concept and we’re going to work together to ensure you have all the best tools available to you to have a great career.

I’ve been a lawyer for over 24 years and I still love it. I’m excited to meet you and work with you and lay the groundwork where you can also love what you do.

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