Mentoring scheme helps to share legal knowledge

Over the last 12 months, as most of us have been working from home, referring to our children, pets and other halves as our work colleagues, it can sometimes feel extremely lonely.

Having a mentor or a point of contact that you could talk to on a regular basis could help to combat the feelings of loneliness and isolation the three lockdowns have left many of us feeling. Couple that with students being unable to access mentors to help them grow their careers and it’s little wonder that mental health became a huge priority for many people.

GROW, which was founded by trainee solicitor Justin Farrance from Allen & Overy matches law students and early career professionals in the UK and US with experienced mentors to help improve access to the law and social mobility.

The mentorship was formed at the beginning of the lockdown and has flourished. In 12 months it has paired 1,200 mentees with mentors spanning more than 50 law firms, in-house legal teams and chambers.

Recently, Coventry University’s Law School has become the first faculty to form a collaboration with GROW, helping the next generation of lawyers into the profession.

Sharan Dhadda, associate lecturer and Coventry Law School’s liaison with GROW, said:

“This initiative is a means to connect aspiring lawyers with legal professionals. It allows students to gain an insight into what working life is truly like and provides them with a direct line with people who have taken a similar path.

“The driving force behind this programme is to enhance social mobility, diversity and inclusivity in the legal industry. The legal profession can seem somewhat daunting; however, GROW helps to minimise that by connecting the two worlds.”

Justin Farrance, who is currently a Law Society social mobility ambassador, added:

“Having virtually spoken to members of Coventry Law School, I was inspired by their efforts to support their law students and was very happy to launch GROW Coventry University.

“Mentorship is more important than ever in supporting diverse talent and I can’t wait to hear the progress students make with their career journey.”

More information about the mentorship programme can be found here.

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