However hellish things may get as a law student, there is never a shortage of mentors to seek advice from.
Yet those options thin down during the course of a training contract, and drop off drastically after qualifying. Where once you enjoyed a pick n’mix of lecturers and fellow students; your field of potential mentors narrows to within one organisation. And yet this is a time when you will face even more challenges as a lawyer than you have at any point before. And these challenges will not be drills.
It is against this backdrop – coupled with Legal Geek’s aim of addressing the gender imbalance in the law and tech spaces – that Legal Geek’s Women in LawTech Mentoring Scheme launched last week. The programme brings together a group of diverse legal professionals across 8 countries for a 6-month programme designed to connect, educate and inspire women working in legal and tech.
It is spearheaded by Ivy Wong, a former lawyer turned legal product manager at Lexoo, and the first cohort counts 44 participants. The launch party was hosted by University College London where Wong facilitated a kick off discussion about the motivations behind participants giving up their time to mentor or receive mentorship.
The group’s key motivations (for both mentors and mentees) were:
- To learn more about the LawTech space in general
- To learn and exchange skills
- To pass on valuable experience having received mentorship in the past
- To expand their network
The mentorship partnerships will meet individually once a month (as a minimum) with further meetings arranged as required.
Programme head Ivy Wong said:
“Given the evolution of LawTech over the last couple of years, I believe this is the perfect time to launch a mentoring programme while at the same time grow our Women in LawTech community. The response has been really positive so far. Our objective is to ensure LawTech develops into a diverse and inclusive industry, and we’re trying to figure out how to get there together – it’s a really collaborative project which everyone is invested in.
“I was delighted with our first meeting. The mentorship group has some shared goals mixed with individual motivations, which is a good place to be. But it’s the commitment the participants made to be involved which is the most pleasing. Lots of our mentors are very senior professionals making time for this because they want to and see how important it is. As for the mentees, many of them have busy schedules, but are determined to keep developing personally as well as professionally.”
Ivy Wong is Legal Product Manager at Lexoo and a former lawyer at Allen & Overy. She publishes a newsletter covering the latest thinking on in-house legal function and is an adviser to Legal Geek’s Women in LawTech group.
To keep up to date with the progress of the first cohort follow Ivy Wong and Legal Geek on LinkedIn and Twitter, or register for our second cohort here.