Building on the success of last years scheme, the 2019 Legal Geek Women in LawTech Mentoring Scheme has already received over 60 applications. The programme focuses on connecting, educating and inspiring women through a 6-month mentoring scheme.
With just a few days to go until the application deadline, and with a large number of high quality mentees looking to be matched with mentors, we caught up with programme leader Ivy Wong to find out what the program has to offer mentors in particular.
What do you think last years mentors got out of the scheme?
We’ve had incredible feedback from the 22 mentors that joined us for last years’ programme. They came from various backgrounds across the industry – from startup founders to senior executives and law firm partners – and all shared a dedication to helping develop the pipeline of female talent in lawtech through mentoring, despite their busy schedules.
Many have found it incredibly rewarding to offer their experience and skills to someone outside their existing connections, and have also used this as an opportunity to reflect on their own career. Through our networking events, mentors have also had the chance to grow their own networks.
Why six months and what happens afterwards?
When we set up the programme, we felt that six months was an appropriate length of time to establish a good mentoring relationship. I’ve found that many mentors/mentees have decided to continue the relationship informally after six months. I think the nature of the relationship may change over time – mentors may end up turning to mentees for help later on down the line – the key is that connections are made that will benefit participants at some point in their careers.
What were your personal highlights?
I’ve always enjoyed connecting people with similar interests. To do this on a bigger scale, across an industry that I find fascinating, has been especially rewarding. I’ve also enjoyed hearing about tangible results of the scheme; as an example, one mentee told me that her mentor’s advice helped her successfully negotiate a salary raise from her employer. I’m hoping to hear more of these stories in the course of the second cohort.
What kind of support are the mentees looking for?
Mentees, like mentors, come from a range of backgrounds, such as in startups, legal services or in-house legal. They all share an interest in lawtech, and they’re looking for a mentor to help them navigate this fast-moving field. In addition, our mentees are women who are early on in their lawtech careers and looking to have access to senior figures in the industry. I like to think this programme helps give them a head start.
Who can be a mentor?
We are looking for mentors with at least 5 years’ relevant work experience in startups, legal services, in-house legal or similar. We’ve opened it up to male mentors this year and I’m particularly excited to see how it develops. Most importantly, we’re looking for mentors who are keen to help us make sure that talented women develop successful careers in lawtech in the coming years.
Applications for mentors for the 2019 Legal Geek Women in LawTech Mentoring Scheme close on Friday 25th January. You can apply through the Legal Geek website.