Support and mentoring for family lawyers

Support and mentoring for family lawyers

As a family lawyer would it help you to have support from someone who understands the stresses and pressures of the job?

Rachael sits as a Deputy District Judge and has been a specialist family lawyer for almost 30 years. She led a very successful family team in a major National Law firm managing over 100 staff before setting up Family Mediation & Mentoring with Claire. During her years in private practice Rachael has supported many lawyers to realise their potential, it is something she really enjoys doing.

Sometimes it is hard to talk with the managers and supervisors in your existing business which is why more lawyers now seek outside support. Some firms don’t provide coaching or mentoring programmes.

Support can take the form of “mentoring” or “coaching”.

Mentoring is support with the aim of encouraging people to manage their own learning in order that they may maximise their potential, develop their skills, improve their performance and become the person they want to be.

Mentoring provides

• support to encourage innovation and creativity, through an external sounding board able to challenge assumptions

• Working beyond professional/ organisational boundaries, to develop wider understanding and recognise the ‘bigger picture’

• Development of leadership skills for inevitable ongoing changes; ‘time out’ to reflect on their own and others’ learning and leadership approaches

• Feedback, challenge and support from an impartial person, able to ask powerful coaching questions and unlock potential.

The role of a Mentor can often get confused with that of a coach. Here are some examples of how these roles may differ:

Mentor

Agrees longer term development goals

Ongoing relationship that can last for a long period of time

Informal discussions and meetings take place as and when Mentee needs support, advice, guidance

Mentor is  usually more experienced and qualified than Mentee. Often Mentor is in a more senior role and can pass on knowledge, experience and supportfor different ideas and opportunities

Focus is on carer, project and personal development

Coach

Short-term and focused on specific areas/issues

Relationship generally has a set duration

Generally more structured in nature and meetings scheduled on a regular basis

A coach does not need to have any direct experience of the formal occupational role

Focus is generally on development issues and work related issues

Rachael knows how stressful it is being a family lawyer and can provide support in all sorts of areas, either as a mentor or coach, such as;

  • Planning your career path and how to get to where you want to be
  • Putting in place achievable development plans
  • Acting as a sounding board
  • Playing ‘devil’s’ advocate, challenging you to face up to difficult issues and to develop self-awareness
  • Helping to seek out opportunities and developmental tasks to address weaknesses, gaps in experience and knowledge, or to raise your profile
  • Developing skills for dealing with difficult and demanding clients and developing boundaries
  • Time management, successfully recording time and managing utilisation rates
  • Hitting your target
  • Building your professional network and business development
  • How to successfully create a social media profile
  • Bringing work in and new clients
  • Managing the stress of the job
  • How to work towards a work life balance

If you are thinking about using mentoring or coaching for personal or professional development, it is important to carefully think about what your expectations are and what you would like to achieve which will then be discussed together in an introductory meeting a couple of weeks before any formal sessions begin.

If you have any questions, please call Rachael on 07548 824932 or email Rachael@familymandm.co.uk

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