Mentoring

Are you interested in having a mentor?

We offer an informal mentoring scheme to support law students who want to work in legal aid, and legal aid lawyers in the early stages of their careers. If you would like a mentor who could give you advice about working in legal aid or simply talk to you about life in practice, please complete this form

Note: our mentors are able to provide informal advice on writing CVs and covering letters, but if you are affiliated with a college or university you should use their careers service as your first port of call. Their advisors will be trained professionally to advise on this. Our mentors work in areas of work funded (or traditionally funded) by legal aid, so if you are interested in areas outside of this, we recommend that you contact other organisations specialising in those areas of work. 

You should also read our pages giving advice on work experience and volunteering, pupillage applications and interviewsscholarships, bursaries, and essay competitions, and useful blogs and practitioners groups. If you have extra tips to add to those pages, please let us know at ylalinfo@gmail.com

Could you become a mentor?

We have a lot of interest in our mentoring scheme so are always looking for new mentors to help us meet demand. 

The scheme is very flexible. Mentoring generally takes place over email and you volunteer to take on a new mentee when you can fit this in (no thumbscrews applied). By signing up now you are registering your interest so we can notify you of new opportunities to mentor as they come up.

How much time does it take? It could be that your mentee just needs a one off piece of advice or perhaps the pairing could run longer term - whatever both sides are comfortable with. 

You can be a mentor even if you are not a qualified CILEx, solicitor or barrister. We would like to hear from you if you have some experience of training for and / or working in legal aid so please don't be put off if you don't feel that senior yet. Your experience is immensely valuable. Please check out our feedback below to see why.

Any questions? Check our our FAQ on how the scheme works. 

If you would like to become a mentor please complete this form.

Alternatively, if you have any questions, feel free to e-mail us ylalmentoring@gmail.com

Feedback about the scheme 

  • "I would definitely recommend getting involved in the YLAL mentoring scheme. My mentor was a great help when I was applying for scholarships for the BPTC and pupillage. I had limited knowledge of the style/format expected. He proofread my scholarship application and pointed out essential changes which I was completely unaware of. I definitely credit him with part of my success in securing a BPTC scholarship from Gray's Inn! He also put me in contact with some friends who had completed an internship I was about to start at the European Court of Human Rights. They gave me tips about the internship and living in Strasbourg. My mentor has definitely gone above and beyond- thank you for all your help!" (Megan)
  • I am writing to give my feedback on the mentoring scheme. My mentor was fantastic. We met once where she talked through my CV and gave me suggestions. She gave me advice based on my then chosen area of law and offered the names of several organisations that would look impressive on my CV. After that we kept in contact via email and my mentor read through job application and gave general support. I would recommend this scheme to anyone as it is highly valuable.” (Sapna)
     
  • My mentor was super great! She’s very approachable and gave useful advice, particularly on how to present a CV and preparing for the interview process.  I’m not going to be applying for pupillages for a while as I’m doing a post-grad/qualifying in the US but I recommended the mentoring scheme to my peers who are interested in going into the publicly funded bar.” (Ollie)
     
  • Just got your email about the YLAL Mentoring Scheme and I would like to jump on the opportunity to tell you how amazing my mentor, has been. He has been my mentor for two years now and has helped me with every application, every interview, countless pep talks and he's just been an absolute godsend. I honestly cannot thank you guys enough for setting up this scheme! Please please do pass on the feedback to my mentor he really deserves the praise for all his hard work and ability to always make time for me.” (Sahar)
     
  • "[X] became my mentor while I was doing my LPC and she was a trainee. Our mentoring was largely over email and it was unbelievably helpful. She took the time to chat to me about how she coped with the LPC, and how she got her paralegal job and then becoming a trainee. She also offered to look at my cv/various applications and she went through each one giving really great suggestions. She also talked to me about my previous job experience (not in law)  and how it could be relevant, which made me feel more confident in my applications and interviews. All in all, she went above and beyond and it was fantastic." (Nancy)
  • "I wanted to thank [X] again for their support since being allocated as my mentor and in particular, the assistance provided on pupillage application forms - which as they may have witnessed, there was a real need for.  [X's] feedback has been indispensable and has significantly changed the way I intend to approach future applications." (Sumaiyah)