MLS Mentor Program

The MLS Mentor Program provides an invaluable opportunity for students to develop a supportive relationship with an experienced law professional.

The program is designed to motivate and encourage students and, provide them with a sense of direction for their career paths.

Mentors are drawn from the legal profession and beyond, reflecting the diverse interests of our students. They are senior representatives of the legal, corporate, government and community sectors. Mentors are volunteers and  are typically University of Melbourne alumni.

Read two more of our mentoring stories:

Information for Mentors

Mentor registrations are welcomed year-round, with calls to register/re-register peaking in December-February and June for respective upcoming matching periods. Law professionals with three or more years of post-law graduation  experience (LL.B, MLM or JD) are eligible to register.

Mentors are matched with a Melbourne Law School student based on the mentor's nominated law area(s) of expertise, gender preference (if any) of mentee, and location. Other factors such as personal hobbies/interests and educational background are also taken into account. Matching occurs in February for the Semester 1 full-time international MLM intake, March/April for the JD intake, and July for the Semester 2 full-time international MLM intake.

Depending on the cohort in which they are matched, mentors are invited to either the MLM Mentor Program Reception (late March in Semester 1, late August in Semester 2) or the JD Mentor Induction (early May).

While the mentor program has well-developed objectives for its mentoring pairs, each mentor and mentee bring their own perspectives to the program.

One of the benefits of being a mentor is that it constantly challenges you as to how you do things and why you do them. That self-awareness and self-analysis is invaluable. Having the opportunity to assist the growth and personal development of students is a privilege. I would strongly recommend that others consider being a mentor.

Franz Holzer, Magistrate

Commitment required from mentors

Mentors and mentees (students) are expected meet three-to-four times during the mentoring period (two semesters). Meetings can be face-to-face, via email, phone or video call.

The program is intended to support the busy schedules of mentors, with mentees expected to initiate contact and prioritise the schedule of their mentor.

Mentors are provided with a range of support documentation to help them prepare for their mentorship. Mentees are required to bring a Mentor Program Agreement to their first meeting. The document is designed for the mentor and mentee to identify and agree upon shared objectives of their mentorship.

Mentors may engage their mentee with any of the following:

  • Discussions on a variety of work/law/career-related matters
  • Work shadowing (if appropriate)
  • Attend court/meetings with mentee (if appropriate)
  • Attend a public lecture together
  • Introduce your mentee to colleagues (if appropriate)
  • If mentoring an international student, assist to develop a network of professional contacts in Australia
  • Assist with goal-setting and decision-making

Mentors are not required nor encouraged to provide subject tutoring, offer jobs/clerkships/internships or provide personal counselling.

Register to become a mentor

For further information, please email or call +61 3 9035 6754.

Information for Students

The MLS Mentor Program is open to all JD students (in each year of their degree) and full-time international MLM students. To be eligible, JD students must attend an information session (only need to attend one, even if participating more than once); and MLM students will receive a Program briefing in their Orientation and should attend the MLM Mentor Program Reception (late March for Semester 1, late August for Semester 2). Students must also register by the registration deadline, the date of which is widely promoted, well in advance.

Mentees are matched with mentors (one per mentoring period of two semesters) based on nominated law area(s) of interest, gender preference (if any) of mentor, and location of mentor. Other factors such as personal hobbies/interests and educational background are also taken into account.

Mentors, who are volunteers, generally have busy schedules; meaning their time is valuable. Mentees are asked to share their commitments and availability, with priority placed on their mentor's schedule. However, it's the responsibility of the mentor and mentee to respectfully negotiate meeting times, locations and communication mediums that work best for both parties.

Commitment required from mentees

It is expected that all mentees commit to being actively and meaningfully engaged for the duration of the program.

Mentees should set realistic goals when they begin the mentor program, including what they hope to achieve or learn from their mentors. The aim of the program is to meet the needs of the students. A beneficial and rewarding mentoring relationship is often dependent on a mentee's initiative to engagement with their mentor.

Mentee are required to:

  • Initiate communications with their mentor after the match is confirmed
  • Bring the Mentor Program Agreement to their first meeting to discuss and complete with their mentor
  • Consider topics of discussion and questions for their mentor before each meeting
  • Meet with their mentor three-to-four times in the mentoring period
  • Be punctual to meetings
  • Communicate regularly and promptly with their mentor (based on agreement)
  • Honour all commitments
  • Be respectful of their mentoring relationship and communicate in a courteous manner
  • Thank their mentor at the end of the mentoring program
  • Keep shared information confidential.

Register to become a mentee

For further information, please email or call +61 3 9035 6754.