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LAWPRO has long promoted the benefits of mentorship, which flow not only to the mentee, but also to the mentor. Lawyers who have access to experienced mentors benefit from practical advice and information without having to learn “by trial and error.”

While many Ontario lawyers give their time generously to more junior members of the bar, some may be deterred by the potential risk of liability for a claim relating to the work of a mentee.

Recognizing this, LAWPRO has special rules in place to address this concern as it may affect the LAWPRO primary professional liability program and to encourage mentoring relationships:

LAWPRO will waive any deductible and claims levy surcharge on any claim made against a lawyer mentor arising out of a mentoring relationship provided that:

  • the mentor and mentee agreed to enter into a formal mentoring relationship, as evidenced by a written document of some kind;
  • the mentor had no contact with the mentee’s client that would create a solicitor/client relationship; and
  • the mentee understood that she/he was responsible for individually and independently satisfying her/himself of the soundness of any suggestions, recommendations or advice-like comments made by the mentor.

The written document evidencing the relationship does not have to be a formal signed mentoring agreement. It can be as simple as an exchange of e-mails acknowledging the relationship and the three terms listed above.

LAWPRO, through its practicePRO program, has created several resources to support mentoring relationships. Among these is our Managing a Mentoring Relationship booklet, which provides mentors and mentees practical advice and insights on how to make the most of a mentoring relationship.