2020 MLN Mentoring Program Reflections
MLN's 2020 Mentoring Program was open to experienced legal professionals, graduate lawyers and law students. Participants were able to access support networks and gain valuable insights into the profession and the study of law.
Four of our participants share their experience of the program below.
Rehana Seedat (mentor) and Shamiena Ebrahim (mentee)
For me, taking part in the MLN Mentoring Program was an opportunity to use the insights I have gained during my career journey to guide a young lawyer through those very important early career decisions. I think back to when I was a young lawyer, my motivation stems from my own experience, as I ponder how that sort of guidance could have been useful to me. I was paired with Shamiena Ebrahim, a young, confident, articulate, extremely capable lawyer with about one year of post qualification experience. Shamiena’s key goal has been to gain experience within a few areas of law that are of particular interest to her.
Shamiena and I initially met fortnightly via Zoom, kept in touch by text message and exchanged documents by email. We talked a lot, worked on developing Shamiena’s CV and spent hours discussing goals, and strategies on how to conquer them. Sometimes a little guidance and encouragement is all a person needs to realise their worth and potential.
I am honoured to have had the opportunity to mentor Shamiena and I have no doubt that she will achieve success in her career.
Thank you MLN for the effort you have put into developing and running a fantastic program.
I am a junior legal professional who was admitted in the Northern Territory. I recently moved to Victoria a year ago and have tirelessly been trying to pursue my career here. I initially signed up for the mentorship program to gain insight into the legal profession and receive valuable guidance from a senior professional practising in the field, in Victoria.
However, this program surpassed my expectations. I was paired with Rehana Seedat, a very inspirational woman with an extensive history of working across borders. My mentor went above and beyond in supporting me, even on days where I felt like I wasn’t good enough she encouraged me to have confidence in myself and to just trust the process.
We stayed in touch through our scheduled Zoom call sessions and every other week via phone calls and texts. Whether or not my mentor realises this, I know for a fact that through our conversations, she has made me a more confident and articulate individual and has helped me to work on my weaknesses through providing constructive criticism. As such, my mentor enabled me to believe in myself and realise that my skills and experiences were enough. As cliche as this may sound, I can only speak from my own experiences where I have felt the repercussions of rejection and felt as if I was not worth it. This program could not have come at a better time.
After having spent time with Rehana to discuss my thoughts and concerns, I gained the confidence and essential skills that will support me for a lifetime. I used to dread at the thought of having interviews and now it’s something that I am comfortable with where I can confidently convey my skills and experiences to prospective employers.
In every step that we took together, I found myself moving a step in the right direction towards reaching my goals. I was seeing results that I had not witnessed in the past year since my move to Victoria.
I am now in the final stages of securing a full-time position at a top-tier law firm.
Thank you Rehana and the MLN Team.
Katie Robertson (mentor) and Ameera Ismail (mentee)
There are lots of things I wish I was able to go back in time and tell myself as I first embarked on my legal career – the main one being that careers are long and there are many options available to set you on the path you are interested in. Mentoring Ameera has been a really enjoyable experience – both in terms of understanding her interests, gently guiding her where appropriate, and mostly connecting with a bright, driven and intelligent individual who I’m confident is destined for a very rewarding career.
The MLN Mentoring program couldn’t have come at a better time for me. I felt like I was standing in front of hundreds of different paths and I had no idea which one to take. Even after my first chat with Katie, introducing ourselves and talking through our expectations of the program, I felt calmer and more organised. Having a mentor helped me identify what I really want out of my career, and this highlighted the paths I might take to get there.