Join the LSSA attorney-to-attorneys mentoring programme

January 27th, 2016

Compiled by Ros Elphick

The Law Society of South Africa (LSSA) recognises the important role one-on-one mentoring plays in underrepresented groups in the profession and its Legal Education and Development (LEAD) division manages a ‘Mentors in Legal Practice’ programme to recruit and match mentee to mentor attorneys.

Due to South Africa’s ever-changing legal landscape, mentors are viewed not only as a source of skills transfer but also as a source of motivation and career development in new areas of practice within the profession. The LSSA foresees its mentorship programme as being a key mechanism to transfer professional skills and values in the future dispensation.

LEAD matches attorneys around compatibility, based on practice areas, levels of experience and location. To assist both parties develop the relationship fully, LEAD provides ongoing support throughout the period on mentorship. Various materials in the form of mentorship manuals, DVD’s and seminars are also being developed to train mentors to transfer skills more effectively.

LEAD encourages prospective mentees (newly admitted attorneys or attorneys who have not had the opportunity to gain the skills required to practise in an area of law in which they have shown a keen interest) to fill out their profiles on the LEAD website at and then get matched for compatibility with available mentors. These are experienced attorneys who have completed profiles identifying their practice areas of expertise. Mentors are encouraged to consider including the transfer of ‘soft skills’ such as business development, the effective use of digital media, marketing and leadership.

While LEAD will make every effort to match a mentee to a mentor, the match will depend on the number of mentors available in the mentee’s geographical preferred area plus their practice area interests. Although LEAD cannot guarantee an immediate match, it will maintain the mentee’s details on its database and continue to look for a suitable match.

If you are interested in forming part of the LSSA’s network of mentors and mentees, e-mail Stephne Pieterse at

Compiled by Ros Elphick, Communication Practitioner, Law Society of South Africa,

This article was first published in De Rebus in 2016 (Jan/Feb) DR 16.