Applications are now closed for the 2022 Mentoring Program.
If you are interested in applying to be a mentor, please contact email@example.com to find out if you can join us midway though the program.
It is important that applicants are familiar with the SoCLA Mentoring Program guidelines prior to applying.
Mentor and Mentee of the Year Award for 2021 - Finalists have been announced!
More info and selection criteria HERE
The Society of Construction Law Australia offers a mentoring program for all members. In keeping with the Society's objects, the Society's Mentoring Program seeks to assist members at all stages of their career in their professional development.
The need to know:
- Participants must be a financial member of the Society (we can confirm if a corporate membership already exists with your organisation)
- The program runs from late April/May to December each year
- Pairings meet up in-person or virtually every 4 to 8 weeks
- We like to keep our program flexible and encourage pairs to find a routine that suits them, whether it’s meeting more or less frequently, in any combination of in-person or virtual.
- We ask that mentors have at least 5 years PQE
HOW TO APPLY - Non-SoCLA Members:
To enrol in the Mentoring Program, you will need to be a current financial member of the Society.
To become a member of the Society:
- Register an account on the SoCLA website.
- Go to your user account page is a link to the SoCLA online membership application form.
- Then you may complete the online Mentoring Program application form
HOW TO APPLY - Existing SoCLA Members:
All SoCLA members are invited to apply online for the program.
Previous program participants: you may access your mentoring profile via your SoCLA Member Page under ‘Linked Mentor/ee’. IMPORTANT: When editing your application form, please change status to "Applied". If you are unable to find your profile, please kindly complete a new application and it will be linked to your member page.
New mentors for 2022 should complete an online application form or contact Louise directly and she will take your details over the phone. It is a requirement of the program that mentors have at least five years post graduate experience. New mentors are very welcomed and needed.
- Mentees - All prospective mentees for the 2022 program will be required to apply for the program online. New mentees to the program are welcomed. Mentees who participated in the 2021 program are also encouraged to apply to participate again this year. In this instance, should your application be successful, you will be matched with a different mentor.
Interested in becoming a Mentor?
If you have 5 years or more post-grad experience, you can!
Demand for the program has grown considerably over the past few years with increasing interest at all levels, from students to senior professionals, looking for Mentors.
We are always in need of Mentors and you can be both Mentor and Mentee at any time. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me if you would like more information.
THANK YOU to our 2021 Mentoring Program Participants
Despite the challenges that 2021 presented to many of us, we have been delighted to see the flexibility in your approaches and the efforts made to drive forward your mentoring relationships. We have received wonderful feedback from some of our participants. The 2021 program officially concludes on 20 December 2021 however mentoring pairs are very welcome to stay in touch, if they mutually agree to do so.
A special thank you is extended to our wonderful Mentors who have given their time so generously. Without your willingness to assist, we would not have been able to match all of our Mentees once again this year.
HAVE YOUR CONTACT DETAILS CHANGED? You will be able to access your mentoring profile via your SoCLA Member Page under ‘Linked Mentor/ee’. If you are unable to locate your mentoring profile, please do email Louise at firstname.lastname@example.org to update your profile.
Why mentoring is important in 2021 highlights how mentoring can help develop your skillset and grow your network in 2021 and beyond - by SoCLA Mentoring
Virtual Mentoring - Lets make this work provides tips on how to make online meeetings work for you and your mentoring partner - by SoCLA Mentoring
Mentoring your way through social distancing provides tips for navigating Covid-19 - by SoCLA Mentoring
What makes an award winning barrister? (Hint: its mentoring!) - LawyersWeekly interview the SoCLA chair, Laina Chan March 2022.
Your suggestions and feedback matter, particuarly for 2020 and 2021 which has provided a number of unique challenges for everyone including mentors and mentees. Participants in the 2021 program are encouraged to provide feedback about the program any time. A survey to 2021 participants was sent on 6 December 2021.
What do program participants say?
Here are just a few of the testimonials received from our participants:
Now in my 2nd year of mentoring with SoCLA, I continue to be impressed with the knowledge and enthusiasm the mentees bring to the conversations. I have really enjoyed the opportunity to share the knowledge I have gained over my career and look forward to being a mentor for many years into the future.
David Griffin (TMIEAust CEngT EngExec NER IntET(Aus), mentor
I have always endeavoured to be a good mentor and to pass down my knowledge and experience to our future generations and leaders of tomorrow. I was therefore inspired to participate in the SoCLA Mentorship Programme, which I personally found to be incredibly fulfilling and humbling. I highly recommend the programme to everyone involved in construction disputes; Mentors and Mentees alike.
Simon J. Lowe (MSc DipQS FRICS FAIQS FCIArb MAE FCIOB), mentor
The mentoring program has been a blessing to me in that direction, as it shed light on a lot of focus areas. A special thanks and a huge shout out to my mentor for his time and effort, constant guidance and industry insights. I am already looking forward to be part of future programs. Thanks also to SoCLA team for managing the structure, timing and the flexibility of the program so well.
Paudan Jain, mentee
It is beneficial having someone who I can talk to about my career aspirations outside of my workplace. My mentor is very easy to talk with and it is nice having a third-party perspective. More broadly, the mentoring program is prompting me to to take stock of my career. it is easy to become so busy with the day-to-day work that one forgets to look up and see the big picture. Having regular mentoring check-ins is keeping me on track.
I find mentoring very rewarding because not only do I get to share the hard lessons that I have learned in the last 25 years to hopefully ease and smooth the path to success for the mentees but I learn a lot from the mentees as well. I invariably develop a genuine relationship with my mentees which I value.
Laina Chan, mentor
I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to participate in the SoCLA Mentoring Program over the course of 2017. The mentoring experience offered me a fresh perspective on our industry and the profession and another connection with the next generation of practitioners. I am hopeful that the exchange of information and experiences was mutually beneficial. SoCLA is to be commended for this initiative and I would recommend it to all.
Julian Berenholtz, mentee
Participating as a mentee, for the first time in the 2017 SoCLA mentoring program was a privilege that I will forever cherish. Fortunately for myself, I was able to collaborate with my assigned mentor, plus via an informal arrangement, with a previous mentee of theirs also; such a great honour. What a fantastic opportunity for this Construction Management student to engage with knowledgeable, accomplished, industry leaders who were generous with their time, and graciously engaged in a diverse range of topics enabling open conversations which challenged, complemented, reinforced and supported my comprehension of the industry, former employment and studies; and ultimately improved upon mechanisms I had previously applied to elevate my efforts and direction. Part of my future successes will always be attributable to knowledge gained during this endeavour.
Whilst the thoughts of partaking were intimidating at first, my mentors proved very approachable and welcoming. Scenarios, where one can remove the defence shield usually in place to prevent derision or embarrassment, are rare, however in this exclusion zone the barrier could be lowered with full knowledge that the experience was a chance to interact and discuss my fears, apprehensions, philosophies and shortcomings, plus seek advice on how my mentor’s studies, journey, inhibitions and accomplishments had helped them achieve their dreams, and are utilised to propel them towards their next objectives. Follow up of our meetings with debriefs helped me to contemplate the subjects deliberated, and expand on conversations to provide added context, and propose future discussion. It was fantastic to learn of the motivations that inspired my mentors, as they were very authentic in communicating challenges they once faced and techniques they've adopted to conquer obstacles which I encounter and will continue to when I transition from tertiary study to employment.
Conrad Pereira, mentee
I found the SoCLA mentorship program highly valuable for developing my knowledge and expanding professional network. In every meeting, new ideas and aspects of the construction industry was discussed, tailored to the student's areas of interest. Also, I was able to identify new skills to develop as part of my professional development. I highly recommend this program to anyone who is considering to undertake.
Ian Zarrin, mentee
I have been involved in the SoCLA mentoring program since its inception as a mentor. Even though I am a lawyer the mentees selected for me were not lawyers and I found the interaction with the mentees enlightening indeed. It gave me a broader insight into other sections of the construction industry and, most importantly, a better idea of the pressures placed on the younger members of the industry who, I am sure, will be the leaders of the future.
During the period of the mentoring program the construction industry was going through difficult times and we had discussions that extended our thought processes to examine present and future options. We also covered topics such as further education, the nuances of specialisation, paying attention to disruptive technology and work/life balance.
Apart from opening my mind to new ways of thinking I believe that the mentees were better equipped to face the future than if they did not participate in the SoCLA mentoring program. I also feel that the mere fact that they sought to participate was an indication in itself that I was dealing with people who:
- cared for themselves, their professions and the community,
- wanted to improve themselves and
- wanted to get the most out of life.
I believe that they will.
Past Chair, SoCLA (mentor)
It was a pleasure to participate as a mentor in the 2016 SoCLA mentoring program. I found the experience rewarding and I greatly enjoyed my meetings with my mentee. I look forward to participate again as a mentor in the 2017 mentoring program
Caroline Kirton QC, mentor
Mentoring of young members of SoCLA across the professions is at the core of its objectives. The structured approach that has been implemented provides a clear guide for the participants and encourages their participation. I have really enjoyed the opportunity to share ideas and encourage initiatives for professional development of younger members of SoCLA. I look forward to further involvement.
Ian H Bailey AM SC, mentor
I am fortunate to have participated in the SoCLA Mentoring Program in 2016 and, in particular, to have had the opportunity to meet and learn from a very senior and respected member of the legal profession. I’m grateful for the time that Caroline took to speak with me about career development and change. Caroline’s honest guidance and encouragement remains invaluable and motivates me to be ambitious and aim high.
Rebecca Dickson, mentee
The Mentor Program is well organised. My mentor was of the highest quality and knowledge. We had discussions about the legal industry, the construction legal work and career opportunities for myself. This is an excellent program.
Robert Zucca, mentee
Great networking and good industry insight. As I act in the industry as a contractor, Laina's legal perspective on matters was really interesting. She was really insightful. Great mentor.
Ryan Woodhall, mentee
My mentor was great. It was inspiring to meet a female in construction law who has her level of experience and level of involvement in so many activities.
“My mentor has been one of the most influential people in my life over the past year. It has been an honour to be mentored by someone so senior in the industry and committed to the program and my development”
Raeesa Rawal, mentee
“The SoCLA mentor program gave me the opportunity to develop an informal relationship with a senior professional in the industry. I found this invaluable as it enabled me to gain insight from a senior professional about their experiences and thoughts on interesting topics in construction law. I also attended numerous industry events and built up my network as a result of this relationship. I highly recommend participating in the program.”
I have very much enjoyed being involved in the SOCLA Mentoring Program. The opportunity to spend time with and exchange (hopefully useful) ideas and advice with a remarkable young lawyer in Raeesa Rawal, was not only interesting but also challenging. It really is quite wonderful to be involved, to even a small degree, in the development and unfoldment of the professional careers of bright up and coming construction lawyers. I whole heartedly recommend participation in the program
Michael Whitten QC, mentor
The SoCLA Mentorship Program provided me with an invaluable opportunity to be paired with a senior member of the construction law profession. My mentor took great interest in my development as a construction lawyer and offered me much guidance and support. Through the SoCLA Mentorship Program I was able to network with other construction law professionals who I still keep in contact with today. I would highly recommend the SoCLA Mentorship Program to younger members of the construction law profession.