Did you know LABC runs a mentoring program to support lawyers who do legal aid? The program covers two types of mentoring — mentoring assistance and apprentice counsel — to provide tariff lawyers with valuable learning experience in criminal, family, child protection and immigration legal aid cases.
These opportunities are available to tariff lawyers with less than five years of call or who have been practising in the relevant area of law for less than five years. We match experienced counsel mentors with mentees who are looking for a practical, hands-on learning experience while working on a legal aid case.
Mentoring assistance helps lawyers as they begin to take on more serious cases with greater procedural or substantive complexity. The authorization allows an experienced lawyer to spend up to 10 hours at the applicable tiered rate to provide guidance on trial-related matters such as drafting documents, witness preparation, expert evidence preparation, trial preparation, case strategy, and advocacy skills. This may include attendance in court to observe performance and provide feedback.
The mentor should be a lawyer and LABC vendor with at least 10 years’ experience in the relevant practice area, and with significant experience in the type of case for which the mentoring assistance is requested. Assistance may be provided remotely, especially during the pandemic.
This part of the program allows tariff lawyers with less than five years’ call, or who have been practising in the applicable area of law for less than five years, to act as apprentice counsel on an experienced counsel’s case. As part of tariff rate increases outlined in Notice to Counsel 114, the apprentice counsel hourly rate recently increased from $55.59 to the junior counsel tier 1 hourly rate of $97.08.
To request authorization for mentoring assistance or apprentice counsel, you’ll need to submit an authorization request via the Lawyer Portal. For more information on authorization, billing guidelines, and specifics about each area of law, see the Mentoring Counsel guidelines on the LABC website, stored under the Lawyers tab in the Practice resources section.