Editor’s Note: these guidelines were updated in November 2017 to bring them in line with Cycle II of the Legally Engaged Mentorship Programme.
At Legally Engaged, we understand that you cannot learn everything about the profession from reading a bunch of articles online.
As a result, the Legally Engaged Mentorship Programme (LEMP) was established to connect law students and young lawyers with successful legal practitioners who can provide information and guidance on a one-on-one basis.
LEMP doesn’t intend to spoon-feed mentees; we aim to give hardworking students and young lawyers that extra push they need to launch and maintain successful careers.
Through the applications we receive, we would identify individuals who are truly hardworking and further steer them in the desired path.
Whilst we would love to provide feedback to everyone whose application has been unsuccessful, we find that this is logistically impractical. Here are a few points to note when sending in an application to better your chances of being paired with a mentor.
- Avoid grammatical errors
Treat your mentorship application as you would treat any other formal application. Take time out to sit in a quiet place and answer the questions.
Write properly and professionally, and avoid shorthand. This means absolutely no use of text language – “da”, “cuz”, “lol, “wot”, “u”, etc.
Watch out for grammatical errors. It would be helpful to write out your answers in Microsoft Word and then paste them onto the form.
Also, avoid using flowery or poetic language. Be clear-cut and straight to the point.
- Read and answer all questions thoroughly
Our current application form contains 4 major questions that require answers in essay form.
Please read all questions thoroughly and ensure that you have answered the question that was asked. Some questions contain multiple parts; ensure that you have answered all parts of all questions.
Also, please note that when we ask “please tell us about yourself”, we are asking for academic and career information only.
- Use the word limit
It is important to stick to the word limit and not go above or under it.
- Choosing a mentor
Always ensure that you have viewed our list of mentors right before you apply. It is possible that a person was listed as a mentor on social media yesterday, but the person is now fully booked.
However, please note that you may not be paired with your chosen mentor. The pairing of mentees and mentors is ultimately subject to the discretion of the Legally Engaged team.
Where you would strongly prefer to be paired with a particular mentor, your application should show that your objectives can be met only under the tutelage of that mentor.
- Be professional
When sending e-mails in response to follow-up questions from our team, ensure that you use an appropriate subject, salutation and closing. Be careful with your responses to ensure you are not impolite or passive aggressive.
- Check your phone and e-mail
Once you have applied for the Programme, we would send you an email asking you to forward a copy of your CV and subscribe to our newsletter (the Programme is only open to subscribers of our free newsletters). We may also request further information or clarification by e-mail or telephone call. Please make sure that you respond as quickly as possible.
- Be patient
We aim to contact successful applicants within 15 business days (i.e. three weeks). As stated above, it is logistically impractical to respond to all unsuccessful candidates.
If you do not hear from us after one month, it is safe to assume that your application has been unsuccessful. You may send an e-mail to confirm, but please note that due to staffing restraints, we may be unable to respond to your e-mail.
Thank you for your interest in Legally Engaged! We are happy to help!
Yimika Adesola, for Legally Engaged.