How do I register for the Program?
Step 1. click 'Join' on the top right corner of this page
Step 2. Select mentee or mentor
Step 3. Enter your preferred email address and catchpa -
University students and staff must use their University email address
Step 4. Follow the prompts to create a password
Step 5. You will then receive automated email inviting you to complete your registration.

Registrations are accepted year-round for mentors, and after information session/briefing attendance for mentees. You will receive an automated email notifying you that your registration is approved, inviting to you to check your profile is complete, details about Chronus, and advice of next steps.

What information is used for matching?
Mentors and mentees should fill out as much information as possible on their registration form - it is this information that is used to create matches. The following criteria is used, first and foremost, to create matches:

  • Law area of interest/expertise
  • Gender preference of mentor/mentee
  • Course enrolled (mentee)/Prefer to mentor
  • Location of mentor (e.g. Melbourne or overseas)/capacity to meet face-to-face
Other factors will also be considered to aim for the most holistic match available:
  • Preference for a Melbourne-based mentor with mentor location
  • Personal hobbies/interests
  • Other areas of law (of interest/expertise)
  • Mentor workplace
  • Languages spoken
 Are special requests taken into account when matching, and is anyone prioritised?
The MLS Mentor Program is largest faculty-run mentor program in the University, and is done so by one person. Every effort is made to ensure quality matches are created and effective Program supports are in place.

Matching is done based on the information provided (in pre-determined fields) on the mentor and mentee registration forms. The information shapes the matching criteria (as described above). To ensure transparency, fairness, Program quality and efficiency the same criteria is used for each match. However, mentors may wish to advise the Mentoring Coordinator of specific preferences in potential mentees in accordance with mentoring principles eg preference for a mentee to come from a disadvantaged background. Again, every effort will be made to honour such preferences. Mentees should note that outside of pre-determined preferences in the registration form, personal requests cannot be honoured.

Prioritising only comes into effect for the JD cohort, who are matched in the following order: third/final years, second years, first years.

Can I choose my mentor/mentee?
No. Matching is conducted by the Mentoring Coordinator. It is a confidential, thorough process using specific criteria (as described above). Mentors and mentees are encourage to be open-minded and flexible to matches, as strength of match is based on the mentee/mentor pool available for that cohort and information provided on profiles.

What if I'm not happy with my match?
As mentioned above, mentors and mentees are encourage to remain open to possibilities, and to reserve initial judgment. Every effort is made to ensure each match has potential value and mutual benefits. If however, you feel strongly about not wishing to pursue the match (before or after meeting), please contact the Mentoring Coordinator who will discuss options with you.

How many matches can I have?
Mentors may make themselves available to mentor up to two mentees per calendar year
Mentees are only permitted one mentor per mentoring period.

What is the registration deadline?
Mentors: may register all year round, with targeted calls to re/register in December-March and June-July for incoming cohorts
Mentees: registration deadline dates are widely promoted, well in advance to all eligible students. For JD students, the deadline is typically the last Friday in March, and for MLM students, the Friday after Orientation. These dates are subject to change.

What happens if I don't get a match, even if I have registered by the deadline?
Mentors: will be placed back into the mentor pool for consideration in the next matching period (based on their mentoring preference: JD first year, second year, third year and/or international full-time MLM)
Mentees: will be provided with mentoring alternatives outside of the MLS Mentor Program. Additionally, for those in the JD cohort who miss out (if any, it is a handful of first years), they will receive priority matching for the following year.

What if I don't hear from my mentor/mentee?
It is the responsibility of the mentee to initiate contact with their mentor. In the first instance, the mentee should email their mentor with a brief introduction and proposed options to meet. If after 10 working days, a response has not been received the mentee should attempt another email. If there is still no response, and the mentee feels confident, they should attempt to call their mentor. At this time, the mentee should contact the Mentoring Coordinator who will then attempt to contact the mentor on the mentee's behalf. 
  • JD mentees should contact their mentor within two weeks of receiving their match. There is no pressure to meet within this time, but an email should have been exchanged within this period (at a minimum).
  • MLM mentees meet their mentor for the first time at the MLM Mentor Program Reception. Mentees should then follow up with their mentor via email or call no later than one week after the Reception. Please note: if your mentor does not attend this event, mentees should still contact their mentor within the following week–the mentorship still goes ahead.
  • While it's expected mentees initiate contact, mentors don't have to wait to hear from their mentee. Mentors should contact the Mentoring Coordinator if they have not heard from their mentee after the first few weeks of the mentoring period.
 What happens when the mentoring period ends?
Mentors and mentees will be invited to complete a survey; providing an opportunity to reflect on their experience and provide feedback to the Mentoring Coordinator. Mentees will also have the opportunity to thank their mentor.

Mentors and mentees may wish to continue their relationship after the mentoring period has come to a close. It is up to the individual match to negotiate this. There is no obligation to continue the relationship after the mentoring period.

What information will be provided to me to help with my mentorship?
  • Help Resources (in Chronus) are available to mentors and mentees; including: Mentoring at Melbourne Guidelines, tips on how to start your mentorship, University and Law School student support services and more. Links to this information will be emailed to mentors and mentees when matches are completed.
  • JD Information sessions: JD students must attend an information session to be eligible to participate in the Program. The session covers Program expectations and guidelines, and there is an opportunity to ask questions. Students only need to attend one (even if they choose to register each year of their JD).
  • MLM Program briefing: full-time international MLM students will receive a Program briefing on day one of their Orientation. The session will cover the same topics as described above.
  • MLM Mentor Program Reception: mentors and mentees in both cohorts are invited to this event. It is an opportunity for matches to meet for the first time, to network with other mentors and mentees, for mentors to receive their induction into the Mentor Program, and for mentees to receive refresher information. The Reception is hosted by the Law School Dean, and features [a] guest speaker[s]. The event is held in late March in Semester 1 and late August in Semester 2. Invites will be sent to mentors and mentees closer to the time.
  • JD Mentors' Reception: mentors are invited to this event to receive their Program induction. There is also an opportunity to network with fellow mentors, and learn about the mentoring experience from [a] guest speaker/s. This event is held in early May (and will be held for the first time in 2019). Invites will be sent to mentors closer to the time.
What is the time commitment?
  • Mentees-attend an information session/briefing: 30 minutes
  • Read Mentor Program support documentation: 30-45 minutes
  • MLM mentors and mentees-attend the MLM Mentor Program Reception: 2 hours
  • JD mentors-attend the JD Mentor Induction: 2 hours
  • Mentors and mentees are expected to meet three-to-four times during the mentoring period. These meetings should typically run for 30-60 minutes.
  • Ad-hoc communication in between meetings (to be negotiated between each match)
When and how should I communicate with my mentor?
At least initially, email and phone calls are best. While emails may be sent any time, phone calls should be conducted during business hours only (Monday-Friday, 9.00am-5.00pm).

Please note: Texting should not be used as a communication medium in the first instance. Mentees should seek permission from the mentor if texting is appropriate. Even then, texting should only take place during business hours or to confirm meeting location/time, or if running late. Texting communication should always remain professional, eg avoid emojis, casual language (hey, sup), shorthand is okay (thx, ok)

If either party is running late or needs to cancel a meeting, notice should be provided in timely and respectful manner.

How should I address my mentor?
At least initially, mentees should address their mentor using their formal title eg. Justice Nguyen, Mrs Collier, Professor Lopez. In written communication, eg Dear Justice Nguyen or Hello Mrs Collier is appropriate. Only after your mentor has advised you, should you refer to your mentor by first name.

Where shall I meet my mentor/mentee?
Suitable options may include (to be negotiated between each match):
  • Mentor's workplace
  • Mentee's workplace
  • Local café
  • University of Melbourne campus
  • Law School Building
The home of the mentor or mentee is not an appropriate location.


Do you have more questions, that haven't been answered here, the MLS Mentor Program home page or in the Help Resources? Please contact the Graduate Services Coordinator (Mentoring): law-mentor@unimelb.edu.au or 03 9035 6754.

 
 
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