Finding inspiration from industry insights

Participating in the Women’s Law Mentoring Programme has been a valuable learning experience for fourth-year Law student Ashley Ah Poe.

Law student Ashley Ah Poe
Law student Ashley Ah Poe

Previously apprehensive about what her first years of working in the industry would be like, a mentor has helped Ashley find her passion to forge a meaningful career.

“I was very uncertain about what I wanted to pursue and I was further discouraged that I had no connections or practical experience within the legal profession,” Ashley says.

The University programme, funded by alumna and Pro-Chancellor Cecilia Tarrant, enables mentees to gain career insights, information and support from their assigned mentors.

This year Ashley received useful insights into the industry thanks to her mentor Frances Eivers. She says Frances shared her own career path and discussed how Ashley can make the most of her time at University.

“I have already taken away some really good information due to my time with Frances, including the ambition to go for any opportunities regardless of the result anticipated and to achieve better academic results.

“I also have a growing desire of where I would like to go after I graduate, which is in the areas of family law and youth justice. Frances also encouraged me to volunteer my time at a local Citizens Advice Bureau.”

One of the mentors of the programme, solicitor Tammy Solanki, says she found it extremely rewarding to help upcoming lawyers by imparting her knowledge and acting as a sounding board.

“I have a strong passion and desire to support the next generation of leading lawyers and to showcase how my legal career has helped me grow both personally and professionally. Reflecting on my time as a junior lawyer, resources such as mentoring would have been valuable in terms of gaining knowledge to help advance my career.

“I was eager to partake in the programme with this in mind and to hopefully add value to mentees in terms of progression and advancement of their legal careers.”

Tammy has encouraged her colleagues to get involved in mentoring after having such a positive experience.

“It’s an excellent and seamless programme. The onsite and virtual aspects of the programme exceeded my expectations. I have always left the mentoring sessions feeling upbeat and positive and having loved every minute, as well as making meaningful connections and friends.”

Mentee Ashley is looking forward to learning more from her mentor as she progresses with her studies.

“I hope to better understand the realities of the legal profession through the lens of a woman of colour, gain a better sense of where my passions fit with my future in law and to improve my networking skills.”

She adds that she is extremely grateful to her student support advisers for supporting her learning journey.

“I want to thank Manuēsina Māhina and Amanda O’Gorman from the Faculty of Law for recommending this programme and supporting me greatly. I am grateful to them that I have been able to make the most of this opportunity.”