Courthouse Libraries BC launches ‘Help a Junior’ Program

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This month, Courthouse Libraries BC (“CLBC”) will add a new initiative to the wide array of services it provides to lawyers and the public – a program to connect junior lawyers to mentorship opportunities.

“Our data suggests junior lawyers crave mentorship opportunities, but over 40% of those in firms of 25 or fewer lawyers find it difficult or very difficult to find suitable mentors,” said Courthouse Libraries BC’s CEO, Kensi Gounden. “Furthermore, regulators and professional legal associations have mutually recognized the need for mentorship programs that help bridge the experience and advocacy skills gap as Baby Boomers retire.”

Last month, Courthouse Libraries BC hosted B.C.’s Attorney General and representatives of the justice community at its Vancouver Law Courts branch to announce the non-profit library’s new Help a Junior initiative.

“A legal community built on strong mentorship relationships is key to producing high-quality young lawyers and ensuring an efficient and effective justice system over the long term,” said Attorney General David Eby. “The Courthouse Library plays a key role in access to justice through the sharing of legal knowledge, hosting of learning opportunities, and offering spaces where individuals from the legal community can come together.”

Courthouse Libraries BC CEO Kensi Gounden, Attorney General David Eby, Ministerial Assistant
George Smith at Vancouver Courthouse Library, Thursday, June 7, 2018

Starting next Monday evening, on July 16, 2018, the Help a Junior initiative will pilot a curriculum of mini-lectures; facilitate one-to-one mentorship meetings to assist juniors with complex files; and provide an opportunity for judges, senior lawyers, and junior lawyers to share knowledge and learned experience. The focus of the first event will be on fostering trial advocacy skills among junior counsel working in small firms and as sole practitioners in criminal and family law.

Courthouse Libraries BC is a non-profit society funded by the Law Foundation of BC and the Law Society of BC, with space provided by the BC Government in 29 courthouses throughout the province. Its mission is to help the legal community and public of BC to find and use legal information, and to raise the legal capacity of all participants in the justice system through collaboration and innovation.

For more information on this initiative, please contact the Courthouse Libraries BC Training and Outreach Team at Who should get in touch?

Junior lawyers who are interested in participating in the event scheduled for July 16th, or those who would like to be informed of future mentorship events put on by Courthouse Libraries BC.
Judges and senior lawyers who are interested in being involved in future events. Mentors may be asked to share their legal career experience and, if appropriate, to provide junior counsel with direction on complex file(s) or general professional guidance in response to the needs identified by juniors participating in the program.

For more on Courthouse Libraries BC’s resources and services for the public see Valuable BC Resources - CLBC and Clicklaw.