ADLS Canterbury Young Lawyer & Student Buddy programme 2017

Last month saw the rollout in Canterbury for the second year of ADLS’ Young Lawyer & Student Buddy programme, in association with the University of Canterbury Law Students’ Society, LAWSOC. It follows on from last year’s very successful launch event and similar programmes which are running in Auckland and Waikato.

Buddy 1

Mentoring is one of the most significant ways that a young lawyer can help law students prepare for their entry into the profession and provide them with ongoing support as they face important choices that may influence the rest of their legal career. Under the ADLS programme, students are partnered with a young lawyer “buddy” in the early stages of practice, in what has proved to be a very rewarding experience for both parties.

This year’s Canterbury programme kicked off with an evening for students and their mentors at The Shilling Club at the University of Canterbury’s James Height Library. Stephanie Nicolson, the youngest member of the ADLS Council and the driving force behind many of ADLS’ young lawyer and student initiatives, spoke on behalf of ADLS.

Buddy 2

Ms Nicolson has a special connection to Christchurch, having lived and attended school there for 15 years and having earned her law degree from Canterbury University in 2002. She has served on the ADLS Council since 2014 and is passionate about representing and supporting younger members of the profession.

As well as speaking about the buddy programme, Ms Nicolson touched on some of ADLS’ other initiatives aimed at younger lawyers in the Canterbury region which they should look out for over the coming months.

  • Student work experience programme - ADLS’ successful student work experience programme is in the second year of being run in Christchurch. The programme promotes work experience opportunities for final year law students in small- to medium-sized law firms, with the aim of helping the next generation of lawyers transition more easily from studying to the workplace. ADLS relies on law firms in the region providing their support for this programme and would like to hear from those interested in finding out how they can become involved.
  • Free student membership - ADLS offers law students the opportunity to join ADLS as members for free. A student membership of ADLS comes with a host of benefits, including free subscription to weekly publications, member pricing on a range of ADLS products and services, and discounts in the ADLS Bookstore.
  • Pizza lunches - ADLS runs free pizza lunches/ sausage sizzles at a number of university campuses, including Christchurch. This provides an opportunity for law students and ADLS to interact with each other in a completely informal setting. A pizza lunch held on the University of Canterbury campus earlier in August was very successful, with over 80 law students coming along.
  • Newly Suited Committee - This Committee (established in 2016) has a mandate to support and mentor those entering the profession. Members of the Committee range from recent graduates through to those with five years’ PQE, and from junior barristers to solicitors at firms both large and small, from around the country. As well as assisting with networking, mentoring and collegiality events, the Newly Suited Committee also has a regular column in LawNews offering guidance about professional and practical issues relevant to those new to practising law.
  • “Meet the Judiciary” and “Meet the QCs” - ADLS hopes to bring its extremely successful “Meet the Judiciary” event to Christchurch (hopefully combined with a new “Meet the Queen’s Counsel” event), providing young lawyers with the opportunity to meet and chat with those who have reached the summits of the profession, at an informal social event.

Buddy 3

ADLS will be hosting its next buddy event in Auckland on Wednesday 4 October 2017. To find out more about this event or any of our other young lawyer programmes, visit or contact (09) 303 5275.

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