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Role reversal: Linklaters launches scheme which sees junior lawyers mentor senior partners

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Diversity and inclusion push

Linklaters is set to trial a new scheme where some of the global outfit’s most senior partners receive mentoring from its most junior lawyers.

Turning the traditional mentoring model on its head, Links’ young lawyers and business support staff will be invited to share their insights with some of the magic circle player’s top brass. The pilot — which forms part of Linklaters’ diversity and inclusion programme — aims to give the firm’s 13-strong partnership board a better understanding of different employees’ perspectives and experiences.

Applications for the role reversal scheme opened on Monday, with the firm particularly keen to hear from lawyers and support staff from under-represented groups, including the LGBT+ community and ethnic minority groups.

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Commenting on the move, Linklaters’ global diversity and inclusion partner, Fiona Hobbs, said:

“We place great importance on developing a better and mutual understanding of differences in cultures, values, motivations and skills of our people and so we’re excited by this initiative. We know that if you want to learn something, you need to explore new ideas and new ways of working. Reverse mentoring is just one way we can do that. We hope that it will be a two-way street which will hopefully add invaluable perspective for both sides of the relationship, helping our senior leaders drive stronger impact and give tomorrow’s leaders the chance to shape how our firm looks.”

Once a junior mentor has been assigned a partner, the pair will discuss their experiences over a monthly meeting or call. The pilot will run until November 2018 and, if successful, will be rolled out to other areas of the firm.

This isn’t the first somewhat-unconventional management move made by Linklaters in recent months.

In November, Legal Cheek reported that nine of its German lawyers had accepted smaller salaries for reduced working hours. These associates are paid 33% less, but are only expected to work a standard 40-hour week. If this programme were to reach UK shores, a Links NQ could stand to receive roughly £52,600, compared to the £78,500 earned by those working longer hours.

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12 Comments

Anonymous

#SnowflakeGeneration

Anonymous

Yes, Gideon Moore and Charlie Jacobs are special snowflakes. Ok mate. Still bitter about being too thick to work at a good firm?

Anonymous

Yes, because a junior associate will really be frank with a partner about all the issues, won’t they?

Anonymous

spot on. i think the only way this could work is if the junior participants could submit anonymous thoughts in writing to all the partners involved, rather than a face-to-face one-to-one relationship

Jones Day Partner

“We place great importance on developing a better and mutual understanding of differences in cultures, values, motivations and skills of our people and so we’re excited by this initiative. We know that if you want to learn something, you need to explore new ideas and new ways of working. Reverse mentoring is just one way we can do that. We hope that it will be a two-way street which will hopefully add invaluable perspective for both sides of the relationship, helping our senior leaders drive stronger impact and give tomorrow’s leaders the chance to shape how our firm looks.”

Best justification ever for why the middle-aged partners get to spend regular time with the sexy young ‘uns! We should implement this immediately!

Jones Day equity partner

God damn these electric sex pants!

Jones Day Associate

Triggered

Anonymous

Snore

LinksLAD

Will we finally be able to invite them to footie and breakfast “avec les lads”?

KWM Vomcano

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

Anonymous

I mean, if you’re going to quote it, at least get the quote right…

Anonymous

So if you’re an ambitious Links associate, you sign up to this and suddenly there’s a chance senior management will suddenly know who you are and in return the partner gets to hear about how wonderful the firm is/how they got the big decisions right.

As Private Eye would say, trebles all round!

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