As the COVID-19 pandemic has shifted students to an online learning environment, mentorship and connection have become more important than ever. Now in its 11th year, Windsor Law’s Peer Mentorship Program helps to ease the transition for first-year Law students who share similar academic and non-academic interests and experiences.
This year, the program has paired up 385 law students, including 196 first-year mentees (75% of the first-year class) and 189 upper-year mentors. This new record is a result of the tireless work of the program’s student coordinator Aulona Arbana – a third-year law student in the Canadian & American Dual JD program – who helped to market the program, recruit mentors and mentees, complete matches, train participants and coordinate necessary paperwork.
“It is an honour serving as the student coordinator this year especially,” says Aulona. “Law school is challenging enough without the added stress of navigating first year online. Having been there done that, this year’s mentors truly exemplify the Faculty’s ‘pay it forward’ principle with their enthusiasm to support our new friends in first-year.”
Assistant Dean (Student Services) Francine Herhely adds: “I am so proud of our upper-year students who answered the call and stand ready to support their 1L colleagues. Never has it been more clear that Windsor Law is inclusive, dynamic and people-centred.”
Matches were completed prior to Academic Orientation so that most mentees had their mentor in place before the start of classes online. The team has left the application window open and will continue to match any additional first-year students who might apply throughout the term.
As virtual meetings prevail, the team has increased touchpoints between the matches so that everyone can stay up to date on the matters of concern being raised by mentees.