ESG, Insights/25 Sep 2023

Borenius’ Mentoring Programme – Professional and Personal Growth for Both Trainees and Lawyers

Our corporate culture is built upon the concept of lifelong learning and nurturing talent through trainee programmes. As a given, we provide all trainees with valuable work experience and help them learn vital skills during their traineeship, but we also find it important to ensure that all trainees have the opportunity to discuss their studies and career prospects with their peers and seniors.

This is why we have implemented a mentoring programme for our trainees. Each Junior Trainee and KM Trainee is assigned one or two Associate lawyer mentors in addition to a tutor from their own team. This two-pronged support system is designed to impart a holistic understanding of what lawyers do while providing supportive guidance as our trainees take the first steps on their path towards becoming a seasoned lawyer.

As our Junior Trainees and KM Trainees serve all practice teams and come into contact with many different fields of law, we want to ensure that they have at least one lawyer contact who meets them regularly, shares their experience with their assigned trainees, and provides support in career related matters. This supportive relationship, which is based on mutual respect and exchange of ideas, encourages trainees to challenge their assumptions and explore new perspectives in addition to providing our mentors with the opportunity to hone their mentoring and leadership skills.

We asked our trainees and lawyer mentors to tell us a bit about their experiences as participants in our mentoring programme. How does the mentoring programme work and why are the connections you make during your traineeship important for your future?

How is the mentoring organised?

Santeri (KM Trainee): I met with my lawyer mentors for the first time at the very beginning of my traineeship. After that, we have met for lunch and had coffee together at regular intervals. My mentors are always readily available to answer any questions or address any concerns I might have with regard to my work assignments, career, or anything else.

What topics do you cover during the meetings?

Ellen (Junior Trainee): We’ve discussed many different topics ranging from the tasks of a lawyer and everyday life at a law firm to studies and even casual matters. It has been particularly enjoyable to delve deeper into these subjects, and the conversations have given me a lot of food for thought.

Matti (Associate): We cover a diverse spectrum of subjects. First and foremost, I try to offer my guidance on the challenges the trainees might face – be it specific legal questions or what working at a law firm entails in general. My goal is to share my everyday experiences working as a lawyer as this was something I was eager to hear when I was a trainee. Beyond the technicalities, we focus on the broader viewpoint of a successful legal career. We share insights and ideas on both personal and professional development to explore what future prospects the trainees could have.

What have you gained from participating in the mentoring programme? Have you learned something new?

Santeri & Miia (KM Trainees): The experiences and career stories of my mentors in different practice areas have been a source of great insight. I have gained a better understanding of which fields of law I might be interested in, but also what choices I should make in terms of my studies and traineeships if I wish to aim for a spot on a certain practice team. The chance to absorb information and practical tips from professionals a few years ahead of me in their careers is truly a priceless opportunity.

Ellen (Junior Trainee): My mentors have walked me through what they do. They have also encouraged me to try out different fields of law that I am interested in as that will provide a more concrete understanding of each field. Keeping an open mind is beneficial, especially when it comes to learning about various practice areas, as it might encourage me to pursue a traineeship in one of these fields of law in the future.

Hanna, Ellen, Miia and Matti.

What is the most rewarding aspect of mentoring and sharing thoughts with trainees for you as a mentor?

Hanna (Associate): Being a lawyer mentor is incredibly rewarding from two perspectives – firstly, I get to support future lawyers taking the first steps on their career paths, and secondly, mentoring provides me with the opportunity to grow both as a lawyer and as a person.

As a mentor, I can give our trainees valuable insight into the work of a lawyer and the practices of a law firm. Mentoring also serves as an important counterbalance to the trainees’ studies, which are often quite theoretical, as it gives the trainees a concrete understanding of what kinds of tasks and work lawyers handle on a day-to-day basis.

I believe that the mentoring we do is not only beneficial for the trainees but for myself as well. As a mentor, I am given the opportunity to meet and exchange ideas with bright future lawyers, who will one day contribute to shaping the legal landscape. Being a lawyer mentor is truly a great learning opportunity as it provides both new perspectives and the chance to learn more about myself and evolve as a lawyer.

Matti (Associate): One of the most rewarding aspects of mentoring and sharing my experiences with our trainees is getting to witness their growth and development. Seeing them transition from students to competent legal professionals is truly fulfilling as it lets me know that I have done my share in guiding our trainees through the complexities of the legal field.

Moreover, the opportunity to exchange thoughts and experiences with our trainees fosters a two-way learning process. While I impart legal knowledge and practical insights, I also gain fresh perspectives from their unique viewpoints that can often challenge conventional thinking and stimulate innovative approaches.

As a mentor, I get to contribute not only to the professional development of future lawyers but also to the overall enhancement of the legal community. Witnessing our trainees’ successes – whether they be in legal practice, advocacy, or personal growth – emphasises the value inherent in mentoring and makes the investment of time and effort all the more meaningful.

Are you interested in becoming a trainee?

Our trainee programmes provide law students with first-hand experience of working at a dynamic Finnish law firm. Every year, our team welcomes up to fifty trainees from different stages in their studies. You can read more about our trainee programmes and send an open application on our website.

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Additional information

Hanna Lemberg-Strömberg



Matti Teräväinen