A master in mentoring

A master in mentoring

Thursday, 21 October 2021
Ozgur Celik wearing a white shirt, blue tie and blue suit and holding his New Lawyers Program Mentor Award.
Ringwood Senior Lawyer Ozgur Celik

Our Ringwood Senior Lawyer, Ozgur Celik, is a strong advocate of the mentoring process, and was recently recognised with our 2019 New Lawyers Program Mentor Award.

The award was voted upon by junior lawyers in our New Lawyers Program and recognised the great people that have assisted our lawyers during their two years on the program, while acknowledging the time and knowledge they have invested in our new lawyers to shape them into the best practitioners they can be.

The New Lawyers Program is a two-year program that exposes lawyers to a diverse range of legal issues in a fast-paced environment and helps develop the breadth of their legal skills whilst working in our metropolitan and regional offices.

Appreciated by our mentees

Our junior lawyers have appreciated Ozgur’s calm and supportive mentoring style which has greatly assisted their growth as lawyers.

Oz mentored me in my first rotation. I was a total newbie and so fortunate to have him show me the ropes. Oz always had time for me, but also let me find my own way of learning and experiencing the things I needed and wanted to. He's also just an all round excellent human!

Ozgur is a calm and perceptive advisor and I admire the way he assists clients. He's caring and accommodating, yet firm when required. He treats each client with respect and never makes anyone feel bad. I learned plenty from shadowing him and have adopted some of his style when giving advice. Every interaction with Ozgur is a great learning opportunity, and anyone who gets Ozgur as a full-time host or supervisor is incredibly lucky!

Ozgur has to be the most cool, calm and collected mentor out there. He’s helped me to build my confidence as a lawyer by empowering me to make my own decisions and back my own judgement in my matters, while always being there to listen to my ideas if required. Thanks Oz!

Ozgur is simply the best mentor/host ever! I’ve greatly appreciated his patience, incredible generosity with his time and knowledge, sense of humour (important in putting any newcomers at ease), caring and sensitive approach and his own brilliant lawyering skills.

The power of mentoring

While appreciative of mentee feedback, Ozgur is also mindful of the importance of his role, and the potential effect he has on his mentees.

‘As a mentor to junior lawyers, I realise I am part of the first impression new lawyers get about what it’s like to be in legal practice.

‘I want to ensure that’s a positive impression, so they have the confidence and enthusiasm to continue learning and enjoying their legal career.

‘I enjoy helping them navigate these early stages of legal practice, build relationships with colleagues and other stakeholders and feel privileged to play a small part in the development of their legal career.’

There is so much to learn about the practical side of law, and Ozgur knows this is where the value of a mentor shines brightest.

‘Having a mentor or buddy to turn to is important at all stages of a person’s career, but particularly when starting out. I don’t believe that needs to be one person, and I think junior lawyers derive more benefit from being exposed to many different styles of practice.

‘When starting out it’s so easy to feel overwhelmed in this job, and knowing you have a support person can be vital to building confidence. Being able to sit down together and discuss an issue, file or strategy helps develop or sharpen the skills necessary to be an effective lawyer.’

Mentoring is a two-way street

The benefits aren’t all one-way, and Ozgur believes mentoring delivers as many benefits to the mentor as it does the mentee.

‘Mentoring gives me to opportunity to practice clear and concise communication to help junior lawyers understand legal concepts and practices.

‘It’s also an opportunity to build new relationships with colleagues and a way to sharpen my own knowledge of law and procedure, because inevitably, I will be asked questions about these matters.’

So when does mentoring become truly worthwhile?

‘That’s easy,’ says Ozgur.

‘It’s always a proud moment when a junior lawyer reaches certain milestones and is able to prepare their first plea or bail application, because I know I’ve contributed to getting them there.

‘Equally, when things don’t go as planned, I’m grateful to play a small part in helping them get back up and keep going.’

More information

New Lawyers Program


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