NEXT Mentoring Program FAQ

Graduating from law is exciting time that is full of joy and anticipation, but it can also be a time of deep uncertainty and stress. To help smooth your transition out of law school and into the workforce, we have developed NEXT.

NEXT is a program which pairs final year LLB and JD students with a recent Newcastle Law School alumnus for six-months of mentoring. The program matches mentors and mentees based on student preferences, including career interests, mentoring styles and personal goals for participating in the program. NEXT mentees will gain personal insights from their mentors into the opportunities and challenges of employment, how to transition into a new career while balancing competing interests, and how to prepare for personal and professional success and setbacks.

We recognise that students graduating in 2020/21 have not had the same opportunities to engage with industry, to network or to mark their arrival to the workforce as graduate lawyers. In recognition, our alumni are stepping-up to offer their support and help final year students prepare for their next chapter.

Registering your interest to join NEXT is easy, just follow this link and complete the registration process. Placement in the program is secured via an expression of interest, but we cannot guarantee your position until applications have closed.

For upcoming programs, eligibility is limited to Newcastle Law School students who anticipate graduating from their LLB or JD between November 2020 and July 2021. It is a condition of entry to the program that you plan on entering the workforce on graduation, rather than pursuing further study.

Due to limited spaces, priority will be given to LLB and JD students with a demonstrated need for professional mentoring support. As part of the application process, you will be asked to provide a statement in support and upload your current CV.

Registering your interest to join NEXT is easy, just follow this link and complete the registration process. Placement in the program is secured via an expression of interest, but we cannot guarantee your position until applications have closed.

Becoming a NEXT mentor provides you with an opportunity to make a valuable contribution to the life and early career experience of a student. You will be able to share your professional experiences, gain and improve leadership and mentoring skills and support the overall wellbeing of the next cohort of graduates. You will also re-connect with peers and contribute to the ongoing reputational success of Newcastle Law School.

Whether you have taken the more well-trodden path or carved out a unique career and career path, our students would benefit from your experiences and support.

University of Newcastle Law School Alumni who are currently employed are eligible to become mentors. Spaces in the program are limited, and preference will be given to those who graduated between 2012 and 2019, but all should apply.

The program offers support for Mentors and is suitable for all experience levels. We only ask that you bring a positive mindset.

The Summer 2020/21 session is accepting registrations and will run from 15 October 2020 to 15 March 2021. Further key dates for the Summer session are listed below.

A Winter 2021 session is planned for between 1 April to 1 October 2021 and is accepting expressions of interest.

Future sessions may also become available, and we will continue to update this page to reflect new NEXT sessions.

To join as a mentor, click here.

To join as a mentee, click here.

Summer 2020/21 key dates

  • Registrations open 14 September
  • Mentor registration closes 25 September
  • Mentee registration closes 5 October
  • NEXT couples announced 10 October
  • Program officially commences 15 October
    • Mentees attend a compulsory 1-hour online workshop
    • Mentors attend an optional 1-hour online workshop
  • Couples arrange an initial goal setting meeting before 29 October
  • Couples arrange 3-4 x 1 hour in-person or online meetings during program
  • Mid-program review on 1 December 2020
  • End of program event and outcomes survey 15 April 2020

This is a six month semi-structured program estimated to require approximately 12 hours of engagement. From the beginning, NEXT mentors and mentees work together to set clear goals and are supported by training resources that aim to foster mentoring success. These materials include tips, tools and other information on how to get the most out of your mentoring relationship.

Participants must be prepared to meet, either virtually through videoconferencing or in person, for the duration of the program. There is an expectation that during this time, mentees and mentors will attend scheduled meetings a minimum of 3 times. Outside of meetings, communications (i.e. email, social media or phone contact) are to occur as agreed between the couples.

Prior to commencing of the program, mentees are required to attend a recorded one hour orientation workshop. Mentors are invited to attend a separate recorded orientation workshop.

If any issues occur during the duration of the program, participants should contact a NEXT Program Coordinator, who will attempt to assist.

If the issue cannot be resolved, participants can formally withdraw from the program by emailing If you withdraw during a session, it is unlikely we will be able to pair you with another mentor/mentee. In this case, you are welcome to register for a later session if eligible.

This mentoring program is coordinated by the NEXT Program Coordinators and governed by the NEXT Program Governance Committee. It is also supported by Alumni Network Champions.

2020/21 NEXT Program Coordinators

Ann Apps, Lecturer Newcastle Law School
Christie Gardiner, Assoc Lecturer, Newcastle Law School
Marie Hadley, Lecturer, Newcastle Law School
Sarah Breusch, Solicitor, Newcastle Legal Centre
Donna Jamieson, Administration Assistance, Newcastle law School
Ingrid Barnes, Placement Office, Newcastle Legal Centre

2020/21 NEXT Governance Committee

Prof Tania Sourdin, Dean of Newcastle Law School - Chair
Kristy White, Office of Alumni and Philanthropy, Coordinator
Lizzie McLoughlin, 2020 Mentor Representative

2020/21 Alumni Network Champions

To be confirmed

For further information about the NEXT mentoring program, please email

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.