Creating Pathways through Mentoring and Sponsorship

Creating Pathways was conceived in 2014, and it is considered the first initiative of its kind in the profession for BAME lawyers working in private practice and in-house. In response to research studies that demonstrated that BAME lawyers were likely to suffer higher attrition rates than their non-BAME colleagues, the programme was designed in order to develop and promote cross-firm mentoring relationships between senior and mid-level BAME lawyers both in private practice and in-house as a meaningful way in which to address this concern.

The programme is spearheaded by BSN City Group committee members, Pamela Dusu and Akima Paul Lambert, who together with other members of the Creating Pathways committee, work collaboratively to match high performing mid-level BAME associate mentees who successfully apply to the programme with senior lawyers, most of whom are partners or counsel in private practice and senior in-house counsel. The mentors are responsible for providing tailored mentoring and career coaching to their mentees. Progress against planned objectives is evaluated periodically during the programme term, and both mentors and mentees are provided with on-going support throughout. The programme has a one year duration.

Following feedback from our initial cohort of mentees on the 2014 pilot programme, we have introduced workshops and training sessions on leadership and professional ‘soft’ skills which serve to supplement the one-to-one mentoring/coaching mentees receive and build career capital. Seminar/workshops for the 2016/17 mentee cohort covered topics like maximising impact, building resilience and the power of networking.

Feedback from both mentors and mentees on the Creating Pathways programme has been overwhelmingly positive. Mentees, in particular, reported feeling more empowered to create and nurture better mentoring and sponsorship relationships within their firms/organisations and in a significant number of cases to make timely and important strategic career decisions.

Application to the Programme

If you are an aspirational BAME lawyer (in private practice or in-house) with approximately 2-6 PQE and are interested in joining the programme as a mentee, please complete the Mentee application form [which can be downloaded from BSN – Mentoring Application Form and email it to  with the heading ‘Mentee Application’ by 5 September 2018 - new CP portal under construction].

If you are a senior lawyer (Counsel/Partner or Senior In-house Counsel) and are interested in participating in the programme as a mentor, please contact us at for further information.   We welcome mentors from BAME and non-BAME backgrounds to participate in the programme.

For more information about the Creating Pathways programme, please email:

Creating Pathways in the news, click: May 18 2017, 12:01am, The Times


The Creating Pathways Committee:

Pamela Dusu – EleQtra Limited

Akima Paul Lambert - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Paulette Mastin – Linklaters LLP

Musonda Kapotwe – Citigroup Global Markets

Sedina Aidam – Shearman & Sterling LLP

Ofei Kwafo-Akoto – Proskauer


Creating Pathways is an initiative of:




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