The College of Law 4 What is the role of the work experience supervisor? Your role as supervisor goes beyond supervision to include coaching, counselling, mentoring, delegation and appraisal. Your role is to aid the students’ development by providing opportunities to: y y apply legal knowledge and skills to the resolution of real-life legal problems; y y experience the routines, procedures and dynamics of the delivery of legal services; and y y understand the processes of becoming a professional, including the majority of: – – significant contact with external or in-house clients; – – drafting documents; – – legal research documents; and – – using a file management system. The lessons learned from a good supervisor will last throughout a student’s career. A rewarding and enjoyable placement can be an important step to becoming a competent and motivated practitioner. What type of support should be provided? To help develop the student’s skills, a supervisor should: y y provide opportunities to observe and review the exercise of professional skills by experienced practitioners; y y give feedback and guidance on work; y y provide any necessary support, and y y give opportunities to discuss problems. We suggest that supervisors: y y give work and tasks that are well defined; y y give clear instructions and check that they have been understood; y y provide sufficient factual background; y y provide a realistic framework for completion of work tasks; y y answer questions which arise; y y assign tasks and work with an increasing degree of difficulty; y y ensure there is enough but not too much work; y y provide work which requires the use of a range of different skills; y y create an environment where a student feels comfortable about asking questions; y y provide regular guidance and feedback on performance; y y ensure that achievements and improvements are recognised and praised; y y ensure that aspects of performance which require improvement are thoroughly discussed; and y y encourage self-development.