Mentorship Program: Canadian Association of Black Lawyers and the Black Law Students’ Association of Canada
Andrew Leroy Rudder volunteers his time as a mentor to law students. Mr. Rudder has joined the new Mentorship Program created by the Canadian Association of Black Lawyers and the Black Law Students’ Association of Canada, which is designed to connect Black pre-law students, current law students, junior lawyers, and experienced lawyers all in one place, with the support from the nationalized network of their two professional organizations. Mr. Rudder recognizes the vital importance that mentorship has as an essential tool in supporting the development, growth and success of the next generation of young lawyers and law students.
Mr. Rudder believes that by volunteering his time to help young lawyers and law students, he is also helping them to further build their self-esteem. When asked about the importance of building self-esteem, especially in the Black community, he responded, as follows: “How much you esteem yourself, or the value you feel you have as a person, impacts your self-image, which establishes the boundaries of your undertakings, and as a result, all of your accomplishments. In the Black community, where the image of people-of-colour is oftentimes framed in negative stereotypes, having a solid self-image is not just important to keep the water of negativity out of your ship so it doesn’t sink, but also to change the perception people have of your community, as well as provide the next generation with images of positive role models to see themselves in, so they believe it’s possible to expand the boundaries of their undertakings too.”
By starting his own law firm, Mr. Rudder believes that he is also helping to provide the next generation of young lawyers and law students with a positive role model to see themselves in, so they can believe it’s possible to do the same, continue to pay it forward, and be the change they want to see in the world on a much larger scale.