How it Works

Orange CAN banner

The Coach and Advisor Network (CAN) recognizes that lawyers and paralegals may need different types of support at different times. An Advisor can assist with a 30-minute call about a particular issue on a client file and a Coach can support achieving a specific goal over three months. In addition, CAN also serves as a centralized source of information to the professions on mentorship programs in Ontario.

Coach Engagement Process

  1. Request       Participant requests time with a Coach     
  2. Connect      Within two weeks, CAN advises on the status of the request or connects the Participant with a Coach     
  3. Contact       Within one week of connection, Participant first completes the Pre-Contact Worksheet and then contacts the Coach to book the first of six coaching sessions     
  4. Complete     Participant and Coach complete the Engagement     

Advisor Engagement Process 

  1. Request      Participant requests time with an Advisor
  2. Connect     Within two days, CAN advises on the status of the request or connects the Participant with an Advisor
  3. Contact      Participant contacts the Advisor
  4. Complete   Participant and Advisor complete the Engagement

What is difference between Coaching and Advising?

In the models adopted by CAN, coaching and advising are similar. Neither includes a lawyer-client or paralegal-client relationship between the Coach or Advisor and the Participant or the Participant’s client. In addition, in both instances, Participants are personally responsible for independently and individually verifying any suggestions, recommendations or guidance provided by a Coach or Advisor. However, there are important differences between the two roles:

For Coaches and Advisors



Advisor Services

Timing of Connection

Connection with a Coach confirmed within two weeks

Connection with an Advisor confirmed within two days

Subject Matter

Typically practice management systems or skills development

Typically substantive or procedural considerations in the context of a client matter


Participant-driven learning process  

With the benefit of the CAN coaching model, Coaches help Participants identify a goal and a process that supports its achievement


Advisor-driven learning process

With the benefit of subject matter knowledge and experience, the Advisor assists the Participant with understanding the substantive or procedural issue  

Time Commitment

Three-month commitment

Suggested initial meeting of 1.5 hours, followed by five 30-minute sessions scheduled on alternating weeks

One 30-minute telephone call

Training Expectations

Welcome to Coaching Materials

Relational Competence podcast



Welcome to Advisor Services Materials  
Relational Competence podcast


Review of the Participant’s Pre-contact Worksheet is required prior to first session



For Participants



Advisor Services


Welcome to Coaching Materials

Completion of the Pre-contact Worksheet


Time commitment for action items will vary depending on what is agreed at the end of each coaching session

Additional time will be required to reflect on outcomes in preparation for the Report Back segment of each coaching session

Welcome to Advisor Services Materials

In general, a Participant should invest at least 30 minutes in preparation to maximize time with an Advisor



 How CAN serves the Professions

CAN provides the administrative infrastructure allowing lawyers and paralegals to focus on the professional development and practice issues. CAN assists with:

  • Ongoing review of the eligibility of all CAN Coaches and Advisors
  • Documentation of the terms of the relationship
  • Timely and suitable matching of Participants when volunteers are available
  • Orientation materials, relational competence resources, and other practical tools to support the Participant and the Coach and Advisor at each stage of the engagement