June 25, 2010
Mentoring Program Seeks Participants
A Supreme Court of Ohio mentoring program for new lawyers needs more mentors from Akron, Cincinnati, Cleveland and Columbus. Newly admitted lawyers are also encouraged to register for the upcoming mentoring term.
The Lawyer to Lawyer Mentoring Program is a one-year program that pairs new lawyers with experienced attorneys to assist in the transition from law school to law practice. The program was initiated by the late Chief Justice Thomas J. Moyer and Justice Terrence O'Donnell and developed by the Commission on Professionalism, with input from law schools, bar associations and law firms throughout Ohio.
Lori Keating, Attorney Services Counsel and the program’s administrator, said more than 600 Ohio attorneys currently serve as mentors, and more than 200 new and returning mentors have volunteered to be paired to new lawyers for the upcoming mentoring term. However, more mentors are needed, especially in targeted areas. She noted that mentors who apply now and are approved by the program will be available for pairing in mid-July for a term that begins on August 2. Mentors not matched in July will remain on the preapproved list for the following term in February.
In addition to the benefits intrinsic in mentoring, mentors and new lawyers who participate receive continuing education credit. Attorneys who act as mentors earn 12 hours of continuing legal education (CLE) credit at the conclusion of the program. New lawyers who successfully complete the program satisfy their New Lawyers Training requirement, provided they also take three hours of classroom instruction in professionalism, law office management and client fund management. There is no cost to participate in Lawyer to Lawyer Mentoring.
Participating attorneys complete a mentoring plan that includes nine hours of mentoring during the course of six, in-person meetings. Discussion topics range from law office management and client communication to working with support staff and balancing work and personal life. Supplemental materials from the commission are provided on-line to guide the discussion and ensure consistency in program content.
The deadline for new attorneys to register for the program is July 9. New admittees who passed the February 2010 bar exam and registered for active status with the Supreme Court are eligible to participate. Established lawyers are urged to contact new lawyers and ask them to sign up.