MODEL MENTORING PLAN
The NLTP requires each new lawyer to work with their mentor to establish a plan they will follow throughout the mentoring term. The mentoring plan includes six sections the new lawyer is required to complete. In addition, the new lawyer must choose at least four elective areas in which they would like more experience. The program anticipates that both the mentor and new lawyer will be actively engaged in the formation of the mentoring plan. Working together, each pair can create a plan that focuses on teaching new lawyers the fundamental skills, practical or otherwise, necessarily required of someone who is engaged in the practice of Law.
Ideally, the new attorney will have hands-on experience when completing activities required by their plan. However, if participation is unreasonable or if they are otherwise unable to participate in an activity, then observation of their mentor or another attorney followed by a robust discussion will be acceptable. Additionally, observing court proceedings can teach legal professionals a lot about the practice of law. Such observation of our legal system in progress can also provide an excellent learning opportunities for lawyers at any level of experience. The plan is meant to be flexible and may be changed at any time during the term to reflect new interests or changes in circumstances. (Resource: Mentoring Plan)
PROFESSIONALISM IS PARAMOUNT
Our legal community depends on its members to maintain the highest standards of professionalism, civility, and ethics. Therefore, professionalism and civility are overarching principles found in all aspects of the plan. If the new lawyer already has experience in a certain area of their plan, mentors are encouraged to help the new lawyer develop a deeper understanding of potential ethical or professionalism issues that will inevitably arise as the new lawyer gains more experience in practice. (See Mentoring Guide on Professionalism)
INITIAL MEETING GUIDE
The initial meeting between a new lawyer and their mentor sets the tone for the rest of the relationship. The NLTP has created an Initial Meeting Guide that provides guidance on preparing for the first meeting so the new lawyer and their mentor can spend more time discussing expectations and the goals the new lawyer hopes to achieve during the mentoring term. Resource: Initial Meeting Guide
Please visit the links to view the NLTP 2020 Term Timelines.
The following list is comprised of sample activities that have been used by participants in previous terms. Mentoring pairs are encouraged to use these suggestions to help create a mentoring plan that is tailored to addressing the unique challenges that each new attorney will encounter as the begin their legal career.