Mentorship Program Guidelines

How the Program Works

TLABC members may request a mentor from the association with experience in a particular area of law. This mentor should be available for informal consultation on an as-needed basis, as well as for regular meetings with the mentee. It is TLABC’s intention that this program will be a membership benefit, wherein our senior members volunteer their time at no cost to the mentee. TLABC also appreciates that volunteer mentors have limited time to donate. Therefore, we suggest both the mentor and mentee follow the guidelines below.

Guidelines

1)     Mentors will provide the benefit of their counsel without the expectation of any personal gain.  As a general rule, they will not associate on, accept referrals from, or participate in any fee sharing agreement in cases or matters in which they are consulted as part of the Mentor Program. Exceptions to this rule may occur under circumstances that require an extraordinary time commitment, cost or consultation that the mentee may be unable to afford. Thus, we suggest the mentor provide one hour of consultation and guidance to the mentee each month.

2)     Those requesting a mentor will acknowledge that a lawyer’s time is the most valuable commodity he or she has to offer. With this understanding, mentees agree not to abuse the consultation privilege. (A mentor’s request to reduce the frequency of calls or meetings must be respected.)

3)     Volunteer mentors agree that TLABC can make reasonable inquiry into their experience in any given field. Only lawyers with at least five years experience practicing law and who have been TLABC members for two or more years will be considered to mentor a mentee.

4)     The program’s purpose is to allow newer bar members to share the mentor’s experience on a periodic & regular basis in respect to building a successful legal practice, law office management, legal ethics, the benefits of participating in TLABC programs or handling particular cases.

5)     The Mentor Program is a flexible arrangement to be determined between the participants.

        a)  The mentor has a responsibility to maintain regular, mutually convenient, contact with their mentee.
        
b)  The mentee also has a responsibility to maintain regular, mutually convenient, contact with their mentor. 
        
c)  All mentees are strongly encouraged to participate in TLABC’s New Lawyer Litigation Group.
        
d)  Mentors and mentees should otherwise meet on an as-needed basis, for lunch, coffee, or to participate in one or more of the suggested list of activities following these guidelines.
        
e)  Further meetings or phone conversations should be mutually convenient and conducted only on an as-needed basis.

Recommended Types of Mentor/Mentee Activities

  • TLABC Sponsored Events  - Mentors are encouraged to accompany or meet with their mentee at events such as seminars, awards luncheons or the annual Holiday Bash.
     
  • In-Court Activities – Mentors are encouraged to invite their mentee to observe the following, where appropriate:
    • Oral Arguments
    • Arraignments
    • Examination of a Witness or an Expert
    • Mentees are recommended to invite their mentor to observe them in the practice of these in-court activities, for the purpose of requesting feedback, where appropriate.
       
  • Other Case-Related Activities – Mentors are encouraged to invite their mentee to observe the following, where appropriate:
    • Initial Client Meeting and Basic Case Evaluation by Mentor (and partners, where applicable)
    • Preparing a Settlement Offer/Determining the Damages
    • Mentees are recommended to invite their mentor to observe them in the practice of these case-related activities, for the purpose of requesting feedback, where appropriate.
       
  • Ethics and Professionalism– Mentors are requested to talk to their mentees about the following:
    • Being a Strong Advocate without being a Jerk
    • Dealing with Overly Aggressive Opposing Counsel
    • Pro Bono Work
    • Work/life balance
       
  • Activities Related to Running Your Practice as a Business – Mentors are requested to talk to their mentees about the following:
    • Setting up and Managing a Client Trust Account
    • Hiring and Working with Staff – Legal Secretary, Paralegal, Bookkeeper
    • Time Management – Practical and Theoretical

 

Want to sign up as a mentor or mentee?  Apply Here.

Questions?  Email Karen St.Aubin, Membership Director at karen@tlabc.org