On Tuesday, July 17, 2012, the Supreme Court of Ohio launched an expanded news program – Court News Ohio – that features stories about the Ohio judicial system. This archived page on the Supreme Court’s website only displays news stories that occurred before that date. News stories that occurred on July 17 and thereafter can be found at www.courtnewsohio.gov.

Aug. 12, 2008
Supreme Court Seeks Participants for Mentoring Program

With a permanent mentoring program for new lawyers to be launched in the fall, the Supreme Court of Ohio is seeking experienced lawyers to serve as mentors and encouraging the participation of new lawyers who will be admitted in November.

The Lawyer to Lawyer Mentoring Program is a one-year voluntary program for new lawyers designed to help ease the transition from law school to law practice through an ongoing relationship with an experienced attorney. The program was initiated by Chief Justice Thomas J. Moyer and Justice Terrence O'Donnell and developed by the Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism, with input from law schools, bar associations and law firms throughout Ohio. The pilot project began in July 2006.

In a rule change announced on July 28, the Court charged the commission with administering an annual permanent program effective Nov. 1 and evaluating and analyzing the program every three years. The first class enrolled in the permanent program will be those attorneys who passed the July bar exam and are admitted to the bar in November.

“Ohio is a recognized national leader in mentoring, which is the future of the legal profession,” said Justice O’Donnell. “Lawyers who participate as mentors or protégés are better for the opportunity, and our profession is strengthened and enhanced for their involvement.”

In addition to the benefits intrinsic in mentoring, mentors and new lawyers will receive continuing education credit. Attorneys who act as mentors will earn 12 hours of continuing legal education (CLE) credit at the completion of the program. Upon completing the program successfully, new attorneys will have satisfied their New Lawyers Training requirement, provided that they also take three hours of instruction in professionalism, law office management and client fund management. There is no cost to participate in the mentoring program. New lawyers who do not enroll in the mentoring program must complete 12 hours of New Lawyers Training classroom instruction.

“The pilot program included about 180 new lawyers,” Justice O’Donnell continued. “We are hoping to increase those numbers in the fall. Understandably, more classroom instruction is the last thing new lawyers have on their minds, but new lawyer training requirements exist, and the mentoring program provides an alternative way to meet those requirements.”

Attorneys who participate in the one-year program will complete a mentoring plan that will include nine hours of mentoring during the course of six, in-person meetings. Discussion topics range from law office management and client communication to substance abuse and mental health. Supplemental materials from the commission are provided on-line to guide the discussion and ensure consistency in program content.

The Court is contacting law firms and legal organizations who routinely hire newly admitted lawyers to encourage them to incorporate Lawyer to Lawyer Mentoring with any existing mentoring program they may have. The Court also is working in conjunction with Ohio law schools to encourage students to sign up for mentoring after they graduate and pass the bar exam. In an effort to recruit more mentors, bar associations and administrative judges across the state are being asked to submit mentor nominations for the expanded program. Mentors from the pilot program also are being contacted about serving again.

New lawyers may register for the program at the Court immediately following the November admissions ceremony or during the 60 days that follow. Established lawyers are urged to contact new lawyers and ask them to sign up for the program. Mentor applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. For more information, please visit www.supremecourt.ohio.gov/AttySvcs/mentoring.

Contact: Chris Davey at 614.387.9250.