Judiciary Creates Mentoring Program to Help New Maryland Lawyers
(ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Oct. 14, 2010) In order to continue to improve the level of professionalism and competence in the legal profession, the Maryland Judiciary is asking experienced, qualified lawyers to volunteer to mentor lawyers who are just starting their careers.
The Judiciary has launched a pilot mentoring program that will pair law school graduates who have just been admitted to the Maryland Bar with experienced lawyers who can provide one-on-one guidance during the critical first year, when new graduates stop being law students and start becoming legal practitioners.
Each mentor and mentee will develop a personalized one-year plan to help provide the new lawyer with practical advice and skills about topics such as personal and professional development and ethics, law office management, client communication, advocacy and negotiation.
“Both new and experienced lawyers can benefit from a mentoring relationship,” said Judge Lynne A. Battaglia of the Maryland Court of Appeals. Judge Battaglia heads the Maryland Commission on Professionalism that developed the pilot mentoring program. “The new lawyer receives invaluable help in successfully developing his or her career, and the mentor can feel a renewed sense of pride and purpose in his or her own work, as well as a chance to contribute to an increased level of professionalism and competence in the legal profession in Maryland.”
Mentors must be active members of the Maryland Bar with at least seven years’ experience. A mentor may not be employed by the same employer as the mentee.
New lawyers who want to sign up for the program must be admitted to practice law in Maryland and can register for the program during a professionalism course that new lawyers are required to take, or at their admission ceremony. The Judiciary hosts admissions ceremonies in December and June each year in the Court of Appeals. Mentees must also commit to practice in Maryland, in a public or private position, for the duration of the mentoring term.
The Maryland Professionalism Commission has created a website with in-depth information about the new lawyer mentoring program, answers to frequently asked questions for prospective mentors and mentees, application forms, and contact information. For more information, visit http://mdcourts.gov/professionalism/mentoringprogram.html or call the mentoring program’s executive director, Alison Schwartz, 410-260-1565.
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