October 2013 edition

Dear NLMP Participant: We hope you are enjoying a pleasant October. This Fall edition of the NLMP newsletter contains several updates and items of interest:

Thank you, Mentors. We currently have more than 740 mentors who have volunteered to welcome our newest colleagues into the Oregon legal community. That’s an impressive number, and we are thankful. And yet, we are still looking to expand on that number. The greater our surplus of volunteers, the more flexibility we have to make highly effective matches. We encourage you to reach out to friends and colleagues who you think may be particularly well-suited to the mentor role, and encourage them to join the fray. The collegiality of the Oregon bar is known nationally, and our membership’s genuine embrace of new lawyers is one key to maintaining that unique Oregon culture. Much gratitude to all.

Lawyer scholarships to all-day Construction Law CLE.
The Construction Law Section is pleased to offer five full-ride scholarships to NLMP participants to its CLE on October 24 at the OSB Center in Tigard. Scholarships will include registration, printed course materials and a boxed lunch. They will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis to anyone enrolled in the NLMP program, regardless of whether you have been matched to a mentor as yet. Click here to see the brochure. To request a scholarship, send an email to Peter Viteznik at pviteznik@kilmerlaw.com. Submitting a request does not guarantee a scholarship. The NLMP program thanks the section for this offer.

Save the Date! We’re upping our “fun factor” with a Movie & Mentoring night on Monday, November 18 at the Hollywood Theatre in NE Portland. Join other NLMP participants for a showing of the legal classic Adams Rib, and a brief and entertaining discussion of some of the relevant themes. Stay tuned for your invitation. Thank you to the Oregon Bench Bar Commission on Professionalism for co-hosting this event.

New Lawyers Awaiting an Assignment.  For those who have enrolled, and not yet received a mentor assignment, please note that assignments continue to be made weekly, though they are somewhat slower than our ideal target. As more mentors finish up with their current roles and become available, we expect the pace to continue to pick up. While you are awaiting an assignment, you are under no regulatory or compliance deadlines. As long as you are enrolled, you are fully compliant. A deadline will only be assigned once a mentor match is announced. It is also a good idea to log onto your New Lawyer Enrollment Survey and update your Areas of Law, should they change. This will assist with a more successful matching process.

Mentoring through Pro Bono/Modest Means and Civil Rights Cases. In partnership with the Oregon Law Center, Legal Aid Services of Oregon and the OSB Civil Rights Section, the OSB is exploring a mechanism for Mentor/New Lawyer pairs to co-counsel on pro bono, modest means or civil rights cases as part of their mentoring year. This could provide outstanding structure to the year, offer practical skills value, and serve a critical public need. We hope that eventually the variety of case types, as well as their longevity and complexity, will be well-varied and offer a full range of options to participants. We are looking for a few “pilot” participants to get this program started. Any interested Mentors or New Lawyers – regardless of whether you are already matched up – please contact program administrator Kateri Walsh at kwalsh@osbar.org.

2013/14 Program Updates. We’ve completed extensive surveys of our first 18 months of operation. Feedback has been extremely positive and has reinforced that the program has met a significant need in our community. The three areas we’ve identified for focus this year include: 1) increased communication with participants; 2) increased event and programming opportunities; and 3) speeding up the matching process. Thank you to all who have offered substantive feedback through the online surveys, focus groups or simply reaching out to program leadership with your insightful comments. This program remains new, and we invite your continued input as we move ahead.

Mentors Completing the Program. Please note that once we certify your new lawyer’s completion of the program, your profile becomes available in the database to be connected with an incoming New Lawyer. Please log into the enrollment survey on your dashboard if you need to update your Areas of Law, or place yourself on match “hold” status.

Fall 2013 – Best Practices Tips:
For New Lawyers.
One week before your monthly meeting, send your mentor a short agenda for your discussion. Areas you’d like to cover, curriculum pieces still outstanding, questions/challenges/issues.
For Mentors. Plan several of your meetings as lunches or coffees with other colleagues of varying interests and perspectives. New Lawyers report that they love soaking in the collective wisdom of not only their own mentor, but associates and colleagues as well.
*Got a “Best Practices” Tip? Send it to mentoring@osbar.org.

Completing the Program. Most participants will be operating with deadlines of either May 31, or December 31 of their deadline year. Your deadline can be viewed by logging onto your password-protected Dashboard on the OSB website. To finish, simply fill out the Certificate of Completion and mail it with your Mentoring Plan Checklist and your $100 program fee to the attention of the NLMP at the Oregon State Bar Center address in Tigard. (PO Box 231935, Tigard, OR 97281). If you would like an extension, or have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact the program administrator at kwalsh@osbar.org or mentoring@osbar.org.

Problems? Extensions? Concerns? NLMP program staff is standing by should you have any questions or concerns. If you are having problems in a mentoring relationship we are happy to help, or to re-assign participants. We can also grant extensions for program completion. Don’t hesitate to contact staff if we can be of any assistance.

Thank you again to all our NLMP program participants. We hope to see you at the November event. Meanwhile, we wish you a pleasant transition to the Fall season.

Welcome!

Dear NLMP Participant:

We are pleased to announce the creation of a monthly newsletter to keep you abreast of helpful developments about the New Lawyer Mentoring Program, and to share news and events of interest to both new lawyers and mentors. The newsletter will be brief, and where appropriate will allow you to simply click through for more detailed information on any of the bulleted items. Each issue will highlight an event, a program initiative, or a “best practice” identified by one of our participants. In this issue, please note the rollout of our Pro Bono Mentoring initiative, in collaboration with the OSB Civil Rights Section and other community partners.

In this edition:

Pro Bono Mentoring
Program Status Report
Changes to the 2012/2013 Program
Program Evaluation
Completing the NLMP Program & Certification
Events of Interest

Mentoring through Pro Bono/Modest Means and Civil Rights Cases. In partnership with the Oregon Law Center, Legal Aid Services of Oregon and the OSB Civil Rights Section, the OSB is exploring a mechanism for Mentor/New Lawyer pairs to co-counsel on pro bono, modest means or civil rights cases as part of their mentoring year.  This could provide outstanding structure to the year, offer practical skills value, and serve a critical public need. We hope that eventually the variety of case types, as well as their longevity and complexity, will be well-varied and offer a full range of options to participants. We are looking for a few “pilot” participants to get this program started. Any interested Mentors or New Lawyers – regardless of whether you are already matched up – please contact program administrator Kateri Walsh at kwalsh@osbar.org.

Program Report. We have now completed the first full program year, with most 2011 participants turning in their completion packets with either December 2012, or May 2013 deadlines. Congratulations to our first “class” of NLMP mentor and new lawyer participants. Their year program evaluations indicate that the first year went remarkably well, and provided an invaluable connection for new lawyers during a transformative time in their early careers. That feedback has also been helpful in identifying our key areas for focus and improvement for the coming months.

Over the first year, approximately 220 new lawyers have completed the program, and we currently have over 300 actively participating.

If you have not yet been matched. While most pairings have proven successful, the matching process is slower than we would like. If you are a new lawyer who has not been matched, please note that you should have no concerns in terms of regulatory or compliance status. You do not receive a deadline for completion until a match is made. We suggest that you do log in and keep your Enrollment Survey up to date in terms of Areas of Law, geographical location, and any other preferences to ensure that we do not match you based on outdated information.

Changes to the 2012/13 program. The first year saw a successful program launch, and we’ve already learned enough to make a few adjustments in our second operational year. Specifically, we are working on four priorities:  1) speeding up the matching process; 2) developing some communication tools to keep participants informed and connected; 3) adding some programming opportunities; and 4) adjusting the “required” portion of the curriculum to give more flexibility in addressing curriculum areas. We expect to learn more as we employ more evaluation tools with those completing the program. We welcome additional feedback, and encourage you to contact the program staff directly at mentoring@osbar.org  if you have ideas or insights.

Program Evaluation. As this is a brand new program, we are conducting an extensive review of the first year. Soon after turning in certificates, mentors and new lawyers are asked to complete an online survey about their experiences. Note that for the first few cycles of this new program, the survey will be particularly thorough, and may take up to 15 minutes to complete. We hope participants see the value in our trying to garner extensive feedback about such a new program.  We expect to learn a lot, and we commit to using the data to assure that the program continues to evolve to be meaningful for both new lawyers and mentors. Additionally, we are preparing some focus groups to further explore the structure of the program. If you are interested in participating, please contact the program administrator. Finally, we are recording all comments and feedback we get anecdotally. Please do not hesitate to call or email the administrator kwalsh@osbar.org with your feedback.

Completing the Program. Most participants will be operating with deadlines of either May 31, or December 31 of their deadline year. Your deadline can be viewed by logging onto your password-protected Dashboard on the OSB website.  To finish, simply fill out the Certificate of Completion and mail it with your Mentoring Plan Checklist and your $100 program fee to the attention of the NLMP at the Oregon State Bar Center address in Tigard. (PO Box 231935, Tigard, OR 97281). If you would like an extension, or have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact the program administrator at kwalsh@osbar.org or mentoring@osbar.org .

Events of Interest. Please see the Calendar of Events page of this blog for a list of events that seem particularly interesting for mentors and new lawyers to consider, or programs that address specific NLMP curriculum pieces.

Thank you. The launch of this program was something that the court and the bar felt strongly about. The idea of assuring that every new lawyer in the state is welcomed and supported as they move into the legal profession seemed both overdue, and a fresh new answer to some age-old challenges. The program went from concept to fruition with remarkable speed, and that could not have been done without the support of the statewide leadership, and the input and patience of our first participants. We are enjoying learning and improving as we go, and we thank you for helping us get off to a great start.