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:
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 firstname.lastname@example.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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.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 email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.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.