WCBA Mentoring Program
In Webster’s Dictionary a “mentor” is defined as “the friend and counselor of Odysseus and Telemachus;” a wise and faithful counselor. Unfortunately, many of newly admitted and less experienced colleagues in small firms, as well as solo practitioners, are often thrust into the practice of law without ever benefiting from the guidance of a mentor. While some would argue that trial by fire will expedite the learning and maturation process, few would question the significant benefits a mentor can provide.
Interestingly, the Code of Professional Responsibility recognizes the duty every attorney has, as an ethical consideration, to mentor younger and less experienced practitioners. For many years the WCBA has made available experienced attorneys from diverse fields of law who have volunteered to assist with any legal questions an attorney might have. While this Networking program has been beneficial, the need for a more formal mentoring program remains.
The program being developed is one in which experienced attorneys practicing in diverse areas of law will be paired one on one with younger and less experienced attorneys for a period no longer than one year. During the mentoring period, the mentor agrees to make him or herself available for a consultation, either in person or by telephone, for a minimum of one-half hour per week. Thus, the mentor commits to a maximum of two hours per month. There are no restrictions imposed on the questions asked or advice sought, however the mentor, at his or her option, may decline to answer any question posed. The success of this program is contingent upon more experienced attorneys volunteering to act as mentors. We are confident that many younger and less experienced attorneys will avail themselves of this opportunity.
Thus, the WCBA calls upon and urges our more experienced practitioners to support our Association in this endeavor by agreeing to act as mentors. The Bar office is in the process of creating a database for this program. If you are interested in participating in this valuable program, please complete the form below and mail / fax it back to the Bar office. Contact the Bar office at 761-3707 ext. 19 if you would like a form faxed to you.
Involvement in a mentoring program can be a rewarding and enriching experience from which all members of the WCBA Association may benefit.
Complete the Mentoring Program Participation Form.