Wyoming Trial Lawyers Association's Mentor Program
At the request of our new attorney members WTLA is launching a new mentoring program and WE NEED YOU. WTLA is looking for individuals who would be willing to volunteer as a mentor to one or more of our new attorney members (those in practice under 10 years). Would you be willing to help?
The WTLA mentoring program is designed to link newer lawyers (mentees) with more experienced WTLA members (mentors). Mentors are encouraged to give general advice, information and support regarding professional career development and law practice. This program is a membership benefit, wherein our senior members volunteer their time at no cost to the mentee. Please review the guidelines for all the details regarding process and time commitment.
1. General Principles
The WTLA mentoring program (the program) is designed to link newer lawyers, lawyers in practice for ten years or less, (mentees) with a more experienced WTLA member (mentors). Mentors are encouraged to give general advice, information and support regarding professional career development and law practice. This program is a membership benefit, wherein our senior members volunteer their time at no cost to the mentee. WTLA appreciates that volunteer–mentors have limited time to donate so it is suggested that both the mentor and mentee follow the guidelines below. A mentor is not a substitute for independent legal research and independent professional judgment.
The WTLA mentoring committee will select mentors with sufficient practice and life experience to provide valuable guidance and information to a new lawyer. All mentees and mentors will fill out a program application (see attached). This will be used to match mentor and mentee based on geographic region and fields of practice. The WTLA Mentor Program is designed to put the responsibility on the mentor to contact their matched mentee after their initial introduction. WTLA will introduce the mentee and mentor via email. The Mentor is expected to respond to the mentee in a reasonable time frame. If a response cannot be given, notice of such will be given to the mentee in a reasonable time frame. It is the mentees and/or mentors responsibility to contact WTLA if the match does not work. The mentoring committee will convene to provide one alternative mentor.
1. Mentors will provide the benefit of their counsel without the expectation of any personal gain. As a general rule, they will not associate on, accept referrals from, or participate in any fee sharing agreement in cases or matters in which they are consulted as part of the Mentor Program. Exceptions may occur under circumstances that require an extraordinary time commitment, cost or consultation that the mentee may be unable to afford.
2. Those requesting a mentor will acknowledge that a lawyer’s time is the most valuable commodity he or she has to offer. With this understanding, mentees agree not to abuse the consultation privilege. (A mentor’s request to reduce the frequency of calls or meetings must be respected.)
3. Volunteer mentors agree that WTLA can make reasonable inquiry into their experience in any given field. Only attorneys with at least five years of experience practicing law and who have been WTLA members for two or more years will be considered to mentor a mentee.
4. The Mentor Program is a flexible arrangement to be determined between the participants.
a. The mentor has a responsibility to maintain regular, mutually convenient, contact with his/her mentee.
b. The mentee also has a responsibility to maintain regular, mutually convenient, contact with his/her mentor.
c. All mentors and mentees are encouraged to participate in the WTLA listserve.
d. Mentors and mentees may meet or get together as is mutually convenient and on an as wanted basis.
Although mentors may provide advice and information to mentees, individual mentees are expected to exercise individual professional judgment. WTLA assumes no liability for any participants’ advice, action or inaction linked to participation in the program. Program participants waive any and all claims against WTLA, WTLA employees, officers, board and members for any liability arising out of WTLA’s mentoring program activities. WTLA reserves the right to select mentors and mentees and the discretion to exclude participants. Mentors and mentees may formalize their relationship to the extent they feel is necessary to protect parties’ respective rights.