Program History and Objective

In 2004, the Supreme Court of Ohio Commission on Professionalism began exploring the feasibility of a state-wide mentoring program for newly admitted lawyers in Ohio. The theory underlying the initiative was that fostering mentoring relationships between beginning and experienced lawyers would assist new lawyers during the critical transition from student to practitioner, by which they could learn fundamental skills and core values of professionalism essential to the practice of law.

The Commission gathered information about existing mentoring programs throughout the country. Ultimately, it focused on a mentoring program adopted by the State Bar of Georgia. Georgia's program provided the general framework for Ohio's Lawyer to Lawyer Mentoring Program.

In 2006, the Commission on Professionalism launched a state-wide mentoring program pilot for newly admitted lawyers. In the pilot project 174 new attorneys who were admitted to the Ohio bar in 2006 and met designated eligibility requirements opted to participate in mentoring as a way to fulfill part of their new lawyer training requirement. Surveys were issued to mentoring participants, and the responses received were overwhelmingly positive.

In 2008, the Supreme Court of Ohio evaluated the success of the pilot and adopted Lawyer to Lawyer Mentoring as a permanent program to be offered to new lawyers admitted in November 2008 and every class thereafter.

Lawyer to Lawyer Mentoring aspires to elevate the competence, professionalism, and success of Ohio lawyers through positive mentoring relationships. Mentoring works on several different levels to foster the development of a new lawyer's career while creating a sense of pride and purpose in the mentor. Specifically, the mentoring relationship should: