On Tuesday, July 17, 2012, the Supreme Court of Ohio launched an expanded news program – Court News Ohio – that features stories about the Ohio judicial system. This archived page on the Supreme Court’s website only displays news stories that occurred before that date. News stories that occurred on July 17 and thereafter can be found at www.courtnewsohio.gov.

Jan. 26, 2012
'Lawyer to Lawyer' Mentors Meet

Mentors looking to help new lawyers leave the academic world for the real world are taking advantage of the Lawyer to Lawyer Mentoring Program. Around 20 mentors attended an orientation for the program on Jan. 25 at the Thomas J. Moyer Ohio Judicial Center.

Lawyer to Lawyer is a one-year program that joins new lawyers with experienced attorneys to assist in the transition from law school to practicing law. The mentoring program was initiated by the late Chief Justice Thomas J. Moyer and Justice Terrence O'Donnell and developed by the Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism, with input from law schools, bar associations and law firms throughout Ohio.

This was the first of three mentor orientations to be held in Ohio. The program will also be held in Cincinnati on Tuesday, Jan. 31 at the Cincinnati Bar Association and in Cleveland on Tuesday, Feb. 2 at the Justice Center.

The orientation provided a review of requirements needed to complete the program and an explanation of the mentoring relationship. Those attending the session also listened in on a panel discussion consisting of mentors and new lawyers who participated in the last mentoring term. The panel discussed their experiences, challenges in the mentoring relationship and made suggestions for making the relationship more meaningful to both the mentor and new lawyer.

“It’s an invaluable opportunity for new lawyers to develop and improve their legal ability and professional judgment,” said Lori Keating, Attorney Services Counsel and the program’s administrator. “We believe the Mentoring Program helps encourage best actions for practicing law while contributing a sense of integrity to the legal profession.”

Throughout the year mentors and lawyers discuss topics ranging from law office management and client communication to working with support staff and balancing work and personal life. Supplemental materials from the commission are provided online to guide the discussion and ensure consistency in program content.

On Dec. 1, the Supreme Court of Ohio adopted a new rule and expanded the pool of lawyers who could participate in the mentoring program. Now attorneys who are registered for corporate status can participate as mentors or new lawyers. Previously, only attorneys registered for active status were eligible.

Keating said more than 150 Ohio attorneys currently serve as mentors throughout the state, and more than 700 new and returning mentors have volunteered to be paired to new lawyers for the upcoming mentoring term.

Even with the expansion of lawyers, Keating said due to an unexpected increase in new lawyer applicants in the Cincinnati area this year as compared with past years, there is a mentor shortage in the Cincinnati area.  She encourages lawyers with interest to apply to the program.

Attorneys who act as mentors earn 12 hours of continuing legal education (CLE) credit at the conclusion of the program. New lawyers who successfully complete the program satisfy their New Lawyers Training requirement, provided that they also take three hours of classroom instruction in professionalism, law office management and client fund management. There is no cost to participate in Lawyer to Lawyer Mentoring.

January is National Mentoring Month and participants of today’s orientation received two hours of CLE credit for attending the event.

For more information or to submit an application to become a mentor, please visit www.sc.ohio.gov/mentoring or contact lawyer2lawyer@sc.ohio.gov.