This year the Atlantic County Bar Association will be launching a Mentoring Program to benefit members of the ACBA Young Lawyers Division!
The main goals of the ACBA Mentoring Program are to promote professional growth among members; provide an independent and confidential outlet for discussion and advice on topics such as ethics, work/life balance, career development, professionalism, and specific practice areas; and to cultivate and maintain membership in the ACBA.
Participation in the program is completely voluntary. Experienced members (10+ years of practice) are invited and encouraged to serve as mentors to newer and/or less experienced attorneys. Likewise, members of the YLD are strongly encouraged to sign up for a mentor.
Attorneys are NOT required to be a current member of the ACBA in order to sign up as a mentor or mentee, however, membership is encouraged!
Also, since we recognize the fact that volunteer mentors have limited time to donate to this program, there are several guidelines that we suggest both mentors and mentees to follow. (See below)
All applications are due no later than September 15, 2016 and must be returned to:
Atlantic County Bar Association
1201 Bacharach Blvd.
Atlantic City, NJ
The ACBA Mentoring Program Committee will assign the mentor/mentee pairs, and the relationship will continue as mutually determined. Pairings will be announced on Friday, September 30, 2016.
We sincerely hope that you will all take advantage of this great opportunity!
Atlantic County Bar Association
Commitment: Mentors will have the responsibility of contacting their mentee(s) at least 1 time per month. While it is encouraged that mentors/mentees meet in person, “contact” by telephone or email will be sufficient. Mentors are expected to provide the benefit of their counsel without the expectation of any personal gain. We suggest the mentor provide 30 minutes of consultation and guidance to the mentee each month. 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 privilege of having a mentor.
Mutuality: The Mentoring Program is a flexible arrangement to be determined between the participants based on mutual convenience:
The mentor has a responsibility to maintain regular, mutually convenient, contact with his/her mentee;
The mentee also has a responsibility to maintain regular, mutually convenient contact with his/her mentor;
All mentors and mentees are strongly encouraged to participate in ACBA activities and events; and
Mentors and mentees should otherwise meet as needed for lunch, coffee, or to participate in one or more of the suggested list of activities (below). Further, meetings or phone conversations should be mutually convenient.
Communication: Effective communication is essential to establishing a good relationship. Once assigned, the mentor and mentee should have a discussion about the expectations of each other, including time commitment, best method of contacting each other, and the goals of the relationship.
Mentors are generally requested to talk to their mentees about the following:
- Being a strong advocate without being antagonistic; - Dealing with overly aggressive opposing counsel; - Client development; - Professional ethics; - Confidentiality; - Pro bono work; and - Maintaining family/social life outside the office.
Professionalism: The role of the Mentor is a professional role model. Both mentors and mentees should conduct themselves at all times in a professional manner and should respect the highest ethical and behavioral standards. Any report of inappropriate conduct will result in immediate and permanent removal from the Mentoring Program.
Client Responsibility: Neither the mentor, nor the mentee, shall disclose attorney-client information or client confidences or other privileged and confidential information. Mentor/Mentee communications are not privileged.
Feedback: Mentors and mentees are strongly encouraged to provide regular feedback to the ACBA Mentoring Program Committee as to whether they are satisfied with their mentoring relationship. This feedback will help the ACBA determine if the mentoring relationship is successful.
If there is a problem: Occasionally, a mentoring relationship will not meet the expectations of the participants for whatever reason. If a mentoring relationship is not working, either party can contact the Chair of the Mentoring Program Committee or any member of the ACBA Board of Officers and Trustees to confidentially discuss those concerns. The ACBA will determine whether those concerns can be addressed, or whether the mentoring relationship should be dissolved. If a relationship is dissolved, the parties can be reassigned if they wish to continue in the program. All concerns will remain confidential.
Recommended Mentoring Activities
Mentors are encouraged to accompany and/or meet their mentees at the following list of ACBA sponsored events:
Bail Reform Seminar – Stockton Seaview Resort, October 5, 8:15am
ACBA Mentoring Program Kick Off BBQ – Location, Date & Time TBA
Allen J. Littlefield Professionalism Day – October 20, Time TBA
ACBA Annual Golf Tournament – Linwood Country Club, October 21, 8:30am
Bar at the Bar – November, Date & Time TBA
Paint Night – JCC (Margate), November 3, 6:00pm
ACBA Annual Holiday Party – December, Date & Time TBA
Children’s Holiday Party – December, Date & Time TBA
Awards Dinner – January, Date & Time TBA
Legislative Dinner – February, Date & Time TBA
Past Presidents Dinner – March, Date & Time TBA
ACBA Spring Fling – April, Date & Time TBA
Mentors may wish to invite their mentees to observe the following in-court activities, where appropriate:
Voir Dire questioning
Direct and Cross-Examination of Expert at Trial
Mentees may also wish to invite their mentor to observe them in the practice of the foregoing in-court activities for the purpose of gaining feedback, where appropriate.