Finding a Mentor
You may find a mentor in one of three ways:
- Search the List of Available Mentors – There is a PDF list of available mentors on the Utah Bar website>> Approved Mentor List. The lawyers on the approved mentor list have already submitted an application and been approved to mentor. They have volunteered to mentor for the NLTP and are expecting new lawyers to call.
- Ask a Lawyer to Apply to Become an Approved Mentor – If there is an attorney you know who is not an approved mentor and he or she meets the minimum requirements to mentor, you may take the initiative and ask that attorney to submit a mentor application. If he or she agrees, you should ask the lawyer to submit an online Mentor Application. The Supreme Court Committee on Professionalism needs adequate time to review the attorney’s application, so if you plan to ask a lawyer to apply to be your mentor, ask the lawyer to submit an application well in advance of your enrollment deadline. Not all applicants are approved. You should have an alternate approved mentor in mind.
- Ask Your Employer to Suggest Potential Mentors – Most law firms and legal organizations have approved mentors working for them. Your law firm or legal organization can suggest a mentor for you from within your own organization.
What to Consider When Selecting a Mentor
You should consider the following when selecting a mentor:
- Employer – Selecting a mentor who works for the same law firm or legal organization as you makes it easier to meet frequently and, depending on the relationship, may afford the opportunity to work together on cases. On the other hand, working with a mentor outside of your legal organization expands your networking circle and provides a different perspective on your work experience. Also, it may be easier to ask questions and share personal concerns with a mentor outside your legal organization.
- Practice areas – A mentor practicing in the same practice area as you may be more likely to understand and relate to your work experiences. Sometimes, however, new lawyers select a mentor who practices in an area of law that interests them or they hope to practice in later in their career. This is an effective way to learn more about an area of law that may be unfamiliar to you.
- Memberships and leadership positions outside of the office – Involvement in bar associations and civic activities helps to define a lawyer’s career. You may decide to select a mentor who is involved in groups that you would like to join or who holds leadership roles to which you aspire.
- Personal interests and background information – Success in a mentoring relationship depends largely upon developing rapport between you and your mentor. You may want to select a mentor who attended the same college or law school as you so that you have this common experience. Similarly, you may select a mentor who has hobbies or interests that you share and can easily discuss.
- Location – Select a mentor who works near you. If your mentor is not from your firm or legal organization, scheduling meetings can sometimes be a challenge. Adding significant travel time is usually a barrier to creating a successful mentoring relationship.