The Utah New Lawyer Training Program (“NLTP”) is a mandatory twelve month mentoring program for all new active bar members who have not practiced in another jurisdiction for at least two years. Judicial law clerks defer participation in the NLTP until completion of the clerkship.
In the NLTP, a new lawyer meets at least once a month with a more experienced lawyer for one-on-one guidance in acquiring the practical skills, judgment, professionalism, ethics and civility to practice in a highly competent manner. The NLTP also provides a means for all Utah attorneys to learn the importance of organizational mentoring, including the building of developmental networks and long-term mentoring relationships.
All NLTP mentors must submit an application and be approved to mentor. NLTP mentors receive 12 CLE credits for mentoring a new lawyer. The bar website has a list of mentors who have been approved to mentor a new lawyer in the NLTP. A new lawyer can also ask a lawyer to apply to become an approved NLTP mentor. Mentor applications are reviewed by the Utah Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Professionalism. Mentor qualifications include seven years of active practice, no past or pending formal discipline proceeding of any type or nature and, if the mentor is in private practice, malpractice insurance in an amount of at least $100,000 per occurrence and $300,000 in the aggregate. Mentor applicants must also submit at least three references from the legal community.
The new lawyer and mentor meet for two hours a month over the course of a twelve month mentoring term. There are two twelve month mentoring terms per year. One begins in January and one begins in July. There are Timelines on the bar website that list the applicable deadlines for each mentoring term. After the new lawyer completes the NLTP, both the new lawyer and mentor receive 12 CLE credits. The cost of the program is $300. The new lawyer pays $150 at the time of enrollment and $150 and the time of completion.
During the first meeting, the new lawyer and mentor develop a mentoring plan to follow over the course of the mentoring term. A Model Mentoring Plan is available on the bar website. The plan includes some required elements and some elective elements. The new lawyer and mentor should develop a course of elective activities applicable to the new lawyer’s practice area and interests.
After the new lawyer and mentor have developed and signed a mentoring plan, the plan is submitted to the NLTP. During the course of the mentoring term, the new lawyer must also submit two mid-term progress reports and a completion certification. New Lawyers must also attend the New Lawyer Ethics Program in April or October of their first year of admission to the bar.