State Bar Launches New Mentoring Pilot Program

Join In and Pay It Forward: Statewide Mentoring Pilot Program Connects New and Experienced Lawyers

The pilot of a new statewide mentoring program, Ready Set Practice, is now underway to provide experienced help for new attorneys. Here’s how you can get involved – apply by Sept. 30.

Sept. 16, 2015 – New lawyers will have a person to turn to for help, and experienced lawyers will have an opportunity to help guide the next generation: The State Bar of Wisconsin is piloting a new program to address the needs of new lawyers admitted to practice in the state.

The new program, Ready.Set.Practice., will match every new lawyer practicing five years or less with a lawyer having six years or more of experience within the legal profession. The program developed from a consortium of the State Bar of Wisconsin, the University of Wisconsin Law & Entrepreneurship Clinic, and the Wisconsin Lawyers Mutual Insurance Company.

Young Lawyers: Are you looking for a mentor?

The State Bar of Wisconsin Young Lawyers Division identified mentoring as one of its top three professional concerns. Seventy percent of new lawyers recently surveyed had never been in a mentorship program. Forty-one percent of those surveyed wanted to be matched with a mentor right away.

How can a mentor help you?

Mentors will:

  • Introduce you to the legal community in your geographical area;
  • Provide valuable assistance in moving from law school to legal practice;
  • Offer the opportunity to learn practical skills needed for the practice of law;
  • Give you an experienced lawyer to turn to with procedural or ethical questions;
  • Enhance your competence, reputation, and professionalism; and
  • Expand your personal network and increase career satisfaction.

How do I apply to the program?

Complete a Mentee Candidate application and submit it to Kris Wenzel at the State Bar by Sept. 30, 2015. Selections will be made by Oct. 30, 2015. Participants will be asked to attend a short webinar training.

This pilot project is a first step in launching a statewide program in January 2017 available for every new lawyer.

Pilot Program Needs Mentees and Mentors

During its initial phase, the program will involve 25 mentees and mentors. Mentees and mentors are urged to apply to participate in the program by Sept. 30.

The success of any mentoring program depends on the commitment of both the mentors and the new lawyers. The selection and matching process will be coordinated among the Mentoring Subcommittees of the Young Lawyers Division,  and the New Lawyer Challenges and Leadership Development committees.

Candidates for mentees and mentors will be selected based on:

  • Reason for wanting to participate in the program;
  • Level of commitment in serving as a resource for future program participants; and
  • Geographic diversity to establish a strong foundation for the program.

The 25 mentees will be selected by Oct. 30. Mentors will be selected by Nov. 30, with a training webinar to follow.

To apply as a mentor, see the information below.

To apply as a mentee, see the information in the sidebar.

Experienced Wisconsin Lawyers: Be a Mentor

If you have practiced in the legal profession for six or more years and are interested in serving as a mentor in the pilot program, apply by Sept. 30.

How Do I Become a Mentor?

Wondering what it takes to be a mentor? Check out the Ready.Set.Practice. Mentoring Handbook, designed to help you be a good mentor. Suggested activities will make your involvement memorable. The handbook includes suggestions and guides, including:

  • Initial meeting guide;
  • Practice area checklist; and
  • Fully detailed mentoring plan with specific activities and options.

How Do I Apply to the Program?

To apply, complete the Mentor application and submit it to Kris Wenzel at the State Bar by Sept. 30, 2015. If you are selected, we encourage you to attend a short webinar training. Details will be provided to program participants.