Oregon State Bar Bulletin JANUARY 2014
To All Oregon Lawyers
Two years ago, Oregon became just the third state in the nation to commit to welcoming each new lawyer into the legal profession with a formal mentoring program. We hoped that this would reinforce the collegial nature of our bar, while providing a resource to every new professional during a transition that can, at times, prove bewildering. It seemed particularly relevant in an economic climate that saw so many new lawyers starting their own practices without the support systems that many of us enjoyed early in our careers.
We also saw the New Lawyer Mentoring Program (NLMP) as a program that would help ensure that all members of the bar — and its new lawyers in particular — serve their clients with competence and professionalism. The mentoring program provides a great opportunity to pass on to new lawyers the high standards of integrity, ethics and professional conduct that are an Oregon tradition.
We hope that this initiative supplements the fine work of our law schools and adds to our collective mission to support lawyers as they undertake their new professional career. Evaluations of the first full cycle of the NLMP indicate that we are meeting a significant need for our newest members. This new program is still evolving and, based upon feedback from participants, changes have been made in the program to increase flexibility and reduce the time commitment required. The program is off to a very strong start and this court remains steadfastly behind the goals of the NLMP.
I am writing this letter to all members of the Oregon State Bar to encourage you to consider serving as a mentor in the NLMP. Having sufficient mentors for each additional class of new bar members is critical to the ongoing success of the program. Oregon attorneys with five or more years of practice are eligible to serve as mentors. The OSB has a wealth of material about the program on its website at www.osbar.org. It also has a link where you can complete a very brief survey to enroll. I hope you will take a look and consider joining the nearly 800 other OSB members who have signed on to be mentors.
Thomas Balmer Chief Justice, Oregon Supreme Court
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