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


We Love Letters

The Bulletin welcomes letters. In general, letters should pertain to recent articles, columns or other letters and should be limited to 250 words. Other things to keep in mind:

Letters must be original and addressed to the Bulletin editor. We do not reprint letters addressed to other publications, to other individuals, to whom it may concern, etc. Preference is given to letters responding to letters to the editor, articles or columns recently published in the Bulletin.

Letters must be signed. Unsigned or anonymous letters will not be published. (There are exceptions. Inquire with the editor.) Letters may not promote individual products, services or political candidates. All letters must comply with the guidelines of Keller v. State Bar of California in that they must be germane to the purpose of regulating the legal profession or improving the quality of the legal services available to the people of Oregon.

Letters may be edited for grammatical errors, style or length, or in cases where language or information is deemed unsuitable or inappropriate for publication. Profane or obscene language is not accepted.

We strive to print as many letters as possible. Therefore, brevity is important, and preference will be given to letters that are 250 words or less. Letters become the property of the Oregon State Bar. Authors of rejected letters are notified by the editor.

Send letters to: Editor, OSB Bulletin, P.O. Box 231935, Tigard, OR 97281.


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