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Initial Meeting | Introduction to the Legal Community | Professionalism | Law Office Management | Practice Development | Legal Ethics | Lawyer Well-Being | Professional Development | Mentoring Resources

One-to-One Mentoring Program

The One-to-One Program Mentoring Plan includes activities and experiences that should be used as guidance for the mentee and mentor during their meetings, whether virtual or in person. This plan consists of topics and activities that are divided into 8 categories. Each category has multiple activities. At least 1 category along with an activity should be discussed during your monthly meeting.

The mentor and mentee will discuss the mentee’s professional goals, interests and practice areas to develop activities using the Mentoring Plan and indicate which activities will be completed during the mentoring term. This Mentoring Plan is to be used as a guide and may be adjusted throughout the mentoring term based on the mentee’s needs and experiences. A monthly submission form is provided so that you can track your progress. This form must be submitted at the end of the year long relationship (12 total meetings) to obtain CLE credit.

A successful mentoring relationship is grounded on communication, trust, and candor. Whether meeting in person or virtually, please make sure you meet in a “place” that will allow for open, yet private communication. At this time, due to COVID-19, we strongly recommend that you meet virtually using an online video conferencing platform (e.g., Zoom, Go-to-Meeting, or Skype, etc.) so that you can see each other. Keep in mind that communication includes both verbal and non-verbal components.

The mentor and mentee must email the monthly submission form and cc: your mentor partner to Julli.Castaneda@staff.azbar.org

Initial Meeting

  1. Mentoring Plan- Mentor and mentee meet in person or virtually to develop a mentoring plan immediately following the AZBar Mentor Connection Virtual Training.
  2. Mentoring Agreement-Mentor and mentee will sign an agreement after discussing and agreeing to Mentoring Plan activities as well as addressing the mentee’s needs and interests. This agreement must be submitted to the Mentor Program Director, Kendra Owens-Johnson at Kendra
  3. Communication- Mentor and mentee to discuss their preferred method of communication i.e., videoconference, phone, email, text. Due to COVID-19, in-person meetings are discouraged at this time.
  4. Scheduling- Mentor and mentee to schedule as many future meetings as possible.

Introduction to the Legal Community

  1. Mentor should introduce the mentee to lawyers in the community in person or virtually through attendance at local bar associations, sections and committees and discuss advantages to involvement in these organizations.
    1. See State Bar of Arizona website for Partner Bar Organizations https://www.azbar.org/for-lawyers/communities/partner-bar-organizations/
  2. Discuss a lawyer’s duty to provide pro bono services-acquaint mentee with nonprofit legal services and pro bono activities.
    1. See State Bar of Arizona website for Pro Bono and Volunteer Opportunities https://www.azbar.org/for-lawyers/career-advancement/volunteer-opportunities/
  3. Meet at the courthouse if circumstances permit and make appropriate introductions to members of the judiciary, court personnel and clerks. Or, schedule an appointment with a judicial officer or officers to meet the mentee. AZBAR Mentor Connection can help you schedule such a meeting. Discuss customary rules of civility of the judiciary, court personnel and clerks. Discuss customary rules of civility or etiquette in court and among lawyers and judges.

Professionalism

  1. Professionalism in Working with Clients
    1. Discuss the role of the lawyer, lawyer’s responsibility to their client, court and adhering to the Rules of Professional Conduct.
    2. Ensure new lawyer is well versed in the ethical rules and guide in the recognition of and resolution of ethical issues.
    3. Discuss a lawyer’s initial meeting and interaction with the client.
      1. Decide whether to undertake representation of a client.
      2. Tips for gathering information about a legal matter.
      3. Appraise credibility and trust of potential client.
      4. Discuss how to make and accept referrals.
      5. Discuss the importance of written fee agreements/engagement letters.
      6. How to Discuss legal fees.
      7. Screening for and avoiding conflicts of interest.
      8. How and when to terminate the attorney-client relationship, issues with terminating mid representation, necessary steps and documentation.
      9. Modes of communication-Response time for email or phone call, is text appropriate. Decide at first meeting what is best for both parties.

  2. Client Communication
    1. Discuss proper legal counseling and duties and responsibilities of advising clients.
    2. Discuss appropriate client interview techniques.
    3. Importance of not over-selling your expertise or expected outcomes.
    4. Importance of communication and maintaining communication (returning phone calls, emails, letters etc.).
      1. Discuss how to deal with a difficult client.
      2. Discuss confidentiality and 3rd party fee payment.
      3. Maintaining client confidentiality.
      4. Explain realistic client expectations.
      5. Responsibility of client and lawyer in decision making and the best ways to involve a client in their case.
      6. Client responsibility and what they need to provide for effective representation.

        Consider the following Resource:
        Keeping It Practical: Tips on Pricing, Billing, and Client Communications by Mark A. Robertson, 2017

  3. Communication in Working with Others
    1. How to communicate within your own firm, with your boss, and with support staff.
    2. How to communicate with opposing counsel.
    3. How to effectively communicate with judges and judicial staff.
    4. Discuss negotiation skills.
      1. Discuss how to prepare for negotiation of a legal matter.
      2. Discuss when and how negotiation should be initiated.
      3. Discuss how to be an effective negotiator.
    5. How to write an effective demand letter
    6. Practice scripting for specific legal situations (e.g., negotiating a plea agreement).

      Consider the following Resource:
      Creating a Culture of Civility in the Practice of Law by John “Sean” Doyle, 2019.

  4. Litigation Issues
    1. Discuss professionalism in written documents.
    2. Discuss professionalism in the courtroom.
      1. What to do if you offend a judge.
      2. What to do if you have a court calendaring issue or you are late to court.
      3. The importance of courtesy with court staff.
    3. How to handle discovery issues with opposing counsel (competency and professionalism during discovery).
    4. Discuss how to handle redundant and excessive pleadings.
    5. Discuss Types of Alternative Dispute Resolution- (e.g., arbitration, facilitation, mediation).
    6. Discuss when it is best to resolve disputes by alternative dispute resolution and how to discuss it with your client.

  5. Diversity and Inclusion
    1. Develop an awareness of diversity and inclusion issues in the legal profession.
    2. Discuss personal experiences involving diversity.
    3. Discuss what your employer has done and or could do to increase diversity.
    4. Attend a diversity awareness CLE or training and discuss.
    5. Take the Harvard’s Project Implicit Attitude Assessment.

      Consider the following Resources:
      ABA Dispute Resolution Processes
      Diversity and Inclusion in the Law: Challenges and Initiatives by Allison E. Laffey and Allison Ng, 2018


Law Office Management

  1. Time Management
    1. Discuss effective time management skills.
    2. How to keep time records.
    3. Importance of calendar reminder systems.
  2. Case Management
    1. Conflict check procedure.
    2. Establishing and keeping a filing system along with efficient procedures.
    3. Document retention plan.
    4. Methods of keeping clients informed about progress of their matters.
    5. Discuss how to maintain client confidentiality.
    6. Information technology system usage and trends.
    7. Library and research systems.
    8. Other resources (publications, seminars, equipment).

  3. Financial Record Keeping
    1. Record of client-related expenses.
    2. Billing system.
    3. Client retainer and/or payment schedules.
    4. Fee agreements.
    5. Escrow and trust accounts.
    6. Establishing an IOLTA.
    7. Accounting, auditing, use of interest proceeds.
    8. Proper procedures for handling client funds and other property.

  4. Working with Interoffice Personnel
    1. Roles and responsibilities of paralegals, legal assistants and other office personnel.
    2. How to effectively work with staff and develop good working relationships.


Practice Development

  1. How to develop the practice in an effective manner.
  2. How to ethically market their practice and services.
  3. Discuss availability of State Bar Practice 2.0.
  4. How to turn introductions into opportunities.
  5. How to identify and create an ideal target client list.
  6. How to develop a business development plan.
  7. How to leverage your law school network.

MENTOR AND MENTEE ARE ENCOURAGED TO DO A 30 MINUTE CONSULTATION WITH THE STATE BAR OF ARIZONA PRACTICE 2.0

Consider the following Resource:
Balancing on One Foot: Practical Tips for Solos by Roberta Tepper, 2020

Legal Ethics

  1. Discuss common malpractice and client grievance issues in your practice and how to avoid these issues.
  2. Resources for dealing with complicated ethical issues.
  3. Discuss ways to address where new lawyers believe another lawyer has committed an ethical violation and the obligation to report misconduct.
  4. Preparation and proper behavior during discovery.
  5. Discuss availability of the State Bar of Arizona’s Ethics hotline.

    Consider the following Resource:
    Young Lawyers: Build Good Practice Habits and Avoid Malpractice Claims by Ian Hu, 2017

Lawyer Well-Being

  1. Discuss prominence of abuse issues in the legal profession.
  2. Identify substance abuse and depression warning signs.
  3. Discuss work life balance.
  4. Discuss availability of the State Bar’s Member Assistance Program (MAP).

    Consider the following Resource:
    When a lawyer gets overwhelmed with fear, anxiety and depression in their life by Stan Popovich, 2019

Professional Development

  1. Expose new lawyer to different areas of practice.
  2. Identify areas of law where the mentee is interested and help make connections in that area.
  3. Assist in developing long-term goals.
  4. Discuss leadership opportunities.
  5. How to develop their resume.
  6. How to get a promotion.
  7. How to put yourself in the best position to get a new job.
  8. Working with legal recruiters.
  9. How often should you change jobs.

    Consider the following Resource:
    Effective Self Promotion for Lawyers by Michelle Chui, 2017


Mentoring Resources