Through effective mentoring, help lawyers, law students, and legal professionals integrate into the legal profession and become and remain successful professionals of good character.
The National Legal Mentoring Consortium promotes mentoring of lawyers, legal professionals, and law school students, by sharing ideas, approaches, skills, policies, and programs that have succeeded in helping protégés develop into successful lawyers of good character. Clients, the public, and the profession are best served through healthy lawyering practices and by the highest ideals of professionalism and collegiality, which can be effectively developed through mentoring.
The future of our profession depends on mentoring; certainly our history suggests so. It is not by accident that the legal profession originated as an apprenticeship. A calling like ours demands that wisdom and experience that cannot be captured from case law or text books be passed along from seasoned lawyer to the less experienced, especially in the area of professionalism and ethics. Mentoring can help demystify and clarify what it means to be a lawyer, while emphasizing honesty, candor, service, and civility. Practicing law and being a lawyer is a way of life as much as it is a profession, and mentors can help ensure that lawyering retains its position as a calling, not simply a career.
Helping law students and lawyers achieve a comfortable position among our ranks as professionals is the goal of many mentoring programs currently offered by law schools, law firms, courts, bar associations, and other professional lawyer groups. Mentoring is also becoming a regular activity for established lawyers who are looking for guidance in a new area. Good mentoring skills and techniques, practiced by both the mentor and the protégé, are key to productive mentoring sessions. The National Legal Mentoring Consortium is a forum for achieving both these goals.