A mentor acts as an advisor, guide,
counselor, and teacher. Mentoring is a time-honored tradition
and a cornerstone of the American Inns of Court.
Accordingly, under the auspices of the Counselor, in consultation
with the Chair of the Membership Committee, the Inn has
established a Mentoring Program that utilizes the Inn's Masters and
Barristers to mentor Associates and Pupils. The Mentoring
Program will assist members in developing high standards of
professionalism based upon internalized principles of appropriate
behavior consistent with the legal profession's core values.
The Mentoring Programing is intended to
cultivate professional excellence in support of the American Inns
of Court's goal of fostering excellence in professionalism, ethics,
civility, and legal skills. The specific goals of the
Mentoring Program are to:
- Develop an understanding of generally accepted professional
values and standards of behavior and the importance of
professionalism in the practice of law.
- Build awareness of ethical obligations and of proper practices
for avoiding mishandling of other's assets, conflicts of interest,
neglect of matters, and civil liability problems.
- Improve professional skills necessary for the effective
practice of law at a high level of competence.
- Develop an appreciation of the importance of supporting and
improving the justice system, improving access to justice and the
importance of active involvement in the profession and the
Overall administration of the Mentoring
Program is the responsibility of the Counselor in consultation with
the Chair of the Membership Committee. The responsibilities
of administration include:
- Oversight of the operation of the Mentoring Program;
- Communicating with Inn members about the existence and
organization of the Mentoring Program;
- Recruiting and organizing mentoring leaders, mentors, and
protégés and working with mentoring leaders to match mentors with
- Generating and maintaining a non-inclusive, illustrative list
of potential mentoring topics;
- Establishing appropriate mechanisms for accountability to
ensure the Mentoring Program is successful; and
- Periodic evaluation to improve the Mentoring Program.
- Mentoring groups. Mentoring will be
conducted within the pupilage groups assigned at the beginning of
each Inn year. Each pupilage group will have a mentoring
leader, appointed by the Counselor in consultation with the Chair
of the Membership Committee, who is responsible for the pupilage
group's mentoring activities and reports for the program
year. The mentoring leader will assign each Associate and
Pupil within the pupilage group (the protégé) to a Master or
Barrister within the pupilage group (the mentor).
- Duration of mentoring. Each mentoring cycle
lasts for the duration of one Inn program year.
- Frequency of meetings. Each protégé should
have at least three in-person meetings with mentors during the
Mentoring Program year, either with the pupilage group as a whole
or in mentor-protégé pair meetings.
- Length of meetings. Normally, mentor-protégé
meetings, whether within the pupilage group as a whole or with
individual mentors and protégés, should last at least one
- Time and place of meetings. Mentoring
leaders should facilitate convenient meeting schedules.
- Mentoring topics. The Counselor in
consultation with the Chair of the Membership Committee will
generate and maintain a non-inclusive, illustrative list of
potential mentoring topics to be covered in mentoring
meetings. High importance should be placed on the
transmission of professional values to protégés by addressing
professionalism to the extent possible, including (i) high
competence in legal skills, (ii) adherence to ethical obligations,
(iii) an appreciation of the importance of civility and
professional demeanor in all dealings, (iv) the importance of pro
bono representation and access to justice issues, (v) the
importance of participation in bar organizations at the local,
state, and national levels, (vi) the transmission of professional
values and standards to less experienced members of the legal
profession; and (vii) balancing self-interest with the interests of
clients, the justice system, and the public interest.
Format and Schedule:
The following format, or one substantially
similar as approved by the Counselor in consultation with the Chair
of the Membership Committee, shall be used as a workable approach
for most mentoring topics.
- Session One: Group discussion with all
mentors and protégés in pupilage group.
- Session Two: One-on-one meeting(s) between
individual mentors and protégés.
- Session Three: Group discussion
with all mentors and protégés in pupilage group.
Accountability & Evaluation:
mentoring leader will provide one or more verbal progress report(s)
to the Counselor and the Chair of the Membership Committee
throughout the Inn year on the progress of the pupilage group's
To assist in continually improving the Mentoring Program, at
the end of the program year, the Counselor and the Chair of the
Membership Committee will evaluate the Mentoring Program, seeking
input from mentors and protégés and using information from verbal
reports from mentoring leaders, and providing the results and
suggestions for improvement to the Executive Committee of the