Section Navigation

 

Bridge the Gap Mentorship Program


mentors

 

Thank you for volunteering to be a mentor! Our community is truly privileged to have individuals like you who are willing to share their knowledge, skills, and values with new lawyers. Through this mentorship, we know new lawyers will acquire the practical skills and judgment to practice law in a competent manner while developing a sense of pride, civility, and integrity. The program's curriculum plan offers you and your protégé flexibility to select the most salient activities, and the collection of 40 curriculum resources removes the need for you to do independent research.

As you prepare for this new role, we'd like to share some comments from former Bridge the Gap mentors and protégés:

 

" really loved the experience and look forward to participating again in the future!" Mentor

"The program offers an opportunity to pass on some matters that were learned the hard way; it allows an avenue to try to stress that one can disagree and not be disagreeable."  Mentor

"I've revisited rules of professional responsibility and statutes that I hadn't reviewed in a while, so it was a good refresher for me and it rekindled my enthusiasm for the profession." Mentor

"My mentor was wonderful. The experience and wisdom she shared is priceless and I'm extremely grateful for being able to participate in this program." Protégé.

"There are so many little things that you never think about as a new attorney. This program has already made it easier for me and I know it will continue to help me in the future." Protégé

Program Materials

Program Forms

Mentor Handbook Mentor Application
Who Does What Mentor-New Lawyer Request Form
Video Orientation Program Evaluation
Individual Mentorship Curriculum Plan Certificate of Satisfactory Program Completion
Curriculum Resources

 

FAQ's


How do I become a mentor?
How do I attend the required program orientation?
Can a mentor pick a new attorney to work with?
What are my requirements as a mentor?
What do I do once I’m approved as a mentor?
What do I teach the new attorney?
How do I demonstrate the new attorney has satisfactorily completed the program?
Can I mentor a lawyer at my firm?
When must the program be completed?
Where is the rule making this program mandatory?
I like to read. Is there a program handbook for mentors?
How do I give the Supreme Court feedback on the program?

How do I become a Mentor?

You can become a mentor by meeting five requirements:

  1. Be licensed in New Mexico, registered active and in good standing.
  2. Practiced at least seven years, five of those in New Mexico.
  3. No public discipline imposed in the last seven years.
  4. Read the entire mentor application and sign it.
  5. Carry professional liability insurance of $100,000/$300,000 or meet the exception of government attorneys, judges, in house counsel, non-profit lawyer or have insurance through your law firm.

If you meet these requirements, download the mentor application.

Your completed application goes through a three-step screening process which can take from three weeks to three months to complete.

  1. Submit your application if you meet the five requirements above.
  2. Your application is given to a committee of attorneys, judges and law students who approve your suitability as a mentor.
  3. Once approved, your application is given to the Supreme Court for final approval.

Top

How Do I Attend The Required Program Orientation?

An orientation for the BTG Program is held twice per year soon after new lawyers are sworn in. You can attend this orientation in person with new lawyers and other members and we’ll buy you lunch, or you can view it online.

You need to watch the general orientation session and the mentor session. Please remember to complete the paperwork certifying you've watched the video. Submit Certification.

Can A Mentor Pick A New Attorney To Work With?

Yes, you can. Either use the Mentor/New Lawyer Matching form or on the mentor application, there is a space for you to indicate you would like to mentor a specific lawyer. Otherwise, the new lawyers pick you.

What Are My Requirements As A Mentor?

  1. You must complete a mentor application and be approved.
  2. Attend the orientation either in person or online.
  3. You and the new lawyer must complete the BTG program by the due date if you want CLE credit for the calendar year in which you are mentoring. In most cases the due date is Dec 1 of the first full calendar year you and your new lawyer are working together.
  4. You need to be available to your new lawyer, not 24/7, but you should answer calls, texts and emails. If you have to cancel a meeting with your new lawyer, please reschedule.
  5. Meet with the new lawyer twelve times a year, at a minimum. Seven of those meeting must be face-to-face.
    Go easy on the war stories.
  6. Complete the program survey on line to give the Supreme Court feedback on the program.
  7. Complete the Certificate of Completion for you and your new lawyer to show you completed the program.
  8. Let us know if you’re having any difficulties: Jill Anne 797-6003, jyeagley@nmbar.org, or Elizabeth Aikin 797-6049, eaikin@nmbar.org.

    Have fun, make a new friend and learn from your new lawyer.

Top

What Do I Do Once I'm Approved As A Mentor?

We will contact you by email if you are matched with a new attorney. If you are not matched, you will be most probably be matched after the next swearing in. New lawyers are sworn in every year in April and September.

We have asked the new lawyer you are matched with to contact you, but If you haven’t heard from them in a week, please call them to get the first meeting set up.

During your first meeting with the new lawyer, you’ll spend some time getting to know one another and you will help the new lawyer select from a wide aray of legal topics that will be covered during their twelve months with you. You may want to guide them on what is realistically doable during that time.

The mentoring curriculum lists the thirty topics that can be covered during the twelve months. Thirteen of the topics are mandatory and seventeen are elective. If the new lawyer wants to cover more topics than the thirty and you are willing, feel free to do so.

After you select your curriculum topics and use Resource 1 to guide you through the first meeting, the new lawyer must complete the Curriculum Plan Agreement and send it to us as soon as possible. You and the new lawyer are not considered ‘working the program’ until we have the Curriculum Plan Agreement.

Top

What Do I Teach The New Attorney?

If you attended the BTG orientation in person, we gave both you and your new lawyer a flash drive with all the BTG materials on it. If you don’t have a flash drive, call us and we’ll get one to you. Every topic in the curriculum plan has readings, activities, discussion questions and suggestions. You’ll find these by clicking on Mentorship Curriculum Resources. Please use these Resources! Using them will save you time, frustration, headaches and they will keep you and the new lawyer on track with the program requirements.


These materials have been ‘lawyer tested’ by the Ohio State Bar’s mentoring program, so we are confident that the resources will work well for you and your protege.

Top

How Do I Demonstrate The New Attorney Has Satisfactorily Completed The Program?

Complete the Certificate of Completion and mail, email or fax it to us by December 1 of the first full calendar year that you and the new lawyer have been working together. If you can’t finish by December 1, you can request a thirty day extension. Beyond that, CLE credits for you and your protege will be awarded the next year.

Top

Can I Mentor A Lawyer At My Firm?

Definitely, as long as you are not the direct supervisor of that new lawyer. At times, new lawyers want to talk about their supervisors with their mentors. If you wish to mentor a specific lawyer, you can make that request on the Mentor New Lawyer Request Form or on the Mentor Application.

Top

When Must The Program Be Completed?

In order to receive CLE credits for the year in which you mentored the new lawyer, the Program must be completed by Dec 1 of the first full calendar year in which you and your new lawyer participate.

Use the Certificate of Completion to certify Completion. Additional time beyond Dec 1, may jeopardize you and your new lawyer attaining CLE credit for the correct year.

Top

Where Is The Rule Making This Program Mandatory?

NMRA 24-110

Top

I Like To Read. Is There A Program Handbook For Mentors?

Handbook For Mentors

Top

How Do I Give The Supreme Court Feedback On The Program?

Since BTG is a new program, feedback on what to change and what to leave alone is very important. The Supreme Court gets a quarterly report on the BTG program. As a mentor, we need your feedback midway thorough the program and again at the end of the program. Click on the appropriate link to take you to the survey.

Top