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 plans offer you and your protégé flexibility in addressing the program activities, and the collection of 40 curriculum resources removes much of 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
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?
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:
- Be licensed in New Mexico, registered active and in good standing.
- Practiced at least seven years, five of those in New Mexico.
- No public discipline imposed in the last seven years.
- Read the entire mentor application and sign it.
- 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.
- Submit your application if you meet the five requirements above.
- Your application is given to a committee of attorneys, judges and law students who approve your suitability as a mentor.
- Once approved, your application is given to the Supreme Court for final approval.
How Do I Attend the Required Program Orientation?
The orientation is available online. After viewing the orientation, 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. 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?
- You must complete a mentor application and be approved.
- Watch the online orientation.
- 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. 31 of the first full calendar year you and your new lawyer are working together.
- 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.
- 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.
- Complete the online program survey to give the Supreme Court feedback on the program.
- Complete the Certificate of Completion for you and your new lawyer to show you completed the program.
- Let us know if you’re having any difficulties: Elizabeth Aikin 797-6049, firstname.lastname@example.org Stormy Ralstin 797-6053.
Have fun, make a new friend and learn from your new lawyer.
What Do I Do Once I'm Approved as a Mentor?
If you did not apply to be a mentor for a specific new lawyer, you will be added to the Pre-approved Mentor List
as “available.” This list is designed to help new lawyer participants select suitable mentors by providing information such as location and type of practice and practice areas. New lawyers are sworn in every year in April and September and soon after the swearing-in, they begin calling pre-approved mentors to explore a possible collaboration. You may meet in person before deciding, or simply converse over the telephone – it is up to you. Once you and the new lawyer have agreed to work together, he or she will advise the mentorship program coordinator of your pairing and you will receive an official pairing confirmation.
During your first mentorship meeting with the new lawyer, you and the new lawyer will discuss his/her goals and select from one of the four practice-specific curricula. (You may find Resource 1 helpful with this discussion). After the two of you have chosen the specific curriculum, you will read through the Mentorship Agreement and pertinent excerpt from NMRA Rule 24-110, and submit the completed Mentorship Agreement to the mentorship coordinator. You and the new lawyer will not be considered to be “working the program” until the Mentorship Agreement is received.
What Do I Teach the New Attorney?
The curricula are comprised of multiple topics/activities designed to facilitate the achievement of the program's objectives. These topics are listed in priority of importance (in descending order); however, you and the new lawyer are free to determine your own order as long as you address all of the topics at some point during the mentorship program.
Associated with almost every curriculum topic are resources (readings, activities, discussion questions and suggestions) to help you delve into the topic without having to conduct significant research.. You’ll find these by clicking on Mentorship Curriculum Resources . Please use these Resources! Doing so will save you time, frustration, headaches and they will keep you and the new lawyer on track with the program requirements.
How Do I Demonstrate the New Attorney Has Satisfactorily Completed the Program?
Complete the Certificate of Completion and submit it online by December 31 of the first full calendar year that you and the new lawyer have been working together. If you can’t finish by December 31, you can request a thirty-day extension. Beyond that, CLE credits for you and your protege will be awarded the next year.
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 on the Mentor Application.
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. 31 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 31, may jeopardize you and your new lawyer attaining CLE credit for the correct year.
Where Is the Rule Making this Program Mandatory?
How Do I Give the Supreme Court Feedback on the Program?
Your feedback is important to the continuing success of this program! The Supreme Court receives quarterly updates as well as an annual report that contains data and participant comments from the program survey. Mentors are asked to complete the online program survey each time they complete a program year with a new lawyer.