Mentoring of less experienced lawyers is a time honored tradition within the legal community, and many successful practitioners can point to one or more lawyers who have helped advance their careers. In 2014, the New Jersey Commission on Professionalism selected Morris County to formulate and conduct a pilot program for one-on-one attorney mentoring that will provide both the Mentors and Protégés with CLE credit. The goal of awarding CLE credit for a one-on-one mentoring program is to elevate the competence, professionalism, and success of members of the New Jersey bar who have been admitted to practice 5 years or less, by matching them in a one-on-one relationship with Mentors who can offer the Protégés:
- A better understanding of professional values and ethical obligations
- An exchange of ideas on a variety of topics
- Personal growth and development
- Development of practice skills and knowledge of legal customs
- Enhancement of professional judgment
- An appreciation of the justice system and the importance of the rule of law
As outlined in more detail in the Manual found below, Joint Unified Mentor Program (“JUMP”) will involve a mentoring term of twelve months, consisting of at least eight meetings or participation in specific events, and will result in the Mentor and Protégé gaining four (4) Continuing Legal Education credits, one of which is Ethics.
To be eligible for participation in the program as a Protégé, a lawyer must be admitted to practice in New Jersey for 5 years or less, and be in good standing with the Clerk of the Supreme Court.
To be eligible for participation in the program as a Mentor, a lawyer must be admitted to practice in New Jersey for at least 7 years and must not have received a disciplinary sanction within the past 5 years. Every Mentor must have malpractice insurance coverage. Each Mentor must read the Principles of Professionalism of the Commission on Professionalism in the Law, and any codes of conduct or civility promulgated by the Morris County Bar Association.