As National Mentoring Month winds down, the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism (2Civility) is thrilled to announce the launch of an online lawyer mentoring orientation. The online presentation can be used year-round by sponsoring organizations to launch mentoring relationships.
This tool is the initial step required to begin our Lawyer-to-Lawyer Mentoring Program. Illinois Supreme Court developed the program in 2011 to provide a structured way for experienced lawyers to nurture the careers of attorneys in their first five years of admission to practice law in Illinois.
Online lawyer mentoring orientation
The new online orientation provides an overview of the mentoring program’s structure and the benefits of mentorship. It outlines requirements for program completion and CLE credit (in Illinois). The module shares tips for troubleshooting problems that may arise during a mentoring relationship, like differences in cross-generational communication.
The easily accessible presentation can be broadcast to large mentoring orientations or completed individually or by mentoring pairs. The responsive tool is ideal for lawyers on the go. Attorneys can view the module on personal computers or mobile devices.
About the mentoring program
Our Lawyer-to-Lawyer Mentoring Program includes action items focused in five areas of professional responsibility: professionalism, legal ethics, civility, diversity and inclusion, and mental health, substance abuse, and wellness. These focus areas mirror the professionalism responsibility CLE requirements under Illinois Supreme Court Rules.
Thousands of participants have completed our mentoring program. Mentees benefit from valuable knowledge-sharing in launching a legal career, building a network, and establishing confidence and a professional identify. Mentors gain a renewed sense of purpose and a better understanding of the perspectives new lawyers bring to the industry.
After completing the program, 100 percent of mentors and mentees said they’d recommend the program to other lawyers. Ninety-nine percent plan to maintain a relationship with their mentoring partner. More than 70 percent said they experienced a greater connection and commitment to the profession. Eighty-two percent of mentees report a better understanding of how attorneys interact. Eighty-seven percent of mentees said their understanding of attorney professionalism increased.
More than 85 organizations across Illinois participate in our program. It also serves as a model for other legal mentoring platforms across the U.S.
Completion of the program through an approved organization qualifies the mentor and mentee to receive 6.0 hours of professional responsibility CLE credit, pursuant to Illinois Supreme Court Rule 795(d)(11). This includes one hour in the area of diversity and inclusion and one hour in the area of mental health and substance abuse, pursuant to Illinois Supreme Court Rule 794(d)(2).
Please reach out to Stephanie Villinski (Chicago) or Mark C. Palmer (outside Chicago) if you’d like to learn more about this free CLE mentorship program.
About the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism
The Illinois Supreme Court established the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism in 2005 under Supreme Court Rule 799(c) to foster increased civility, professionalism, and inclusiveness among lawyers and judges in Illinois. By advancing the highest standards of conduct among lawyers and judges, 2Civility works to better serve clients and society alike. For more information, please visit 2Civility.org and follow us on Twitter @2CivilityOrg.
Laura Bagby, Communications Director