Mentoring Program Guidelines, Expectations and Acknowledgement
EXPECTATIONS: Mentors and protégés mutually agree to meet in groups or as mentoring pairs at least four to five times during the Inn program year for mentoring on agreed upon mentoring topics. Both mentors and protégés will make every effort to attend all scheduled mentoring sessions and actively participate to make mentoring as effective as possible.
CONFLICTS OF INTEREST: The mentor program is intended to provide general assistance to protégés, but it is not intended to provide protégés with answers to case specific questions. When discussing a particular legal issue, protégés should raise the question with their mentor in general terms. The protégé should take steps to avoid disclosing the identity of the protégé's client and to avoid any potential conflicts of interest. If a client's identity must be disclosed because of the nature of the legal question, or because of the mentor's office policies, the mentor shall ensure that no conflicts of interest exist before responding to the protégé's question. If a conflict is discovered that would prohibit the mentor from effectively mentoring the protégé, the mentor should discuss this with the Inn mentoring committee and Inn mentoring group leader and a reassignment will be made.
CLIENT CONFIDENTIALITY: Any detailed conversation between the mentor and protégé regarding a specific problem of a client may require the protégé to obtain consent from the client before the protégé makes any disclosure to the mentor. A protégé's failure to obtain this consent may violate applicable Rules of Professional Conduct.
EMPLOYMENT AS CO-COUNSEL: The mentor shall not accept employment as co-counsel with the protégé, nor shall the mentor accept any client referral from the protégé. Mentors shall take all appropriate steps to avoid the appearance of the existence of any attorney/client relationship with the protégé's clients. Mentors may, however, provide protégés with referrals to other attorneys who could act as co- counsel or accept the referral of cases from the protégé. The mentoring relationship created under the Inn mentoring program is not for the purpose of obtaining legal advice for use by either the protégé or mentor. Accordingly, no attorney/ client relationship is intended to be created and none is created by participation in any Inn mentoring program.
RESEARCH: No research shall be required by the mentor in assisting the protégé.
CONFIDENTIALITY OF MENTOR/PROTÉGÉ COMMUNICATIONS: All communications between the mentor and protégé shall be kept strictly confidential, unless disclosure is required by federal or state statute, or the state Rules of Professional Conduct.
INDEPENDENT LEGAL OPINIONS: The protégé understands and agrees that information received by the protégé from the mentor will not be relied upon by the protégé as a substitute for his or her own judgment or opinion. The protégé further understands that the mentor's opinions and statements are not a substitute for his or her own opinion or independent research. No warranty is made by the mentor that any information given to the protégé is accurate or may be properly relied upon in connection with the protégé's practice.
RELEASE: The mentor program participants expressly release the American Inn of Court, its members, and other mentor program participants from liability arising from the mentor program.
EMPLOYMENT OF THE PROTÉGÉ: The mentor program is a learning tool and is not intended as a recruitment device or to provide employment opportunities. Advice from the mentor about general job hunting strategies and networking suggestions is appropriate. Additionally, the mentor program is not intended to provide counseling on personal matters unrelated to the law or the legal profession.
MENTOR'S OFFICE POLICY: The mentor is not required to take any action that would violate the mentor's office or firm policy. For example, the mentor shall not be required to share sample pleadings with the protégé, if the policy of the mentor's firm prohibits the mentor from doing so.
I CERTIFY THAT I HAVE RECEIVED AND READ THE ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF THE MENTOR PROGRAM GUIDELINES AND EXPECTATIONS, FULLY UNDERSTAND ITS CONTENTS, AND ACCEPT ITS TERMS.
Printed name and signature of Participant: