Mentoring Programs for Newly Admitted Lawyers in Massachusetts

A list provided by the Access to Justice Commission of the many mentoring resources available to members of the Massachusetts bar.

Statewide Bar Associations

Massachusetts Bar Association:

  • The Mentor Program offers MBA members the opportunity to speak with an experienced attorney for advice. Mentors are knowledgeable practitioners, in good standing, have practiced law for more than seven years, and have volunteered to advise other attorneys on selected legal topics.

    http://access.massbar.org/mentoring/about
     
  • Massachusetts Bar Association's Law Practice Management Section is developing a program in conjunction with the Massachusetts Law Office Assistance Program to provide limited technical assistance to both new lawyers as well as more experienced lawyers to assist in the management of effective private law practice, including such topics as technology, finance and billing, human resources, marketing, general law office administration, and ethics.

    https://www.massbar.org/membership/member-groups 

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County/Regional Bar Associations

Bar Association of Norfolk County: The Norfolk County Bar Association has a mentor panel that includes attorneys willing to act as mentors to new attorneys beginning their law practice but is open to other attorneys seeking further legal assistance. The new attorney can submit their request for an area of law and the bar disseminates that information throughout the membership in order to find a match.

http://www.norfolkbarassn.org/practice-areas/

Barnstable County Bar Association: The Barnstable County Bar Association is establishing an attorney mentor program for its lawyers this year.

https://barnstablebar.org/

Boston Bar Association: The Boston Bar Association (BBA) has an established Group Mentoring Program. Noting that an indicator of career success for lawyers is having a supportive mentoring environment, the BBA's group mentoring program aims to build networks for lawyers and support a new generation of diverse leaders in our legal community. Each of the mentoring groups is led by two experienced mentors working with eight to ten participants. Our groups are open to lawyers from all backgrounds and practice areas who have been admitted to the bar eight years or less. The BBA also has an array of programming for newly admitted lawyers - including networking, practical skills workshops, and other training - primarily through its New Lawyers Section.

http://www.bostonbar.org/in-the-community/diversity-inclusion

Essex County Bar Association: The Essex County Bar Association (ECBA) promotes mentoring by contacting established members and connecting them with new attorneys who practice in the same area. While this is done at the request of the new attorney, the ECBA allows the relationship to develop on its own. The bar holds social events and seminars in order to encourage mentor/mentee relationships.

http://www.essexcountybar.org

Many other county bars, while not yet adopting formal mentoring initiatives, provide informal networking and/or training opportunities for their members. Please refer to the following websites, where available, for more information:

Berkshire County Bar Association: http://www.berkshirebar.com

Franklin County Bar Association: http://www.franklincountybar.org

Hampden County Bar Association: http://www.hcbar.org

Hampshire County Bar Association: http://www.hampshirebar.org

Middlesex County Bar Association: http://www.middlesexbar.org

Plymouth County Bar Association: http://www.plymouthcountybar.com

Worcester County Bar Association: http://www.worcestercountybar.org

Affinity Bar Associations

Massachusetts LGBTQ Bar Association: The Association's Membership Committee builds creative programming to meet the needs of LGBTQ law students and lawyers at all stages in their careers, and administers the Mass LGBTQ Bar's Mentoring Program. The Committee is comprised of law students, new lawyers, and experienced lawyers.

http://www.masslgbtqbar.org/article.html?aid=105

South Asian Bar Association of Greater Boston: The South Asian Bar Association - Greater Boston (SABA GB) has mentoring circles geared towards certain areas of practice (transactional, litigation, public interest) that are available to any member of SABA GB. These circles are geared towards mentoring young attorneys.

http://www.sabagb.org

Women's Bar Association (WBA): The WBA's mentoring circles program provides a confidential forum for women lawyers to discuss professional development and many other issues. Each circle is comprised of ten to fifteen women of varying levels of experience from a wide range of practice areas. Each circle meets at least quarterly.

https://wbawbf.org/content/wba-mentoring-circles-guest-mentor-program

Many other affinity bars, while not yet adopting formal mentoring initiatives, provide informal networking and/or training opportunities for their members. Please refer to the following websites for more information:

Asian American Lawyers Association of Massachusetts: http://www.aalam.org

Massachusetts Association of Hispanic Attorneys: http://www.mahaweb.org

Massachusetts Association of Women Lawyers: http://www.mawl.org

Massachusetts Black Lawyers Association: http://www.massblacklawyers.org

Massachusetts Black Women Attorneys: http://www.massblackwomenattys.org

Other Professional Associations

Massachusetts State Committee of the American College of Trial Lawyers: A free pilot mentoring program by which Massachusetts Fellows of the American College of Trial Lawyers will be paired with lawyers in early stages of their careers who have a strong and demonstrated interest in concentrating their practices in trial advocacy.

https://www.actl.com/home/membership/outreach-resources

The Real Estate Bar Association for Massachusetts: The Mentoring Program of the Real Estate Bar Association for Massachusetts is available to lawyer-members who are new to the practice of real estate law for a period of six months. The program is intended to help such members develop professionally by providing access to an experienced real estate lawyer who can provide guidance and direction.

http://www.reba.net/UserFiles/files/pdfs/MRG/temp/MRG_Links/Mentoring_Program.pdf

Additional Related Resources

Law Office Management Assistance Program provides trainings for attorneys who are in the process of establishing solo practices. At these meetings, attendees learn about important considerations for the establishment of an independent law practice and ask questions about this transition.

http://masslomap.org/start-up-kit/

Starting Out Solo is an organization designed to help Massachusetts solo attorneys network and consult with one another about their law practice, both in terms of case work and management.

http://www.startingoutsolo.com

Pro Bono Opportunities: Many pro bono referral programs will provide volunteers with training and/or an experienced mentor. One example is the Volunteer Lawyers Project of the Boston Bar Association (VLP). VLP offers an array of mentoring opportunities: 1) individual mentoring for new attorneys on assigned pro bono matters; 2) small group mentoring in family law cases to discuss issues that arise on pro bono matters; and 3) peer-to-peer mentoring groups.

https://vlpnet.org/get-involved/

Please note that this web page is an illustrative, but by no means comprehensive, list of the mentoring programs available for newly admitted lawyers in Massachusetts. 

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