Mentoring Plans

Colorado Attorney Mentoring Program (CAMP)

Rules & Policies

Pursuant to Rule 255 Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure

June 1, 2013

  1. Preamble:
    1. It is recognized that, to implement and sustain a successful and valuable mentoring program, there must be a unified effort among the bench and bar to promote and be involved in the program. The continued success of this program depends upon the participation of members of the profession to advance the shared goals set forth in the Objectives.
  2. Objectives
    1. The objectives of the Program can be viewed broadly as promoting pride in the profession; excellence in service; and strong relationships with the bar, clients, and the public, through teaching (1) the core values and ideals of the legal profession and (2) the best practices for meeting those ideals. More specifically, the objectives are:
      1. Promote excellence in the practice of law.
      2. Promote professionalism and collegiality among members of the bar through exercise of ethical and civil behavior.
      3. Promote inclusion and involvement of attorneys in the Colorado legal community by networking and developing mentor relationships.
      4. Promote high standards for client representation through early instruction regarding competency and the exercise of sound and reasoned judgment.
      5. Promote high standards for client representation through early instruction about best practices, including law office management and legal customs learned from practical experience.
      6. Promote public service as an indispensable component of professionalism, and instill pride in the profession and the role lawyers have played and continue to play in shaping and preserving our nation’s values.
      7. Promote professional development for both mentors and mentees to include the need for inclusiveness and diversity in the profession, the need for a healthy and balanced lifestyle, and the need for the development of a professional identity.
      8. Raise the consciousness and sensitivity of the members of the bar to the importance and the role of effective mentoring in promoting the above values and best practices.
    2. While the Program has components that include group activities, an emphasis is placed on the one-on-one professional relationship between the trained lawyer and the Mentee because this is one of the best ways to pass on the values, ideals, and best practices of the profession.
    3. This program is structured intentionally to be decentralized, so that individual groups and organizations, with designated facilitators, can carry out the program on a local level in a manner that fits the needs of the attorneys they serve. Furthermore, it is hoped that by encouraging the development of “grassroots” efforts to conduct mentoring programs, new attorneys will achieve more successful integration with their organization, local bar, or region. Accordingly, although provision is made for mentor pairs to participate in the program independent of an organization, this should be the exception rather than the rule.
  3. Definitions:
    1. Mentee: Lawyer recently licensed to practice law in Colorado, as further defined in Part IV.
    2. Mentor: Experienced lawyer appointed to serve as a mentor, as further defined in Part V.
    3. Colorado Attorney Mentoring Program: This set of guidelines governing the development and implementation of Mentoring Programs, through which participants may obtain CLE credit.
    4. Participating Organization: Entity which has developed an approved Mentoring Program, as described in Part X.
    5. Mentoring Program: The program developed by the Participating Organization to implement the Colorado Attorney Mentoring Program, as described in Part X.
    6. Mentoring Plan: The individual plan which the Mentee-Mentor pair will complete in accordance with a Participating Organization’s Mentoring Program, as described in Part X.
    7. Facilitator: A volunteer within the Participating Organization who will serve as the liaison between the Participating Organization and the CAMP Director, as described in Part X.f.ii.
    8. CAMP Director: Employee of the Supreme Court who will conduct the administrative tasks of the Colorado Attorney Mentoring Program, pursuant to Rule 255 C.R.C.P. and as described in Part XIII.
    9. Commission Standing Committee: In conjunction with the Supreme Court Advisory Committee pursuant to Rule 251.34 C.R.C.P. Committee of the Commission on the Legal Profession which will provide oversight to the Colorado Attorney Mentoring Program, as described in Part XIV.
  4. Mentee Applicant
    1. Who may participate
      1. Licensed, active Colorado lawyers, who are either practicing or are intending to practice law in Colorado. Preference will be given to lawyers who are within their first three years following admission to practice law in Colorado, and in that case the program must be completed prior to the end of the attorney’s third year of practice.
      2. If a lawyer serves as a judicial law clerk immediately following licensure, the lawyer may participate in a Mentoring Program within two years of completing the clerkship(s). A lawyer serving as a judicial law clerk is not precluded from participating in a Mentoring Program while a judicial law clerk, although due to ethical restrictions, the law clerk’s Mentor must be a judge on the same court as the law clerk’s judge.
      3. Lawyers admitted on motion to the Colorado Bar who have been in practice three or more years in another jurisdiction may participate in a mentoring program in the attorney’s first year of practice in Colorado.
      4. Lawyers not otherwise within the parameters above may be admitted to a mentoring program with permission of the participating organization and of the CAMP Director.
    2. Registration
      1. To enroll, a Mentee must submit a registration form to the organization through which the lawyer wishes to complete the Program. The Mentee must refer to the participating organization’s deadlines and guidelines to ensure that the individual program’s requirements are met.
  5. Mentors – Experienced Colorado lawyers
    1. Qualifications
      1. Colorado attorney or judge, with an active license, in good standing, and engaged in the practice of law; or retired Colorado attorney or judge, who retired from the practice in good standing.
      2. Admitted to practice law in Colorado for no less than five years.
      3. No suspensions or disbarments from the practice of law from any jurisdiction, nor surrender of license to practice law for purpose of disposing of pending disciplinary proceeding in any jurisdiction.
      4. No sanction by a governing authority in the five years preceding application as a Mentor.
      5. No formal disciplinary complaint pending before Attorney Regulation pursuant to C.R.C.P. 251.12, or current participation in a diversion program pursuant to C.R.C.P. 251.13. An attorney is not disqualified from serving as a Mentor if an investigation was conducted or if there was previous successful completion of participation in a diversion program, and no formal complaint was filed.
  6. Credit for Participation
    1. Mentors and Mentees who satisfactorily complete the one-year Program will receive 15 CLE credits, 2 of which will count toward the ethics requirement of C.R.C.P. 260.2.
    2. Mentors and Mentees (on-motion attorneys) who participate in the six-month Program will receive 7 CLE credits, 1 of which will count toward ethics requirement of C.R.C.P. 260.2.
    3. The Mentee or Mentor who fails to complete the program will not receive the CLE credit otherwise awarded.
    4. Mentees may participate only once in the Program for CLE credit.
    5. Mentors may participate in this Program—one mentor relationship at a time—as often as they wish, but may receive the available credit only once per compliance period.
    6. The award of CLE credits will apply to the compliance period in which the Program is completed.
    7. Mentors and mentees who participate together in pro bono representation during or as a part of this program may not also receive CLE credit under C.R.C.P. 260.8 for that representation.
  7. Mentor Appointment
    1. To serve as a Mentor, an attorney must complete a Mentor Application and submit it to the CAMP Director, who screens the attorney for the qualifications set forth in these rules, and forwards the attorney’s name to the Colorado Supreme Court for appointment consideration.
    2. The Colorado Supreme Court will review the names forwarded by the CAMP Director, and, if the qualifications are met, will appoint the Mentor for a five-year term, to begin on the date of appointment.
    3. Appointment as a Mentor is valid for five years. After five years, the attorney must resubmit an updated Mentor Application to participate again in the program.
    4. The appointed Mentor has a duty to notify the CAMP Director of any change which affects the attorney’s qualifications to serve as a Mentor as set forth in paragraph III.a. Upon review of the changed circumstances, if the CAMP Director believes that the appointment should be terminated, the Director shall recommend to the Colorado Supreme Court that it terminate the appointment. After reviewing the CAMP Director’s recommendation, the Supreme Court may terminate the appointment.
  8. Matching of Mentors and Mentees
    1. A Mentee who has independently identified a willing mentor simply need identify the mentor on the registration form, and whether the mentor has received an appointment as a Mentor or is in the process of doing so.
    2. A Mentee who has not identified a willing mentor may request assistance in finding a suitable mentor match from the organization through which he or she wishes to participate in the Program. It is within the organization’s discretion how best to facilitate the matching.
  9. Express limitations to the mentoring relationship where the attorneys are not within the same firm or office.
    1. The mentoring relationship is a professional relationship, and must be limited to the extent that client confidences are not shared when inappropriate to do so.
    2. The mentoring relationship is not intended to constitute the provision of legal or professional advice to the Mentee or his or her clients.
    3. The mentoring relationship does not create a confidential relationship between the mentor and mentee.
    4. The Mentor does not assume liability or responsibility regarding any legal matter of the Mentee’s clients.
  10. Administration and implementation of Mentoring Program and Mentoring Plan through Participating Organizations
    1. Participating Organizations are the vital component to implementing this Colorado Attorney Mentoring Program. It is through these ground level organizations that a Mentor and Mentee will obtain the greatest value from the program because their needs and interests can be tailored in a way not possible through a centralized program operated exclusively by the Supreme Court. The ground level organization knows its community, and is in the best position to successfully carry out the tasks associated with a Mentoring Program, e.g. matching mentors with Mentees, promotion of the program, developing useful programming, and resolving problems.
    2. Organizations which may administer a preapproved CAMP Program:
      1. Law firms
      2. Law schools (e.g., for alumni)
      3. Bar groups and other lawyer organizations (to include Inns of Court)
      4. Federal, state, county, and local government agencies
      5. Federal and state courts in Colorado
    3. To administer a Mentoring Program through which Mentors and Mentees may obtain CLE credit, an organization must develop and submit its Mentoring Program plan for preapproval by the CAMP Director. The organization need not utilize the template that has been provided with these guidelines so long as the organization’s program plan meets the minimum requirements set forth below.
    4. Following preapproval, a Participating Organization’s Mentoring Program shall remain qualified under this Colorado Attorney Mentoring Program for 5 years. To remain qualified without interruption, the Participating Organization must resubmit its Mentoring Program plan and be reapproved prior to the completion of the fifth year. The Participating Organization must report to the CAMP Director any substantial, material changes affecting the Organization’s ability to implement its Mentoring Program, at which time the CAMP Director will consider whether the Organization should no longer be a Participating Organization.
    5. The Participating Organization need not limit its program to members or lawyers otherwise affiliated with the organization. The Participating Organization should not charge a specific fee for participation in the program.
    6. Minimum Requirements for preapproval of an organization’s Mentoring Program
      1. Conduct the program at least once every two years.
      2. Designate a volunteer Facilitator to serve as the liaison between the organization and the CAMP Director, to communicate with and submit all documentation to the CAMP Director as necessary. Provide the CAMP Director, and update when necessary, current contact information for the Facilitator.
        1. It is suggested, but not required, that the Facilitator serve as the primary person to implement the organization’s program. The organization may find that a committee run by the Facilitator is necessary to implement the Program.
      3. The organization’s Mentoring Program must include provisions to:
        1. Collect Mentee registrations.
        2. Facilitate matching of appointed Mentors with Mentees.
        3. Ensure that prospective Mentors not previously appointed timely submit applications to the CAMP Director.
        4. Organize orientation for Mentors and Mentees, and other organized activities the organization may wish to implement as a part of its Mentoring Program. A group orientation is preferred where possible.
        5. Collect documentation where required.
        6. Where extenuating circumstances prevent either lawyer from completing the program, or if the mentoring relationship is not working, carry out the procedures for reassignment of Mentors and Mentees which are set forth in the organization’s preapproved Program. In the event that a mentoring pair does not complete the mentoring term and the Mentee cannot be matched with a new Mentor to complete the term, the Facilitator may, in appropriate circumstances, sign off on a Certificate of Partial Completion and recommend to the CAMP Director that the Mentor or Mentee be approved for the appropriate number of CLE credits.
        7. Maintain a record of participants and program completion dates for three years.
      4. Content:
        1. Orientation: The orientation must take place within the first month of the mentoring term.
        2. Mentoring Plan: The organization must develop a Mentoring Plan Template from which each mentor pair can construct a customized Mentoring Plan which provides the topics for the required in-person meetings. A sample template is provided with these rules as a guide, not as the required template, although an organization may choose simply to adopt the sample. The Mentoring Plan curricula must cover each of the following listed core subject areas:
          1. 12-month program
            1. Initial Planning Meeting
            2. Personal and Professional Development, including wellness, work/life balance, and awareness of the importance of an inclusive and diverse profession.
            3. The Colorado Bar and Legal Community (may include group activity)
            4. History and Importance of the Legal Profession (may include group activity)
            5. Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct, Professionalism, and Civility
            6. Litigation and Transaction Experiences (Colorado courts and procedures)
            7. Law Office Management and In-Office Procedures
            8. Working With Clients
            9. Public Service (may include group activity)
          2. 6-month program (for on-motion attorneys)
            1. Initial Planning Meeting
            2. Personal and Professional Development, including wellness, work/life balance, and awareness of the importance of an inclusive and diverse profession.
            3. The Colorado Bar and Legal Community (may include group activity)
            4. Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct, Professionalism, and Civility
            5. Litigation and Transaction Experiences (Colorado courts and procedures)
            6. Public Service (may include group activity)
      5. Mentor and Mentee responsibilities
        1. Attendance at Orientation
        2. Timely submission of signed Mentoring Agreement. It is the Mentee’s responsibility to submit the Mentoring Agreement.
        3. Timely submission of signed Certificate of Completion, with attached completed Mentoring Plan. It is the Mentee’s responsibility to submit the Certificate.
        4. Completion of the Mentoring Plan during the mentoring term.
          1. 12-month term: The mentoring pair must meet in person a minimum of 8 times, with a minimum of 20 hours of in-person contact.
          2. 6-month term: The mentoring pair must meet in person a minimum of 4 times, with a minimum of 10 hours of in-person contact.
      6. Proposed term of the program
        1. Program requirements must be completed in one year, but it is encouraged that the relationship continue informally after the term has ended.
        2. Sample/suggested timeline:
          Deadline
          T = January 1, first day of the mentoring Term, subtract or add accordingly
          Example date
          Action required
          T – 1.5 months
          November 15
          Deadline for Mentee to register with the participating organization
          T – 1 month
          November 30
          Deadline for mentor to submit Mentor Application to the  Director if mentor not already appointed
          T – .5 months
          December 15
          Deadline for Supreme Court to appoint Mentor
          T
          January 1
          Mentoring term begins
          T + 1 month (end of 1st month)
          January 31
          Deadline for Mentee to submit the Mentoring Agreement to organization
          T + 6 months (end of 6th month)
          June 30
          Deadline for Mentee to submit an interim report to organization regarding progress of program completion (the organization may choose not to include this step)
          T +12 months (end of 12th month)
          or
          T + 6 months (end of 6th month, for 6-month program)
          December 31
          June 30
          Deadline for Mentee and Mentor to submit Certificates of Completion, with attached completed Mentoring Plan and CLE Affidavit to  the  Director
          T + 13 months (end of 13th month)
          or
          T + 7 months (end of 7th month, for 6-month program)
          January 31
          July 31
          Deadline for  Director (1) to notify Mentee and Mentor of approval and (2) to transmit CLE Affidavits and Certificates of Completion to Board of CLE
  11. Administration and implementation of the Colorado Attorney Mentoring Program other than through a local Participating Organization.
    1. There may be instances in which a Mentee wishes to but is unable to participate in a Mentoring Program through a local Participating Organization, whether because the lawyer is not a member of the organization, or the local organization does not have an approved program.
    2. In the event that there is no local Participating Organization available to the Mentee, the CBA may serve as the Mentee’s Participating Organization and facilitate the Mentee’s completion of its Mentoring Program.
    3. If the Mentee is not a member of the CBA, the Mentee may directly register with the CAMP Director to participate independently in the Colorado Mentoring Program. In this instance, there is a fee to the Mentee of $100.
  12. Role of the Colorado Bar Association
    1. The CBA will work with and support CAMP to promote mentoring for individuals who may not have a local participating organization, e.g. Mentees in rural Colorado.
    2. The CBA will assist CAMP in the development of mentoring training and materials.
  13. Role of the CAMP Director, pursuant to Rule 255 C.R.C.P.
    1. Promote the Colorado Attorney Mentoring Program and encourage organizations to develop approved mentoring programs for the benefit of their members and the bar.
    2. Prepare all requisite forms and agreements for administration of this program.
    3. Receive, review, and approve where appropriate organizations’ submissions of mentoring programs for preapproval.
    4. Develop mentoring training programs and a mentoring resource center for the lawyers in Colorado.
    5. Review and decide on petitions to participate from Mentees not otherwise eligible to participate in the Program.
    6. Receive, screen, and recommend mentor applicants to the Supreme Court for appointment.
    7. Receive, review, approve where appropriate, and transmit to the Board of CLE the Certificates of Completion (and Partial Completion) and CLE Affidavits.
    8. Maintain all records for the program for each Mentee participant and for each Mentor.
    9. Monitoring and measure of the effectiveness of the Program.
    10. Conduct all other tasks necessary to facilitate administration of the Program.
    11. Establish policies and procedures to assure that participants in CAMP shall be protected from any forms of discrimination or harassment;
  14. Advisory Role of the Commission on the Legal Profession
    1. Assist the CAMP Director to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the Program.
    2. Advise the CAMP Director on revision of the minimum requirements and the administrative process of the Mentor Program.
    3. Establish a Standing Committee to promote the Colorado Attorney Mentoring Program, and to report to the Commission regarding the Program.
  15. Role of the Board of Continuing Legal Education
    1. Accept CLE Affidavits accompanied by Certificates of Completion approved by the CAMP Director.

Template Mentoring Plan Curriculum

 (If you wish to do an activity not listed, confirm with your facilitator beforehand that the activity meets the goals of the particular curriculum subject.)

1. Initial Planning Meeting, Personal and Professional Development (complete all)

Action
Mark completed items
Meet at the mentor’s office (where practicable) to prepare the customized mentoring plan based on the Mentee’s needs and interests. Discuss best communication methods for each attorney, and consider scheduling all remaining meetings/activities for the mentoring term.
In tailoring the mentoring plan to the Mentee’s interests, discuss long-term career goals and identify ways to achieve them.
The mentor should introduce the Mentee to the firm’s attorneys and staff (if not already done).
Include in the meeting professional identity discussion, including discussion about inclusiveness and diversity, work-life balance, mental health and substance abuse issues facing lawyers, and the services available to attorneys regarding these health issues.

 2. The Colorado Bar and Legal Community (complete at least one)

Action
Mark completed items
Attend a meeting of an organized bar association or other attorney networking event together. Introduce the Mentee to other attorneys in attendance. Discuss the advantages of bar association involvement and discuss the many local, state, and national associations available, including any in the Mentees specific practice area.
Meet at the local courthouse(s), particularly the one in which the Mentee may be appearing, and make introductions to members of the judiciary, court personnel, and clerks of court. Discuss customary rules of civility or etiquette in court and among lawyers and judges in the community.
Attend a Term Day (or similar activity) which involves a gathering of judges and attorneys of the local bar.

3.      History and Importance of the Legal Profession

 It is envisioned that this component of the Mentoring Plan should be creatively tailored for the Participating Organization’s Mentoring Program or the individual Mentoring Plan (if not connected to a Participating Organization).

4.      Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct, Professionalism, and Civility

Action
Mark completed items
Required
(to be completed with the activity elected from list below)
The pair should discuss the distinction between the Colorado RPC and professionalism; the attorney’s obligations to the court, the client, and opposing counsel; common ethical issues and resources for how to resolve difficult ethical questions; common grievance and malpractice “traps” and how to avoid them; the benefits of carrying malpractice insurance and the ramifications for failing to do so.
Complete at least one of the following:
Discuss how to screen for, recognize, and avoid conflicts of interest.
Discuss the responsibilities of the client and the lawyer in decision-making, the best ways to involve a client in their case. Discuss client communications generally, e.g., how to say no to a client, billing issues, etc.
Discuss preparation and proper behavior during discovery.
Discuss how to prepare for negotiation of a legal matter, when and how negotiation is initiated, how to involve the client, ethical and professionalism obligations of negotiators, skills needed to be an effective negotiator and how to acquire them.
Discuss appropriate ways to handle situations where a lawyer believes another lawyer has committed an ethical violation or otherwise acted unprofessionally or uncivilly; the obligation to report misconduct; and the appropriate way to handle a situation where the Mentee is asked by a senior member of the firm/organization to do something that is unethical or unprofessional.
Discuss the grievance process and a lawyer’s duty to cooperate with a disciplinary investigation.
Discuss client development and marketing, appropriate procedures and ethical implications.

5.      Litigation and Transaction Experiences (complete at least one)

Action
Mark completed items
Discuss types of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) such as mediation, arbitration, early neutral evaluation, summary jury trials, collaborative law practice.
Mentee attends one of the ADR proceedings listed above. The pair discusses and evaluates what was observed.
Mentee attends or participates in a deposition. The pair discusses and evaluates what was observed.
Mentee attends or participates in part or all of a trial, whether, civil or criminal, bench or jury, state or federal. The pair discusses and evaluates what was observed.
Mentee attends or participates in an appellate oral argument before the Colorado Supreme Court, Colorado Court of Appeals, or the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. The pair discusses and evaluates what was observed.
Mentee attends or participates in a hearing conducted by a state or local administrative body (e.g. local zoning board, tax equalization board hearing; state licensing or regulatory body). The pair discusses and evaluates what was observed.
Mentee observes a real estate closing or other business transaction or financial closing. The pair discusses and evaluates what was observed.
Mentee attends meeting to execute estate planning documents. The pair discusses and evaluates what was observed.
Mentee attends or participates in a planning/strategy meeting regarding a business transaction or estate planning. The pair discusses and evaluates what was observed.
Mentee attends or participates in meeting, hearing, or other proceeding specific to his or her or the mentor’s practice area. The pair discusses and evaluates what was observed.

6.      Law Office Management and In-Office Procedures

Action
Mark completed items
Required
(to be completed with the activity elected from list below)
Discuss law office management best practices (preferably including a tour of the mentor’s office), and the importance of maintaining organized procedures:
  • Time records.
  • Records of client-related expenses.
  • Billing system.
  • Client retainer and/or payment schedules, types of fee agreements.
  • Escrow and trust account, establishing an COLTAF, accounting, auditing, use of interest proceeds, proper procedures for handling client funds and other property.
  • Filing system and procedures.
  • Document retention plan.
  • Calendar reminder systems.
  • Information technology systems.
  • Library and research systems.
  • Other resources (publications, seminars, equipment).
Complete at least one of the following:
Discuss role and responsibilities of paralegals, secretaries and other office personnel, and how to establish good working relationships with others in the same office who are support staff, colleagues or senior partners. Discuss the “care and feeding” of support staff.
Discuss practices to maintain client confidentiality.
Discuss good time management skills and techniques.
Discuss how to screen for, recognize, and avoid conflicts.
Discuss how to prevent issues of unauthorized practice of law with staff.
Discuss office politics, including appropriate networking, socializing, and personal behaviors.
Discuss the importance of planning ahead for handling the practice in the event of retirement, disability, or death.
Discuss the issues surrounding leaving a firm, such as how to protect oneself, advising clients, and withdrawing from cases.
Discuss evaluation and compensation procedures, and professional advancement within a firm.

7.      Working With Clients (Complete at least one)

Action
Mark completed items
Discuss importance of client communication, how to maintain appropriate ongoing communication (returning telephone calls, email) to keep clients informed, including use of fee agreements, timeliness, written communication, etc. Discuss how to deal with a “difficult” client. Discuss dealing with clients with respect to the business aspects of the relationship, including billing and other business procedures.
Discuss proper legal counseling, including the duties and responsibilities of advising clients and the respective responsibilities of the client and the lawyer in decision-making. Discuss how to deal with a “difficult” client.
Discuss the initial meeting and interaction with a potential client, tips for gathering information about a legal matter, appraising the credibility and trust of the potential client, evaluating whether to accept the representation, how to decline representation. Discuss making and accepting referrals.
Discuss the termination of the attorney-client relationship, issues with terminating mid-representation, necessary steps and documentation.

8.      Public Service (Complete at least one)

Action
Mark completed items
Acquaint the Mentee with legal aid programs, local pro bono programs, and other opportunities for engaging in pro bono activities and civic and charitable work. Discuss the reasons for making time to engage in volunteer legal service to the public and any impediments to undertaking such work.
Mentee attends a civic club of which the mentor is a member or some other community service activity in which the mentor participates. Discuss the reasons for making time to engage in volunteer legal service to the public.
The pair participates in a bar-sponsored or other volunteer program aimed at delivering legal services to the public. Discuss the reasons for making time to engage in volunteer legal service to the public.

Comments are closed.