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Frequently Asked Questions

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  1. Is the Ready.Set.Practice. New Lawyer Mentoring Program Mandatory?

    No. While all newly admitted members of the State Bar of Wisconsin are encouraged to take advantage of mentoring and the opportunities presented by a formal mentoring program, participation is not mandatory.

  2. Who are the mentors?

    Mentors are Wisconsin Bar members in good standing who have at least six years of experience in the practice of law, who have not been disciplined, who have a reputation for competence and conducting themselves ethically/professionally, and who carry professional liability insurance.

  3. How are mentors selected?

    Potential mentors may be nominated by other mentors, volunteer, or be specifically recruited by a mentee. Mentors who fill out an application, and agree to the terms and qualifications of the program, will be available to be matched with a mentee.

  4. Do mentors get any special training?

    Yes. A required webinar training will be available to watch through the Ready.Set.Practice. website. Additionally, mentors and mentees should refer to the manual for support or contact Kim Burns at kburns@wisbar.org​ with any questions.

  5. How do I find a mentor?

    If a new lawyer has a mentor in mind, he or she should designate the mentor on his or her application. If a new lawyer does not have a mentor in mind, the new lawyer fills out the mentee application and will be matched with a mentor.

  6. Does my mentor have to be a lawyer in my firm?

    No. Generally, lawyers employed in law firms, corporate legal departments, and government offices may be matched with a mentor in the same firm or office; however, new lawyers may also request an “outside” mentor. This decision rests with the new lawyer. Some may choose the expediency of working within the law firm while others may find value in having outside mentoring, as a supplement to the value of their firm relationships.

  7. Can I choose my own mentor?

    Yes. Finding a mentor with whom you can establish rapport will only enhance the value of the program. New lawyers are encouraged to seek out bar members that might make a suitable mentor. Mentors that meet the specified criteria should fill out an application to enroll in the program.

  8. What if a mentor I’ve asked is already mentoring, but is also willing to work with me?

    Mentors are welcome to work with more than one mentee. There may even be some benefit to this group practice. In an effort to keep the quality of the mentoring relationship high, it is recommended that the mentor work with no more than two mentees at a time.

  9. What is the Mentoring Plan?

    The Mentoring Plan is filled out by the mentor and mentee during their initial meeting. It sets out the activities the mentee will work on with the mentor during the mentoring year. The Mentoring Handbook contains many examples of activities for the Mentoring Plan, which must include five core curriculum activities and five practice area activities.

    If a mentee wishes to focus on a substantive area not covered in the manual, the mentee and the mentor may identify basic skill activities related to that substantive area.

  10. How much time will the Mentoring Plan require?

    The Mentoring Plan is designed to be completed in approximately twelve months if the mentee and mentor meet regularly.

  11. What do I do if I have an issue with my mentor or mentee?

    If a mentor or mentee is not making time for regular meetings or is not providing helpful guidance, you may ask to withdraw from the mentoring relationship. Mentees are encouraged to give the relationship some time to develop and to remember that the mentor may not be able to satisfy all of the needs for support that the mentee may have. Contact Kim Burns at kburns@wisbar.org​ with any questions or concerns.

  12. Do mentees receive CLE credit for participating in the mentoring program?

    No. Wisconsin does not allow CLE credit for mentoring.

  13. Do mentors receive CLE credit?

    No. Wisconsin does not allow CLE credit for mentoring.

Additional questions? Contact Kim Burns at kburns@wisbar.org​.