Mentors Needed

The Supreme Court recently promulgated wholesale revisions to the Rules of Admission. The changes take effect on April 18, 2016.  Much of the talk about the changes has focused on the Court’s decision to adopt the Uniform Bar Exam.  Yes, that’s a big change.  But, it’s not why I’m writing.

A less publicized but equally significant change was the Court’s decision to adopt the recommendation to replace the 3-month “clerkship” with a requirement that includes CLE and mentorship components. In short, the new rules require new lawyers admitted by examination to complete (a) 15 hours of CLE; and (b) a mentorship.  New lawyers have 1 year from the date of admission to complete the mentorship.  Failure to do so results in an administrative suspension, similar to failing to comply with the CLE/relicensing rules.  See, Rule 12 of the Rules of Admission (effective April 18, 2016).  

The BBE and the Continuing Legal Education Board need mentors.  I hope that new attorneys will find mentors on their own, but I expect that many will need referrals.  Therefore, my office will maintain a list of judges & lawyers willing to serve as mentors. When contacted, we’ll put new attorneys in touch with mentors.

Earlier this month, the CLE Board proposed an amendment to the CLE rules that would allow mentors to claim up to 5 hours of CLE credit per reporting period.  Also, here’s what the Rules of Admission require of mentors: a new lawyer must

  •  “(A) meet regularly with the supervising judge or attorney, no less than 10 times, to discuss the Applicant’s practice and issues relevant to Vermont practice and procedure.”

If you’re interested in serving as mentor, please email brandy.sickles@vermont.gov or Victoria.cutone@vermont.gov and we’ll add you to the list of those willing to serve.  If you have questions  about what would be expected of you as a mentor, please contact Judge Hoar or Keith Kasper.  Judge Hoar chairs the CLE board.  Keith is on both the BBE and the CLE board and he led the joint committee that drafted the mentorship rule and the checklist.

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