September 14, 2010
Speed Mentoring? Cooley Law School Partners with Local Bar Association to Offer Mentoring in Short Intervals
Mentorships last as little as 60 minutes, but could have big impact on new attorneys, law students
The Thomas M. Cooley Law School and the Ingham County Bar Association (ICBA) have partnered together to help new attorneys and law students through a unique mentorship and training program that puts a premium on time and skills.
"We live in a busy world," said Amy Timmer, associate dean of students and professionalism at Cooley Law School. "We’ve designed a multifaceted program that takes the time constraints of professionals into consideration while covering areas that are critical to the success of new attorneys and law students."
The mentoring and training program will have five components, each using different formats to connect with new lawyers, law students or a combination of the two groups with experienced professionals discussing specific topics.
"These mentoring and training sessions will not require the pairing of individuals, follow-up, a long-term commitment, monitoring or evaluation and are premised on the concept that mentoring may happen in a short period of time between two or more people with shared interests," said Pat Gallagher, president of the ICBA.
The mentorship and training program will feature sessions using the following formats:
* One-day classes on specific, applied areas of practicing law that are often not taught in law school, including law office management, conducting preliminary examinations, how to select a jury and general sentencing guidelines. Experienced attorneys, many of whom are Cooley adjunct faculty members, will teach the course targeted to new attorneys.
* One-hour sessions involving five or fewer new attorneys meeting with a seasoned ICBA member to discuss areas of professionalism that have impacted the experienced attorney’s career.
* Three-hour presentations on specific areas of the law, such as insurance law, foreclosure law, bankruptcy, information technology law, trademark and copyright law and the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.
* Two-hour sessions featuring ICBA members meeting with incoming Cooley students discussing mock scenarios involving ethical and professional issues.
* Two-hour sessions in a social dinner setting featuring ICBA members and members of Cooley's Inn of Court gathering with new attorneys and law students. The professionals will present brief presentations on professionalism and meet in small groups featuring judges, lawyers and law students to discuss topical issues.
The five components of the program share the common themes of practical skills, professionalism and networking.
"We want our young lawyers and students attending law school locally to succeed," said Gallagher. "These efforts are crucial to ensuring that success."
For more information on programming offered through Cooley’s partnership with the ICBA, visit www.cooley.edu/professionalism/.
Cooley Law School is the largest law school in the nation. Founded in 1972, the private, non-profit law school operates J.D. programs across Michigan in Lansing, Auburn Hills, Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor. Today, Cooley Law School has over 14,000 graduates across the nation and worldwide and also offers joint degree and master of laws programs. Cooley offers enrollment three times a year; in January, May and September, including evening and weekend classes. Additional information about Cooley can be found at cooley.edu.