Is the Transitioning into Practice program mandatory?
Yes. All newly admitted members of the State Bar of Nevada must participate in TIP unless they have already practiced in another jurisdiction for at least five (5) years.
When do I enroll in the TIP program?
Unless exempt or deferred, new lawyers must enroll in the TIP program by filing the enrollment form within four (4) weeks after admission to the bar. Unless otherwise arranged, all new lawyers will begin the next available program cycle following their admission to the bar. New lawyers who are granted a deferral must enroll in the next available cycle once they begin to practice law.
Mentors are active State Bar of Nevada members in good standing who have at least seven (7) years of experience in the practice of law in Nevada. They must have a reputation for competence and for conducting themselves ethically and professionally. Mentors must complete an application process and are ultimately appointed by the Supreme Court of Nevada.
There are three (3) ways that mentors will be identified for new lawyers. If a newly admitted lawyer is hired by a firm or organization, their employer may assign a senior associate to serve as their mentor. The second option is for a new lawyer to select a mentor from the published list of Supreme Court-appointed mentors or seek out a respected member of the bar and ask if they are willing to serve as a mentor (in this latter instance, the Mentor will be provisionally approved pending their appointment by the Supreme Court). In the event that a new lawyer’s choice of Mentor is not available, the bar will match the new attorney with a mentor based principally on geographical and practice area.
What is the TIP Mentoring Plan?
The TIP Mentoring Plan sets out the activities the new lawyer will work on with the mentor during the mentoring cycle. It is comprised of four areas of required activities and one practice-specific area of electives selected by the new lawyer. The elective activities may be in one or more substantive areas and must include at least six (6) basic skills activities. Several practice area activities are contained in this manual. If a new lawyer wishes to focus on a substantive area not covered in the manual, the new lawyer and the mentor may identify basic skill activities related to that substantive area.
Can I get credit for TIP Mentoring Plan activities that I have already completed prior to admission?
Any activities completed prior to admission will assist in designing a customized mentoring plan and allow the new lawyer to build on existing knowledge and skills however, will not exempt him/her from completing all of the required activities outlined in the mentoring plan.
Are communications between the new lawyer and the mentor confidential?
In all cases, the Nevada Rules of Professional Conduct should be followed. For an inside the firm or office mentorship, the confidentiality of communications between the mentor and new lawyer may also depend on the firm’s or office’s policies. For an outside mentorship, the new lawyer shall not reveal to the mentor any confidential communications between the new lawyer and the new lawyer’s client.
Will the mentor supervise the beginning lawyer’s work?
For an inside firm or office mentorship, supervision of the newly admitted lawyer’s work is a matter to be determined by the firm’s or office’s policy. For an outside mentorship, the mentor is not expected to supervise the practice of law by the new lawyer.
What is the mentor’s role in evaluating the new lawyer?
The role of the mentor in evaluating the work and professional development of the new lawyer within the firm or office is a matter to be determined by the firm’s or office’s policy. In scenarios when the mentor and new lawyer do not work in the same firm, the mentor assumes no responsibility for evaluating the work of the new lawyer. The mentor and new lawyer both have responsibility for evaluating the mentoring relationship. The mentor is responsible for assessing whether the new lawyer has satisfactorily completed the Transitioning into Practice program.
How much time will the TIP program require?
Transitioning into Practice is designed to be completed in six (6) months. While it is expected that the mentor and newly admitted lawyer will meet in person (or virtually) for about two hours each month, the actual number of meetings and time will vary depending on each mentoring relationship and the mentoring plan that is developed by the mentor and new lawyer. In addition to meeting in person, other methods of communication such as conference calls and email are expected to be utilized as a manner in which to review and discuss the various experiences and activities that make up the mentoring plan and to monitor the new lawyer’s progress.
Do I have to complete MCLE requirements in addition to the Mentor Program?
No. Nevada MCLE rules require newly admitted lawyers who have practiced law less than five (5) years to complete Transitioning into Practice. The first standard MCLE reporting year for this identified group begins the year following the first full year of admission (see SCR 214).
What do I do if I have a problem with my mentor?
New lawyers 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 new lawyer may have. If a mentor is not making time for regular meetings or is not providing helpful guidance and coaching through the mentoring plan activities, a new mentor may be assigned. Please contact the TIP administrator at the state bar for confidential assistance.
What do I do if I have a problem with my new lawyer?
If a new lawyer is not making time for regular meetings and otherwise not participating in the program, please contact the TIP administrator at the state bar for confidential assistance.
How do I establish completion of the TIP Mentoring Plan?
When all of the activities of the TIP Mentoring Plan have been completed, the mentee is responsible for submitting the Mentoring Plan online, completing an Exit Evaluation and paying the $350 TIP fee. After the mentor attests to the completion of the program requirements, the state bar will email the mentee a Certificate of Completion at the end of the TIP cycle.
What if I can’t afford the fee?
At the discretion of the state bar, the TIP program fee may be waived in cases of financial hardship or special circumstances. Requests for a fee waiver must be submitted in writing to the TIP Standing Committee and include the reason for the request accompanied by a summary of the applicant’s income and expenses. All requests for a fee waiver will be kept in confidence.
What do I do if I discover that my mentor/mentee has substance abuse issues?
Contact Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers (LCL) or Nevada Lawyer Assistance Program (NLAP) for guidance and assistance. If the issue has or will adversely affect the mentoring relationship contact the state bar for possible confidential reassignment.
I’d like to use my firm/organization’s existing mentoring program to meet the TIP requirements. Do I need to get the firm/organization plan approved?
No. The TIP mentoring plan is designed to complement and/or cross-over into existing mentoring plans allowing for the TIP mentoring plan to be completed simultaneously.
Do I need to do a conflict check?
For outside mentoring relationships there should be no discussions about cases and the Rules of Professional Conduct kept. If in doubt, check with the client.
Can I use a pro bono case to complete the requirements in TIP?
Yes. Mentors who focus on pro bono service are noted on the mentor list. Additionally, pro bono activities cover many of the requirements set forth in the Model Mentoring Plan. TIP presents many opportunities for a new lawyer to focus on pro bono and complete TIP requirements.
Do mentors receive MCLE credit?
Mentors are eligible to receive six (6) CLE credits in Nevada for each cycle they participate. The credits earned for each cycle would include four (4) general, one (1) ethics and one (1) substance abuse.
My new lawyer’s plan consists of activities and experiences, with which I am not familiar, what are my options?
Consult the resource library
at the bar website. Furthermore, ask another lawyer that can provide resource and guidance on the specific activity or experience.
As a mentor, am I insured under liability coverage?
Mentors are encouraged to contact their malpractice insurance carrier to confirm coverage while serving as a mentor in the program.
What if my new lawyer gets sued for malpractice while I am serving as the mentor?
All discussions should be at a hypothetical level. Always refer to the Nevada Rules of Professional Conduct. Contact your insurance provider and consult an attorney should you be named in the lawsuit.