Overview

The details

Mission Statement

The mission of the ABI Mentoring Program is to connect active or recently graduated business and law students to professionals who have bankruptcy and insolvency experience and will provide guidance to mentees on career and professional development.

Mentor Goals

The mentor will strive to build a professional and personal relationship with the mentee and provide the mentee with advice, guidance, support and insight critical to a career in a bankruptcy-related profession. The mentor will meet regularly with the mentee and provide substantive feedback and support on professional development matters. The mentor should expose the mentee to all aspects of the profession, which includes introducing the mentee to the ABI, the bankruptcy community and the mentor’s peers.

Mentor Qualifications

A person may participate in the ABI Mentor Program as a mentor if he or she:

➢ Is an ABI member in good standing and, if an attorney, is admitted in a state bar in good standing with no disciplinary actions in the past ten (10) years;
➢ Has at least seven (7) years of practice experience in the bankruptcy and insolvency area;
➢ Possesses a reputation in the professional community for competence and ethical and professional conduct;
➢ Agrees to and adheres to the requirements of the ABI Mentoring Program; and
➢ Maintains these qualifications at all times while serving as a mentor.

Mentor Commitment

A person serving as a mentor commits to participating in all aspects of the ABI Mentoring Program, which includes:

➢ Meeting with the mentee and having substantive discussions with the mentee at least once each calendar quarter, either at a group function, a mentor-mentee function, an ABI event or a private meeting by telephone or in-person;
➢ Assisting the mentee with creation of a mentoring plan;
➢ Reviewing and providing feedback on the mentee’s resume and cover letter;
➢ Serving as a mentor to the mentee(s) to which he or she is assigned for at least one year (after which, the mentor and mentee may continue the relationship on a more informal basis if they so choose);
➢ Maintaining confidentiality of all communications with the mentee; and
➢ Providing quarterly progress reports to the ABI during the first twelve (12) months of each mentoring relationship, which reports will include a description of all contacts during the quarter (such as the date, method and length of the contact) and an opportunity to provide feedback about the mentor-mentee assignment and the ABI Mentoring Program, in general.

Mentor Benefits

Each MENTOR will receive the following benefits for participating in the ABI Mentoring Program:

➢ Recognition by the ABI at events and in the ABI Journal;
➢ Recognition of the mentor’s firm by the ABI if the firm has at least three (3) mentors in the program; and
➢ A certificate of recognition.

Mentor Tips

The ABI recommends that each participating mentor

➢ Make himself or herself available to the mentee so that the mentee can derive the greatest possible benefit from the relationship;
➢ Treat the mentee as they would treat an important client by being responsive and respectful;
➢ Build trust for the relationship by encouraging the mentee to be open with the mentor and maintaining confidences with the mentee;
➢ Put himself or herself in the mentee’s shoes and treat the mentee the way the mentor would like to have been treated by a mentor when he or she was in school;
➢ Offer guidance to the mentee, helping him or her gain insight into a professional practice and introducing him or her to real-life experiences;
➢ Invite the mentee into the mentor’s professional world by taking the mentee to professional and firm functions and introducing the mentee to other professionals;
➢ Create a safe environment for the mentee by being accessible and nonjudgmental, keeping confidences and inviting open and frank conversations; and
➢ Have a plan for the mentor-mentee relationship and plan at the outset of the relationship what the mentor would like to accomplish during the year.

Mentee Goals

The mentee will strive to build a professional and personal relationship with the mentor and seek from the mentor advice, guidance, support and insight critical to a career in a bankruptcy-related profession. The mentee will meet regularly with the mentor and solicit substantive feedback and support on professional development matters. The mentee should seek out opportunities for exposure to all aspects of the profession, which includes becoming actively involved with the ABI, the bankruptcy community and the legal community in general.

Mentee Qualifications

A person may apply to participate in the ABI Mentoring Program as a mentee if he or she:

➢ Is an ABI student member in good standing;
➢ Is an active fulltime or part-time candidate for a Juris doctor or Master of Business
➢ Administration degree or has graduated from a Juris Doctor or Master of Business
➢ Administration program within the preceeding twelve months; and
➢ Agrees to adhere to the requirements of the ABI Mentoring Program while participating as a mentee.

A person may continue to participate in the ABI Mentoring Program more than twelve months after graduation if he or she:

➢ Was assigned a mentor through the program within twelve months of graduation;
➢ Is an ABI student member in good standing; and
➢ Agrees to continue to adhere to the requirements of the ABI Mentoring Program while participating as a mentee.

Mentee Commitment

A person participating as a mentee commits to participating in all aspects of the ABI Mentoring Program, which includes:

➢ Meeting with the mentor and having substantive discussions with the mentor at least once each calendar quarter, either at a group function, a mentor-mentee function, an ABI event or a private meeting by telephone or in-person;
➢ Developing, with the mentor's assistance, a mentoring plan that delineates the topics to be discussed and the progress the mentee wishes to make during his or her participating in the ABI Mentoring Program;
➢ Reviewing his or her resume and cover letter with the mentor and soliciting feedback on ways to improve same;
➢ Remaining with his or her assigned mentor for at least one year (after which, the mentor and mentee may continue the relationship on a more informal basis if they so choose);
➢ Maintaining confidentiality of all communications with the mentor;
➢ Providing quarterly progress reports to the ABI during the first twelve (12) months of the mentoring relationship, which reports will include a description of all contacts during the quarter (such as the date, method and length of the contact) and an opportunity to provide feedback about the mentor-mentee assignment and the ABI Mentoring Program, in general.
➢ Bearing primary responsibility for contacting his or her mentor to schedule interactions, calls, meetings or other events for the mentor and mentee to meet or speak (though a mentor and a mentee may contact each other as often as they wish); and
➢Attending at least one CLE or CPE event, optimally an ABI event with the mentor.

Mentee Benefits

Each MENTEE will receive the following benefits for participating in the ABI Mentoring Program:

➢ Recognition of the mentee by the ABI at events and in the ABI Journal;
➢ A certificate of recognition;
➢ A reduced annual membership fee of $20;
➢ A copy of the ABI’s Bankruptcy and Practice Manual for a reduced cost;
➢ Electronic access to ABI newsletters;
➢ Access to career development support through the development of a mentoring plan;
➢ Reduced registration fees for ABI events; and
➢ Networking opportunities.

Mentee Tips

The ABI recommends that each participating mentee:

➢ Honor all commitments, be on time and be respectfull to the mentor;
➢ Maintain regular contact with the mentor by checking in from time to time and respond to all communications promptly;
➢ Take an active interest in the mentor's work and become familiar with the mentor's practice and client base;
➢Take responsibility for the mentor-mentee relationship by seeking out opportunities with the mentor and the professional community;
➢ Be willing to learn new things and obtain another perspective by being responsive to the mentor's suggestions and constructive criticism and seeking out advice from the mentor;
➢ Manage his or her own expectations by remembering that the mentor serves to offer guidance based on his or her experiences but may not be able to solve the mentee's problems or help the mentee get a job;
➢ Follow through on any instructions or suggestions of the mentor and keep the mentor informed of the mentee's progress; and
➢ Begin each meeting by discussing the mentee's progress since the last meeting.

Progress Reports

Mentors and mentees will each submit separate quarterly progress reports to the ABI during the first twelve (12) months of each mentor-mentee relationship. Each report will include a description of all contacts during the quarter, including the date, method and length of the contact. These reports will also provide an opportunity to provide feedback about the mentor-mentee assignment and the ABI Mentoring Program, in general. Progress reports are required only for the first year of each mentor-mentee relationship.

Through the reporting process, the ABI will assess whether the program participant successfully contributed to the mentor-mentee relationship, fulfilled his or her commitments to the program and contributed to the success of the program.

Benefits of the Program

Each mentor will receive the following benefits for participating in the ABI Mentor Program

➢ Recognition by the ABI at events and in the ABI Journal;
➢ Recognition of the mentor’s firm by the ABI if the firm has at least three (3) mentors in the program; and
➢ A certificate of recognition.

Key Mentoring Plan Components

Each mentee will draft, with the assistance and supervision of his or her mentor, a mentoring plan, which will include discussion of each of the following

➢ Substance abuse and mental health issues, help available to professionals impacted by such issues (both directly and indirectly) and possible warning signs of substance abuse and mental health problems;
➢ Civility in practice and the Final Report of the ABI Civility Task Force;
➢ Ethical issues and possible support avenues for addressing questions related to the Rules of Professional Conduct and/or applicable non-attorney codes of ethics as well as appropriate ways to address conduct by another professional who the mentee believes may have violated such rules;
➢ Common malpractice risks and traps;
➢ The mentee’s career goals, ways to meet those goals and resources available to the mentee;
➢ Techniques for maintaining a work-life balance;
➢ Management of student loan and related debt;
➢ Client confidentiality;
➢ Maintenance of good time-keeping and client billing records;
➢ Importance of good client communication;
➢ Methods of client development and relevant ethical issues; and
➢ Important points about negotiating with other parties.
➢ Information related to bankruptcy-related disclosures under Bankruptcy Rule 2014.

Prohibition Regarding Client-Related Matters

A mentee, in the context of the mentor-mentee relationship, may not participate in any activity that may be characterized as legal or other professional work. This includes attending confidential client meetings, researching and writing with respect to legal issues or providing any support with respect to a client-related matter. However, a mentee is encouraged to observe his or her mentor’s practice by attending a non-confidential meeting, deposition, court proceeding or other similar activity.

To access the Mentor Application, click here.

To access the Mentee Application, click here.

The ABI will provide notice of all mentor-mentee assignments by email as quickly as possible.

Mentor

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Mentee

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