In December 2008, the South Carolina Supreme Court reestablished a second pilot mentoring program, in which all qualifying lawyers admitted to the Bar between March 1, 2009, and January 1, 2011 are required to have a mentor. Since I attribute much of my professional success to the numerous informal mentors early in my career [kudos to The Honorable James Bridges, The Honorable Wayne M. Creech, Nicholas Clekis, M. Dawes Cooke, Susan Dunn, Conrad Falkiewicz, William Hamilton, III, Sally King-Gilreath, Robert Polk and John Taylor] I gladly volunteered for this program.
The saying “by your students you’ll be taught,” though trite, remains true. Simply going over basic ideas with attorneys to whom these ideas are not obvious is a wonderful learning experience. Assuming the program is extended past 2011, I might retire having mentored 30-40 attorneys.
The program needs more volunteers: the goal is to have one mentee per mentor but I was mentoring three newly-licensed attorney until one of my mentees was hired by a Rock Hill firm. I would urge my fellow South Carolina attorneys to volunteer for this program.