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Bridge the Gap Mentorship Program

Bridge the Gap Mentorship Program

The transition from law school and the study of law to actual legal practice can be a challenging and stressful time for a new attorney.  The goal of the Bridge the Gap (BTG) Mentorship program is to ease that transition by providing practical information regarding best practices and by pairing new attorneys with a mentor who will help introduce the new attorney to the legal community.

The BTG Mentorship program was developed to literally help bridge the gap in skills new attorneys need to acquire to become successful practitioners.  All attorneys licensed to practice in New Mexico are required to complete 12 hours of continuing legal education (CLE) each year.  New attorneys receive the 12 CLE credits required for their first full year of practice through the BTG Mentorship program. 

In addition to a year’s worth of CLE credit, new attorneys also can audit any CLE program offered by the State Bar at no additional charge.  These CLE classes include the State Bar How to Practice Series, which helps new attorneys quickly learn the basics of practice in a specific legal area such as Adult Guardianship, Probate, or Family Law.  Also included are State Bar Section programing such as the Family Law Institute, the Annual Bankruptcy Year in Review, the Real Property Institute and among many others.  State Bar CLE events are a wonderful way to network with other attorneys and explore the legal community.

Mentors for the BTG Mentorship program are approved and appointed by the New Mexico Supreme Court.  A Mentor must be a licensed New Mexico attorney in good standing and have practiced law for a minimum of five years, at least three of which have been in New Mexico. To apply to become a Mentor, follow the links on the left side of this page.

The BTG Mentorship program is a requirement for newly licensed New Mexico attorneys that is mandated by New Mexico Supreme Court Rule 24-110.  That being said, we hope that new attorneys will enjoy the program and find it useful.  Please explore the links on the left side of this page to learn more about the program, its requirements, or how to become a mentor. 

Bridge the Gap Podcast Episodes

Bridge the Gap Program: Overview of Your First Year of Practice

What is the State Bar?

  1. Self-regulated profession with member benefits
  2. Mandatory/integrated bar
  3. Once sworn in, you are automatically enrolled as an active member of the State Bar

First year licensing requirements:

  1. In first full year of admission (the year after you are admitted), you will complete your licensing certifications, pay your annual licensing fees, complete the BTG program which provides you with MCLEs

Bridge the Gap:

  1. Mission of program: Bridging the gap between law school and the practice of law. SBNM’s goal is to connect new attorneys with resources they can use as they begin the practice of law including mentoring with a more seasoned attorney to be able to ask questions and seek answers for common new attorney questions.
  2. Auto enrolled in program upon admission to the State Bar
  3. Must complete in your first full year of practice; this will meet your MCLE req in your first full year
    1. In order to complete you must:
      1. Complete 5 hours of time with a mentor; attend bar functions, attend court hearings, attend CLEs together, meet for coffee discussing issues
      2. Sign up for and complete the required CLE; this includes podcasts, courses; email to register
      3. Pay $300 mentorship fee
  4. Benefits of program: audit CLE, networking with seasoned attorneys

Requirements for second year and beyond:

  1. MCLE(10G, 2E)
  2. Paying Licensing fee
  3. Annual Certifications
    1. Professional Liability
    2. Pro-bono (How many hours required? What if don’t meet those? Listed to Bill and Morgan podcast to learn ways can get pro bono hours)
    3. IOLTA
    4. Attorney certifications
  4. Annual registration statement

Bridge the Gap Program: Enhancing Your First Year of Practice

Member Services: The department through which members can get involved.

  1. Voluntary Bars
  2. Sections – what they are, how to join and their benefit
  3. Committees – what they are, how to join and their benefit
  4. Equity in Justice overview
  5. Divisions – what they are, parameters of membership, and their benefit
  6. Two things to look forward to:
    1. Equity in Justice Program – first year so looking forward to how it expands!
    2. Annual Meeting – annual conference hosted every year is back in person so please join us!

Professional Development Program (PDP) provides a variety of resources for State Bar members in law practice management. 

  1. Numerous continuing education classes;
  2. “How-to” manuals, sample checklists, forms and articles to assist member in succession planning, closing files, managing trust accounts, appearing before a tribunal in a virtual setting, starting a small law firm, closing a law firm, and using technology in the practice of law;
  3. Articles devoted to attorney well-being; and
  4. Anonymous, online, best-practices self-assessments with attendant suggestions for practice improvement.  Additionally, the PDP encourages and accepts ethics helpline calls from State Bar members to offer guidance to and discussion with members’ who have questions pertaining to the Rules of Professional Conduct

More Information





5121 Masthead St. NE
Albuquerque, NM 87109
PO Box 92860
Albuquerque, NM 87199-2860

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