Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)

Program

Educational Leadership

Date of Award

5-2019

Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

James Lampley

Committee Members

William Flora, Terence Hicks, Heather Moore

Abstract

Tennessee does not have a formal state-wide required mentoring program for Tennessee lawyers. Mentoring programs are available to Tennessee lawyers but no uniform standards exist. It has been suggested that providers of mentoring programs should develop strategies for improving and expanding mentoring experiences for new lawyers. The purpose of this study was to evaluate attitudes towards mentoring by Tennessee lawyers who are within their first 5 years of practice. The researcher sought to identify the perceptions of new lawyers regarding mentoring to better understand mentoring’s role within the legal profession.

The methodology for this study was nonexperimental quantitative survey research. The survey instrument was an electronic questionnaire. The survey consisted of demographic questions and 17 items that were divided into 3 dimensions: Value of Mentoring, Access to Mentoring, and Structure of Mentoring. Demographic data consisted of gender, type of practice (private solo practice, small firms of 2-10 lawyers, large firms of 11 or more lawyers, government practice, or other) and years of experience (less than 1 year, 1 year, 2 years, 3 years, 4 years, and 5 years of experience). Of the 1,433 possible participants, 287 (20.02%) responded to the survey. Nine research questions were addressed using ANOVA and independent-samples t tests. The significant finding in this study indicated female attorneys have a stronger preference for mentoring experiences and programs with greater structure (Structure of Mentoring dimension). The Value of Mentoring and Access to Mentoring dimension scores were not statistically significantly different in the demographics consisting of gender, type of practice (private solo practice, small firms of 2-10 lawyers, large firms of 11 or more lawyers, government practice, or other) or years of experience (less than 1 year, 1 year, 2 years, 3 years, 4 years, and 5 years of experience).

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

Copyright

Copyright by the authors.

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