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What You Should Do When You’re Concerned for a Lawyer (or Law Student)

This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be used in place of professional advice, treatment, or care in any way. Lawyers, law students, judges, and other legal professionals in Massachusetts can find more on scheduling a Free & Confidential appointment with a licensed clinician here.

Your first question might be whether there really is a problem. Start with the warning signs below and you can have our help from there.


Our clinicians can help anyone — a colleague, family member, or friend — who is concerned for the well-being of a lawyer or law student in Massachusetts. Our services our confidential, and if you’re uncertain whether you’ve perceived a problem we can help with, our clinicians can help sort through your concerns.

Find out more about confidentiality and scheduling a time to talk with a clinician here.

(For Lawyer Assistance Outside of Massachusetts, Click Here.)

What signs might I see that a colleague is struggling with a problem? Changes in mood and/or behavior, such as:

What would be my most productive course of action? This depends on many factors, so we advise:

  • Ask how they’re feeling, which can be a lifesaving intervention when individuals are suicidal. Follow up with questions about suicide (find more here), which do not cause suicidal thoughts.
  • Call LCL for a confidential discussion with a clinician to get more perspective on what you see and to develop a specific plan for approaching the individual;
  • Do not attempt to diagnose the individual yourself;
  • Remember the goal is to help, not to judge;
  • Refer the lawyer to LCL, or arrange to come in them; and
  • If the lawyer refuses, discuss alternative options with LCL clinician.

What will LCL do to help?

  • A licensed and highly experienced mental health clinician will carefully assess the situation;
  • Our clinician will develop a plan to address problems or to identify them further;
  • Our clinician will make a referral to appropriate helping resources;
  • In case of financial need, LCL can offer (limited) funding assistance to get further help;
  • Our clinician can consult as needed with colleagues, family, treatment providers;
  • LCL offers support group meetings for addiction recovery (among other support groups);
  • LCL offers support for professional disciplinary issues


Related Resources for Concerned Colleagues from LCL MA.

CATEGORIES: Anxiety | Burnout | Depression | Flourishing | Leadership | Resilience
TAGS: eating disorders | gambling | Grief | intervention | relationships

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