How LCL Can Help with Your Concerns about a Fellow Attorney

What signs might I see that a colleague is having behavioral health problems?

Changes in mood and/or behavior, such as:

  • Missing deadlines or appointments;
  • Not returning calls;
  • Hostile, inappropriate, or odd behavior in professional situations;
  • Deterioration in record keeping, managing funds, etc.;
  • Changes in appearance/grooming/manner of speech;
  • Readily tearful or overwhelmed; and/or
  • A colleague actually confides that his/her life (e.g., marital, financial) is in a shambles.

What would be my most productive course of action?

This depends on many factors, so the first thing might be to:

  • 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;
  • Goal is to help, not to judge;
  • Refer the lawyer to LCL, or arrange to come in with him or her; and
  • If s/he refuses, discuss alternative options with LCL clinician.

What will LCL do to help?

  • Careful assessment by licensed and highly experienced mental health clinician;
  • Development of plan for addressing problems;
  • Referral to appropriate helping resources;
  • In case of financial need, (limited) funding assistance to get further help;
  • Consultation with family, peers, treatment providers;
  • Ongoing support groups for alcohol/drug problems;
  • Support in dealing with any professional disciplinary issues; and
  • Mass.R.Prof.C. 8.3(a), mandatory reporting of professional misconduct, does not apply to LCL, so LCL will not report the attorney to the BBO.

What will LCL’s assistance cost?

  • LCL’s services are free (covered by your annual professional license fee).
  • Further services to which LCL refers are not free, but when possible will be covered by health insurance.

To speak to a clinician or other LCL staff member, call (617) 482-9600

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