Frequently Asked Questions
What should I expect if I call LCL?
If you call seeking general information, or to schedule/reschedule an appointment, whoever answers can assist you. If you are raising a clinical question, you will be transferred to a staff clinician. Often, we will then suggest an in-person appointment, which allows us to provide the best assessment. If your question is a legal one, we will suggest you call another agency. In most cases, whoever speaks with you will fill out a brief form summarizing the call; the form is kept in a protected file.

Must I identify myself on the phone?
Most people do, so that we can reach them, and we keep this information to ourselves (as legally and ethically required), but if it makes you more comfortable you may remain anonymous. In fact, a few people each year also remain anonymous when they come in for a visit. (We still keep records in such cases, but without the name.)

If I do decide to come in for an evaluation, what should I expect?
Much like other clinical settings, you’ll sit briefly in a waiting room and fill out a one-page form, in addition to reading a sheet about privacy/confidentiality, etc. Usually, you’ll be the only one in the waiting room; if you do see someone else, it will be another attorney, law student, or judge coming for the same purpose. You’ll meet with the clinician, usually for about an hour, but sometimes longer depending on scheduling and on how much area you’re both hoping to cover in one session.

What are the fees? Will you use my health insurance?
There is no fee for LCL’s clinical services; the agency is funded by a small portion of every Massachusetts lawyer’s registration fees. LCL does not use your health insurance, but we may take information about it to assist with further referrals.

How many sessions will I get at LCL?
Perhaps 90% of our clients are seen here from one to three times. For those in need of additional services, we make further referrals. We do not provide ongoing individual therapy/counseling; we provide only evaluations, referrals, and discussion or support groups.

To what kinds of people would you refer me?
When the problem is of a clinical nature, we usually refer to mental health clinicians (including psychologists, social workers, and psychiatrists). We also refer to other kinds of coaches and counselors (such as career counselors, coaches who help people get more organized, financial counselors) and now and then to residential facilities. In some cases, the matter is adequately handled with a few sessions here, and no further referral is needed. Or we may refer you to one of our own groups (for which there is no fee).

If I realize that I need a therapist, why go through LCL when I could get a name from my HMO’s provider list or online lists?
We help you (1) zero in on the nature of the key problem(s); (2) navigate the often-confusing managed care maze — sometimes it confounds us, too, but we can help; (3) find a therapist who is a good match, in terms of personality, approach, and geography. If it turns out not to be such a great match, you may call us and we’ll try again, but we have a very good track record.

After 1 to 3 sessions, am I finished with LCL?
If you consent, we will follow up with you around 4 months after your first LCL visit, usually via email, but sometimes mail, or phone. We ask how you’re doing, and request that you rate both LCL and anyone to whom we’ve referred you. This is, of course, partly so we can evaluate our own services, but it also provides an opportunity to determine whether there is something more that we can do for you. In addition, at any point in the future, you may return to LCL for assistance if new concerns arise (or if the old ones rear their heads again).

What if I am referred to groups offered by LCL?
There are two kinds of groups under the aegis of LCL. The LCL Support Groups are sobriety-oriented and peer-led (by lawyers in recovery). One can simply show up for those, and need not attend on a consistent basis. There is no limit to how long you may continue attending. Our Professionally Led Groups may be either time-limited or ongoing, and are led by one of our staff members. They may be discussion or support groups, but are not treatment. Before attending some of the professionally led LCL groups, you must have a screening interview with its leader. The screening is mutual — the leader gets a sense of whether you would fit well in the group, and you hear more about the group to get a sense of whether it would meet your needs.

Can the LCL clinician refer me to his or her own private practice?
No, we think of this as a potential conflict of interest. Once you have been seen at LCL, we will not refer you to the private practice of any current LCL staff member. (Sometimes the reverse may occur, i.e., a lawyer may be referred from one of the clinicians’ private practices to a group offered at LCL.)

Can an LCL clinician provide services to me where I work?
Occasionally, we have met with law firms or other organizations employing lawyers, e.g., to help the partners in a firm negotiate an appropriate agreement with a lawyer whose personal difficulties are impairing his/her work, or to help a firm develop a policy applying to alcohol/drug/mental health problems.

What if I don’t need clinical help so much as help in properly managing a practice?
Whether or not you have any concerns in the personal sphere, we can fast-track a referral to our “sibling” program known as LOMAP (Law Office Management Program). You can also access that recently-established program directly by phone at 888-54LOMAP or via its web site, www.MassLOMAP.org. At present, most LOMAP services, like LCL’s, are available free of charge to any Massachusetts lawyer.

How can LCL help me if I get in trouble with the Board of Bar Overseers?
While LCL is entirely independent of the BBO, we have in many cases helped lawyers who find that they are being investigated or disciplined by the BBO’s Office of Bar Counsel. Sometimes Bar Counsel will refer these attorneys; more often, they find their own way to LCL. We can offer them some combination of the following services:

  • Clinical Evaluation of the cognitive, emotional, and/or behavioral problems that most often give rise to mistakes in the course of carrying out professional responsibilities. Based on our evaluation, we can make recommendations for ameliorating the problem(s).
  • Our Professional Conduct Group, which meets twice a month, consists of attorneys facing likely or certain discipline, and offers a chance to get support, honest feedback, and peer suggestions on coping with the process. Some lawyers continue to attend even after reinstatement.
  • When alcohol or drug abuse has contributed to the professional problem, lawyers who are seriously committed to recovery may want to document that they are now consistently substance-free and consistently involved in a comprehensive rehabilitation regime. Such documentation may be helpful as disciplinary measures are determined, or in the process of applying for reinstatement. For that purpose, we offer the option of LCL Monitoring. Monitoring involves a usually two-year contract including random urine screens (at a fee), documentation of attendance at self-help meetings and professional treatment, and frequent contact with an LCL attorney volunteer who provides monthly feedback to our director. We then provide monthly reports to Bar Counsel.

CALL US . . . We Can Help . . .1-800-LCL-0210

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