Friend Overwhelmed Facing BBO Disciplinary Hearing

My obviously stressed friend finally confided that he is preparing for a disciplinary hearing before the Board of Bar Overseers. Ashamed and fearful, he has not talked to anyone about this other than his attorney and myself, not even his family. He is obviously overwhelmed. Can you recommend any resources available to him? He needs more support than I can give.

Your instincts are good in surmising that your friend needs considerable support. The disciplinary process is demanding and the accompanying feelings of isolation, shame, humiliation, fear, anger or guilt are common.

One resource is through LCL, and is a weekly support group for attorneys involved in disciplinary proceedings. The group is free and confidential. All your friend needs to do is pick up the phone and call LCL if he is interested in learning more about the group. In general, though, groups are particularly powerful in providing support and reducing feelings of shame and isolation. Through interaction with other group members, your friend will get new ideas to problem solve related to the disciplinary ordeal and will also have the opportunity to explore other career issues.

In addition, the right therapist may well be able to help your friend cope with these stresses in a confidential setting; the process may even partially transform the experience into a valuable opportunity for growth and self-knowledge. If he needs assistance in selecting a therapist, LCL can help with that too.

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