A Resource for Lawyers in Crisis

LCL_PhoneAt our last meeting, MFAN welcomed Joan Bibelhausen, director of Minnesota’s Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers (LCL), to speak with us about resources for lawyers in crisis. Founded in 1976, LCL provides confidential support to law students, attorneys, and judges who are experiencing mental health, addiction, or other behavior problems.

Managing crisis often seems to be part of practicing law. We believe we must to step into our client’s problem and resolve it dispassionately and objectively, no matter how unreasonable the client’s expectations. Yet it’s easy to take on too much, and can be hard to know how to respond when everything catches fire, especially if we are already experiencing stress or anxiety in our personal lives. Not surprisingly, lawyers are 3.6 times more likely than nonlawyers to suffer from depression.

The prevalence of mental illness itself is not news. Yet at a time when over 9% of the population has a diagnosable personality disorder, many people—including lawyers—feel stigma about seeking help. LCL is part of the solution. And because freelance attorneys often get a call in moment of crisis, it helps to be aware of resources available to us and to the attorneys we help.

MFAN had the opportunity to hear about some of the terrific services LCL provides, including a 24-hour crisis line; a confidential assessment and up to four counseling sessions free of charge; referrals for further services, including assistance with practice interruption and closure; resources for depression, anxiety, addiction, problem gambling, bipolar disorder, ADHD, PTSD, eating disorders, stress, relationship and family problems, financial difficulties, and work-related problems; and coaching for coworkers, family, and friends who may be concerned about a loved one but are not sure how to help.

LCL’s services are available to Minnesota law students, attorneys, and judges and their immediate family. The staff includes attorneys, licensed mental and chemical health practitioners, and a network of committed volunteers. Because they understand the unique needs of legal professionals, LCL keeps identities and information strictly confidential and will not report to disciplinary authorities or other individuals or organizations.

Everybody gets overwhelmed from time to time—but when it starts to become a regular thing, you’re right to be concerned. You don’t have to do this alone. So call LCL. They’re there for you and me.

During business hours: (651) 646-5590 or (866) 525-6466
After hours: (651) 332-4805 or (800) 367-3271

Karin has been a litigator at Debevoise & Plimpton; a law clerk to three Minnesota federal judges; a legal writing teacher at NYU Law, William Mitchell College of Law, and the University of Minnesota Law School; and a sole practitioner and freelancer in Minnesota… MFAN Bio | Email | Web | LinkedIn | Google Plus | MFAN Posts

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