LCL Services are Free and Confidential. 24/7.
Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers (LCL) provides a free, confidential Lawyer Assistance Program for Minnesota lawyers, judges, and law students, and for their immediate family members. This program offers help to those affected by alcohol, drugs, and other addictions; depression, anxiety and other mental illnesses; stress and other life-related problems; and any condition which negatively affects the quality of one’s life at work or at home.
LCL is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization comprised of hundreds of volunteer members statewide, a volunteer board of directors, an Executive Director, two Case Managers, and an Administrative Assistant. LCL’s membership community includes those who have been helped by the organization and others who are concerned for the well-being of LCL clients and the legal profession. They are ready to help others by providing peer support, by reaching out a helping hand and, sometimes, by facilitating interventions.
Everyone who is eligible for LCL services may receive up to 4 counseling sessions, at no charge, through our counseling partner, the Sand Creek Group. LCL contracts for professional behavioral health assessments, short-term counseling, and referral to higher levels of care when appropriate. Sand Creek employs trained and experienced professional counselors who can assess chemical, mental health, and other behavioral health problems. These professionals also provide short-term counseling for issues which can be resolved within a few sessions. When appropriate, Sand Creek staff refers to inpatient and outpatient programs, therapists, and medical staff who specialize in behavioral healthcare. Telephone counseling is available 24/7.
Confidentiality is our hallmark.
Sand Creek counselors and LCL staff lead support groups for clients. Volunteers, who are pledged to maintain confidentiality, support clients during stressful times of personal change, recovery, return to successful practice, and other transitions.
LCL provides education to lawyers, judges, and law students through CLE programs, law school presentations, brief service announcements, and by assisting with curriculum that includes information on issues of concern to LCL.
LCL consults with individuals, family members, law firms, and other organizations to educate them about behavioral health concerns, to assist and coach them on getting help for the individual, and to provide guidance in prevention and return to work efforts.
NOTE: The Lawyers Assistance Program is a service offered to lawyers, judges, law students and their immediate families and is not intended for the general public. It is also not a lawyer referral service. For help in finding an attorney, please contact your local bar association.
The Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers fiscal year is July 1 to June 30. In the past year, we served over 400 lawyers, judges, law students, and their family members, an increase over the previous year. LCL volunteers contributed over 2000 hours including direct service, public speaking, and committee work to contribute to a strong organization. You may download the most recent Annual Report here.
Whatever a law student, lawyer, judge or concerned person shares with LCL is strictly confidential. Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers has no reporting relationship with any other organization, individual, or group. We do not and will not disclose the names or any other identifying information of our clients to the Minnesota State Bar Association, the Minnesota Supreme Court, the Minnesota Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility, the Minnesota Board of Law Examiners, the Judicial Standards Board, a law school, the client’s family or employer, or any other organization or individual for any purpose at any time. We do not monitor on behalf of any disciplinary or licensing board or organization.
We do not discuss our clients with LCL members unless they are working with the client in a supporting role. Even then, we will only share information when assistance has been expressly requested and discussion is necessary to the services we are providing. Our members understand and support the professional character of our organization and are completely committed to maintaining strict confidentiality.
Sand Creek, our counseling partner who provides our assessments, short-term counseling, and referrals to other services, is bound by the confidentiality provisions of Minnesota law. As an employee assistance program (EAP) they provide guidance, but not diagnoses and are not a medical provider.
If a person contacts Sand Creek directly, Sand Creek staff will not reveal any information to LCL without express written authorization.
In March 2017, the LCL Board of Directors reaffirmed the policy of absolute confidentiality. The entire policy may be read below.
For any questions about our Confidentiality Policy, please contact the Executive Director.
External Confidentiality Policy- reaffirmed by the LCL Board of Directors MAY 2006
In the early 1970’s, a number of recovering alcoholic lawyers and judges began meeting to determine what, if anything, they might do in order to help other lawyers recover from the disease of alcoholism and reduce the devastation alcohol and drugs were having on their profession. In the beginning, they followed the example of Alcoholics Anonymous: sharing their own stories of what it had been like before recovery and what it was like afterward. What they discovered was that a common theme emerged: the using person, family members, partners and employers had a deep fear of disclosure and distrusted everyone, especially the Office of Professional Responsibility and the Bar Association. At that time there was an ethical requirement that all lawyers report immediately to the Office of Professional Responsibility any wrongdoing by a lawyer.
With this information as a guide, this group of lawyers and judges expressed to the Supreme Court and the Office of Professional Responsibility their findings and their desire to start an organization, not affiliated in any way with the Bar Association, the Office of Professional Responsibility or the Supreme Court. The purpose of this organization would be to take a public stance on educating lawyers and judges about alcohol and drug addiction, assist lawyers, judges, family members, law partners, and others to overcome the stigma of addiction and get help before they died, destroyed families or law firms, or became a problem for the office of Professional Responsibility. They also decided that, as an organization, they would make no recommendation as to any individual’s discipline or license to practice law. The group was formed and became known as Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers (LCL). The original purpose of LCL was to assist lawyers, their firms or families to get help for the deadly disease of alcohol and drug addiction. The Supreme Court encouraged LCL to move forward and agreed that LCL should keep absolutely confidential any and all information discovered in the process of helping another lawyer. This program has now been successful in Minnesota for over 30 years. LCL has now expanded its work and is helping lawyers with other problems, including mental health issues where, again, social stigma, fear of disclosure, and inability to recognize the condition may result in a reluctance to acknowledge and address the need for help. As a result, the need for LCL’s independence from the Office of Professional Responsibility, the Supreme Court, and the State Bar Association remains even greater than before. Absolute confidentially and the perception of absolute confidentially is critical to the success of any future work by LCL. We must never forget what worked and lose the opportunity to continue to help lawyers.
1. This policy will govern the application and interpretation of section 8.02(a) of the corporate bylaws insofar as it applies to requests from outside parties or organizations.
2. LCL will not provide any individually identifiable information with respect to:
a. any contacts made with LCL; or
b. any referrals or services provided by LCL.
3. No LCL member, officer, or employee is authorized to disclose any individually identifiable information about any case on behalf of LCL.
4. In the event that an individual who has contacted LCL desires to provide a release to the Lawyers Responsibility Board, the Board of Law Examiners, or the Board of Judicial Standards, a release must be directed to a specific individual, i.e., therapist, group leader, etc. LCL will, upon written request of the person providing the release, forward the release to the individual to whom the release is directed. The individual to whom the release is directed will be governed by the professional and/or legal standards applicable to him/her in determining what information may or may not be released.
5. Nothing in this policy will prevent a member of LCL from verifying an individual’s attendance at a meeting, if requested to do so by him or her. However, such verification is made in a personal capacity by that member and not on behalf of LCL.