Warning Signs of a Lawyer in Distress

When a pattern of personal and/or professional problems emerge, it is likely that there are underlying causal factors (i.e. mental health or substance use disorders) which, left unaddressed, will lead to very serious problems for a lawyer.  These illnesses can present with very similar symptoms. Please do not try to ‘diagnose’ your colleague.

Call LCL to discuss your concerns. We can answer your questions, provide educational information, and explore collaborative methods of approach that have the greatest likelihood of encouraging your colleague to accept our confidential assistance. 

Your discussion with LCL staff is 100% confidential; you may remain anonymous if you choose.

Performance Issues

  • Odd, unpredictable or erratic behavior
  • Last-minute requests for extensions
  • Missed deadlines or appointments
  • Diminished quality of work product
  • Not returning calls timely or at all
  • Improbable excuses
  • Inadequate follow-through
  • Poor concentration & inattention to details
  • Isolating from or hostile to co-workers
  • Unable to be located
  • Diminished memory or recall of details & conversations




    Financial Issues

    • Disorganized, inconsistent record-keeping
    • Personal use of trust account funds
    • Attorney trust account overdrafts
    • Failure to timely disburse from trust
    • Credit problems, writing bad checks
    • Judgments, tax liens, bankruptcy

    Health Issues


    • Frequent illnesses
    • Drastic change in appearance
    • Appears exhausted
    • Easily overwhelmed
    • Irritable, impatient, angry
    • Unpredictable, rapid mood swings
    • Over/under reacts to situations
    • Insomnia
    • Sudden weight gain or loss

    Personal Issues

    • Estrangement from spouse or children
    • Legal separation or divorce
    • Frequent accidents and/or injuries
    • Arrests or warnings from police
    • No-show at scheduled social events