Help for Law Students
Many law students are reluctant to seek help for mental health and substance use issues, concerned that doing so will negatively affect their academic status and/or their chances of bar admission and future employment. In fact, our experience indicates the opposite to be true. If left untreated, these conditions will eventually sabotage the student’s law school performance and jeopardize his or her admission to the Bar. The sooner a student seeks and accepts help the better. Early utilization of confidential JCJ/LCL services can improve the likelihood of successfully meeting the character and fitness standards of the Board of Law Examiners. It will allow students to launch their careers from a place of good health and well-being.
If you know a law school student in distress, please give us a call. We will connect you with LCL’s confidential Helpline services, which are available to students of Pennsylvania’s nine law schools. We can work with you to encourage the student to utilize our services.
Rest assured that JCJ/LCL services are 100% confidential. We do not report any personal information to any Board of Legal Examiners, law school staff or any other party without the express consent of the student who is receiving services.
Available Helpline Services for Law Students:
- General information, resources and free literature
- Referral to a qualified healthcare provider for a free, private and confidential consultation and diagnosis
- Development of a personalized treatment plan, if indicated, by a healthcare professional
- Assistance with treatment admissions
- Peer support from a recovering law student or lawyer who has faced and overcome similar mental health or substance use challenges
- Resource coordination and ongoing support by LCL staff
- Information on lawyer and law student-only support groups
- Help developing a plan of approach to offer assistance to a law student that you may be concerned about
Law Student Mental Health
Students enter law school with a prevalence of mental health and substance related issues similar to other incoming graduate students, yet studies have repeatedly shown that law students’ risk of developing these disorders increases significantly over the following years of school. A recent large-scale survey revealed that, among practicing U.S. attorneys, those in their first 10 years of practice (which includes recent law school graduates) have the highest risk of developing substance use and mental health problems. Now is the time to seek the help you need.
A comprehensive survey (published in 2016) of over 3,000 law students attending 15 U.S. law schools revealed the following alarming statistics:
- Law students who screened positive for problematic alcohol use: 25% 25%
- Law students who screened positive for symptoms of depression: 17% 17%
- Law students who screened positive for an anxiety disorder: 37% 37%
- Law students struggling with eating disorders: 27% 27%
Organ, J. M., Jaffe, D. B., Esq., & Bender, K. M., PHD. (2016, Fall). Suﬀering in Silence: The Survey of Law Student Well-Being and the Reluctance of Law Students to Seek Help for Substance Use and Mental Health Concerns. Journal of Legal Education, 66(1), 116-156.