Story 1: Career Counseling Guidance
I am enrolled in the Arkansas Lawyers Assistance Program (ARJLAP) and it was one of the best decisions that I have made during my legal career. First, ARJLAP will provide counseling for you to work out any personal issues that might be affecting you emotionally and consequently affecting your effectiveness in managing your practice. Second, they will advocate for you with the judicial and Office of Professional Conduct – only if you sign a release of information.
Many people think that it is only a rehab thing for lawyers having problems with drugs or alcohol. They do deal with those issues, if that is what a lawyer is going through, but that is not what they are. They are for lawyers who NEED ASSISTANCE for whatever reason. It is for those who have encountered personal difficulty for one reason or another and want to get life under control so that their practice will not be affected or to get their practice back on track. The problems affecting a lawyer could be anything ranging from personal illness or that of a family member, to divorce problems, to tax problems to emotional burnout…ad infinitum.
One of the best things that they did for me was to give me some career counseling guidance to recognize that I did not belong in a dysfunctional practice. I wasn’t in a practice that honored my values or used my experience and talents to their fullest. I recommended ARJLAP to a friend, and he said he was going to call them but he never did. Perhaps he considered using them as some admission of weakness. I consider it as being intelligent!