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Top 5 – Ways to help a struggling co-worker

Lawyers carry a heavy load. And in this profession, it's easy to mistake depression for just being busy. But even those who are great at solving other peoples' problems could use some help now and then. Here's how you can help.

  1. Learn the signs – Is your colleague always late? Irritable? These could just be symptoms of a heavy workload. Or they could mean something more.
  2. Open your door - You can't spot problems at your firm if you're not approachable and willing to listen.
  3. Change the culture  – Fight the urge to make work your everything. The lawyer who proudly proclaims, "I haven't taken vacation in 10 years" should be given a referral to a travel agent, not a medal.
  4. But don't cover for him – In Illinois, if you know that a fellow lawyer has committed fraud, deceit, dishonesty or criminal conduct, you're required under the Himmel case to report that behavior to the ARDC.
  5. Call in the cavalry -  If you think you—or someone you know—may have a problem, contact the free and confidential services of the Lawyers Assistance Program. Check out their Web site: <www.illinoislap.org>, or call them at 1-800-LAP-1233.

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Young Lawyers Division

The ISBA Young Lawyers Division serves as a resource for young lawyers practicing in Illinois to develop, enhance, and foster a balanced professional life. It consists of all ISBA members under age 37 and members admitted to practice under 7 years.

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