Frequently Asked Questions
With what types of issues can NHLAP help me as a law student?
NHLAP understands the stresses unique to law school and the legal profession, and how those stresses can lead to serious personal, academic, and professional problems. We have 25 years of experience dealing with a range of issues, including:
- Stress and Burnout
- Classroom/Exam Performance Anxiety
- Worries about the Bar Exam and Bar Application Disclosure
- Career Concerns
- Balancing School and Family
- Alcohol and Drug Abuse
If I seek assistance at NHLAP, am I required to report doing so on my New Hampshire Bar Application?
NO. There currently is no requirement to report NHLAP assistance on your New Hampshire bar application, and NHLAP will not report it.
Can I expect to be treated differently by the Board of Bar Examiners simply because I sought the services of NHLAP?
NO. Even if you choose to let the BBE know that you have come to NHLAP, the Board supports the work of NHLAP and recognizes that those who seek help are interested in getting better.
Does the Board of Bar Overseers have access to the names of anyone seeking the services of NHLAP now or in the past?
NO. As previously stated, no one has access to the identity of those seeking NHLAP services. NHLAP only gives out client information if there is a signed “Consent to Disclosure” form on file giving permission to disclose to a specific individual. (The rare exceptions to confidentiality, such as when there is a specific threat of imminent physical harm to self or others, would generally involve a duty to warn potential victims, notify police, or arrange hospitalization — not to disclose to the BBO, unless our client’s statements indicated that a BBO employee was in danger of bodily harm.)
What should I expect if I call NHLAP?
If you call seeking general information, or to schedule/reschedule an appointment, whoever answers can assist you. If you are raising a clinical question, you will be transferred to a staff clinician. Often, we will then suggest an in-person appointment, which allows us to provide the best assessment. In most cases, whoever speaks with you will fill out a brief form summarizing the call; the form is kept in a locked file.
Must I identify myself on the phone?
Most people do, so that we can reach them, and we keep this information to ourselves (as we are legally and ethically required), but if it makes you more comfortable you may remain anonymous. In fact, a few people each year also remain anonymous when they come in for a visit. (We still keep records in such cases, but without the name.)
If I do decide to come in for an evaluation, what should I expect?
Much like other clinical settings, you’ll sit briefly in a waiting room and fill out a one-page form, in addition to reading a sheet about privacy/confidentiality, etc. Usually, you’ll be the only one in the waiting room; if you do see someone else, it will be another attorney, law student, or judge coming for the same purpose. Then you’ll meet with the clinician, usually for about an hour, but sometimes longer depending on your schedule and his/hers, and on how much area you’re both hoping to cover in one session.
What are the fees? Will you use my health insurance?
There is no fee for NHLAP’s clinical services – the agency is funded by a small portion of every New Hampshire lawyer’s registration fees. Because our counseling and group services are free of charge, NHLAP does not file anything with your health insurance (although we may take information about it to assist with further referrals).
How many sessions will I get at NHLAP?
Perhaps 90% of our clients are seen here from one to three times. For those in need of additional services, we make further referrals. We do not provide ongoing individual therapy/counseling – we provide only evaluations, referrals, and discussion or support groups.
To what kinds of people would you refer me?
When the problem is of a clinical nature, we usually refer to mental health clinicians (including psychologists, social workers, and psychiatrists). We also refer to other kinds of coaches and counselors (such as career counselors, coaches who help people get more organized, financial counselors) and now and then to residential facilities. In some cases, the matter is adequately handled with a few sessions here, and no further referral is needed.
After 1 to 3 sessions, am I finished with LAPNH?
Unless you don’t consent, we will typically follow up with you, sometimes at the clinician’s discretion, but almost always around 4 months after your first NHLAP visit, via email, mail, or phone call. We ask how you’re doing, and request that you rate both NHLAP and anyone to whom we’ve referred you. This is, of course, partly so we can evaluate our own services, but it also provides an opportunity to determine whether there is something more that we can do for you. In addition, at any point in the future, you may return to NHLAP for assistance if new concerns arise (or if the old ones rear their heads again).
Does LAPNH provide any groups for law students?
The NHLAP Support Groups are sobriety-oriented and peer-led (by lawyers, judges and law students in recovery). One can simply show up for those, and need not attend on a consistent basis. There is no limit to how long you may continue attending.
I am still covered under my parents’ health insurance, and I don’t think they would support me getting counseling. Will they find out that I have come to NHLAP?
They will not find out about NHLAP, since our services require no payment from you or from your insurance company. If, however, we refer you to for further professional assistance and you choose to file with your insurer, some health plans will send them a statement. We can also help you plan how to talk to them about your need for help.
I don’t have a problem with drugs, alcohol, or mood, but my problems taking tests seem to suggest either test anxiety or perhaps some kind of learning disability. Can NHLAP help with that?
YES. We can assess and refer for these kinds of problems as well.
Law school is going well for me, but I am worried about one of my classmates. Should I give him your number?
YES. You may instead choose to come in with him to kick off the process by sharing your concerns (which he may not be able to see as clearly as you do). You could also meet with us alone to brainstorm about how to approach him on this matter. What we don’t do is go out and bring him in ourselves – one must choose to get NHLAP assistance.
Will you be in touch with the dean at my law school?
NO. Your use of NHLAP’s services is strictly confidential, unless you request otherwise. (An exception to this would be if your Dean or school required you to visit NHLAP and you signed a waiver of confidentiality.)
I have engaged in behaviors that, if known, could lead the law school to terminate my status as a student. Is NHLAP obliged to report this to the law school?
NO. Again, your use of NHLAP’s services is strictly confidential, unless you request otherwise. In fact, pursuant to Supreme Court rule and patient-therapist confidentiality rules, NHLAP may not disclose that you have sought assistance without your consent.