What do we mean by “Transitioning”?
Life is filled with transitions, all of which signify the end of one phase of life and the beginning of another. Society has given some transitions a more positive connotation than others. TLC recognizes that the word “retirement” is too often viewed as a dead end, literally. Retirement is actually just another transitional phase in life. Those who “retire” from the practice of law can still find activities which use their knowledge and skills to benefit society, but which impose less pressure in terms of deadlines and stress. And, maybe most important, many lawyers find ways to slow and wind down a practice as opposed to stopping cold turkey. TLC provides educational support as well as the support of other lawyers in working through the transitional process.
What is “Transitional Support”?
TLC has been designated as a Lawyers Assistance Program (LAP) by the North Carolina State Bar. Therefore, when a referral is made to TLC requesting Transitional Support for a lawyer evidencing cognitive impairment or similar issues impacting their ability to practice law, a Team Leader (a trained volunteer, experienced lawyer) is designated to work with the subject lawyer, family and colleagues to help identify the underlying issues leading to the referral, then work with the subject lawyer to determine what the best next step is for the lawyer, the public and the profession. The LAP designation provides an exemption to the Team Leader from the duty to report ethical violations to the State Bar. This designation permits individuals, including the subject attorney, to speak freely with the Team Leader so that an accurate understanding of the challenges being seen can be formulated.
Working with the neuropsychologists at HRC Behavioral, along with help from the referral source, family and colleagues, the Team Leader will formulate a strategy to support the subject attorney. Support will include access to cognitive testing, an opportunity for consultation with a neuropsychologist and, if desired, a referral for a full cognitive assessment. The key is to assist lawyers who really do not want to retire, but who are evidencing a need to and lawyers about whom others are concerned explore the options available to them. In addition TLC offers confidential support to lawyers who simply want to retire, but are just not sure how.