Law students can counter isolation through virtual JLAP group meetings

Hoosier law students shuttered indoors amidst calls to stay at home in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 can still find comfort and support through weekly virtual meetings hosted by the Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program.

In its dedication to improving the wellbeing of legal professionals, JLAP is offering weekly video chats for one-on-one counseling and Zoom meetings for groups. Law students also may take part in a new Zoom group specifically crafted for them, offering a chance to combat isolation and promote support.

“JLAP has intentionally expanded our services targeted for law students in the past few years because we believe that promoting law student well-being pays dividends for the well-being of the profession,” said JLAP deputy director Loretta Oleksy in an Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law press release. “Last year, law students accounted for 15 percent of our calls, and it gives us hope that they are asking for and accepting help earlier and more often than ever before.”

JLAP recognized that law students are impacted by the pandemic in different ways from the rest of the legal community, Oleksy said in the press release. Being removed from regular support systems and transitioning to remote learning adds to the stress for students, she said.

In an effort to curb the negative effects of those changes, JLAP is offering weekly connection and discussion groups devoted to combating isolation. The group meeting invites attorneys and other legal professionals to share their concerns and support each Wednesday at noon.

Additionally, a similar weekly group designed for law students is hosted every Monday at noon.

“When a student logs in to one of our groups, they can expect professional support from JLAP staff and informal peer support and connection from other members of the group who are living through similar circumstances,” Oleksy said in the press release. “As always, they can expect the highest commitment to confidentiality in all of our services. As a bonus, depending on which staff member is facilitating the group, they may also meet one of our furry family members!”

Those interested in joining either group meetings can call (317) 833-0370 or (866) 428-JLAP (5527) for more information and to access the respective Zoom links.

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