Frequently Asked Questions
Questions about our service? Check out the FAQ below.
Questions about our free and confidential helpline
Our helpline is open 9.00am until 5.00pm Monday to Friday. Outside of those times you can leave a voicemail message and we will aim to get back to you within 24 business hours.
Is it confidential?
Yes. LawCare is independent of legal professional bodies and regulators, and we report nothing to them beyond statistics. We do keep brief notes of calls but these are stored securely. We do not routinely record calls.
You don’t have to give us your name, and you have the right to ask that we don’t keep a note of your call. There are very limited circumstances where the law may require us to breach your confidentiality. For more information see our confidentiality policy.
Who do you help?
We are here to help all branches of the legal profession from student to retirement: solicitors, barristers, barrister’s clerks, judges, Chartered Legal Executives, paralegals, trade mark attorneys, patent attorneys, costs lawyers and their staff and concerned family members. Our support spans the legal life from student to retirement.
Who will be answering my call?
Your call will be answered by trained staff and volunteers who have first-hand experience of working in the law.
What help can you offer?
Can I call back more than once?
You are welcome to call the LawCare helpline as often as you need to, and of course sometimes we will be working with you in arranging a peer supporter, or other help, and it may take several calls to put your support plan in place. We also enjoy hearing from callers who ring back to let us know the outcome of their issue.
We have a number of people working across our various support channels so if you call back it is likely you will find yourself speaking to someone different, but all those on duty are fully trained to offer appropriate support. In most cases the person you speak to on a subsequent call will not have access to your notes. Unfortunately we cannot accommodate requests to speak to the same person again, or to have someone who has read your notes call you back. However, discussing the issue with someone new can often be cathartic and help give clarity and perspective.
If you find yourself calling more than three or four times it’s likely that LawCare is not the right service to meet your needs and you should ask yourself whether appropriate professional help is required.
Do you hear about my issue often?
It is often reassuring to callers to know they are not the only one struggling with a particular issue, but of course we cannot discuss other helpline calls we have received. In over twenty-five years of helping lawyers it’s fair to say that we’ve heard most things several times before, and we do notice trends in calls about particular issues.
How long does a call usually last?
The average call lasts 30-45 mins. In our experience this is sufficient time for you to talk through what is concerning you the most. If the call goes on for longer we will usually draw the call to a close, otherwise in our experience the call may become tiring and circular in nature.
Do you record the call?
We do not routinely record calls but occasionally need to do so in order to ensure we are maintaining the highest standard of support. You will always be informed first if your call is being recorded, and have the option to opt-out. These recordings will only be accessible to LawCare’s core staff team and will be deleted after 45 days, or sooner.
Have I the right to request my notes?
How many calls do you receive?
LawCare receives around 900 calls, emails and online chats each year, from around 700 people.
Questions about our online chat service
When is online chat available?
Online chat is available 9-5 Monday to Friday whenever you see the 'Chat Online' button on our website. If you cannot see the button it means that no agents are currently available to chat to you. Please try again later or use our helpline or support email address.
How do I start a chat?
Just click on the red ‘chat online’ button. If you are not sure how to start chatting just message ‘Hello’, one of our staff will respond in a few minutes.
Can I get emotional support using online chat?
Yes, we can support you with anything that may be concerning you in the same way we would if you called our helpline. We won’t judge you; we will listen and help you talk through your concerns.
Who is at the other end of an online chat?
Our trained staff and volunteers, who have first-hand experience both in working in the law and providing emotional support to people in the legal community.
Can I leave a message when online chat is busy or offline?
It isn’t possible to leave a message via online chat, and online chat is not able to contact you, so if the service is busy or offline please try again later. You may also contact us by email or use our helpline if you prefer. If contacting us by email, it helps if you can tell us a bit about your situation, including what jurisdiction you practise in (England and Wales, Scotland, etc), whether you are a solicitor, paralegal, barrister etc, and your gender. Remember that email is not a secure way to convey confidential information and you may prefer to use another channel or take steps to anonymise your email communication, such as creating a temporary email account or not using a work email address. We endeavour to answer all queries within 48 hours of the working day.
What happens if I suddenly have to finish the chat? Can I resume later on or do I need to start over?
If you give us a name (it doesn't have to be your real name) then when you get in touch again you’ll be able to pick up where you left off, although not necessarily with the same agent.
Is online chat confidential and is it free?
Your discussion with us is confidential and we will only breach this if we are concerned about your safety, risk of harm to others or we are required to by law. Please see our confidentiality policy
We do keep a transcript of your chat which, unless you have provided us with your name or any personal information, is anonymous. You are welcome to request a copy of this by emailing email@example.com with the date and time of your webchat.
Online chat is completely free to use for anyone working in the law.
What information do I have to give about myself?
In order to give you appropriate support and signpost you to the right agencies we need to know the following:
- Your gender
- What jurisdiction you practice in (England and Wales, Scotland, etc.)
- Whether you are a solicitor, paralegal, barrister, etc.
Our agents may ask you for this information during the chat.
We don’t need to know your name, the name of your firm, or any contact details for you unless you’ve asked us to get in touch, so you are not obliged to give us this information.
In addition at the end of the chat we may ask you some monitoring questions so that we can ensure we are offering a good service to the entire legal community. These are:
- How did you hear of LawCare?
- How long have you worked in law?
- Have you found this chat helpful?
- How would you describe your ethnic background?
- Do you have any disabilities?
You don’t have to answer these questions if you’d rather not.
Questions about our email support service
What information should I include in my email?
It helps if you can tell us a bit about your situation, including what jurisdiction you practise in (England and Wales, Scotland etc), whether you are a solicitor, paralegal, barrister etc, and your gender.
Staring at a ‘blank sheet of paper’ can be intimidating. Many of our email contacts start by telling us what has prompted them to get in touch, how long the situation has been going on for and how it makes them feel. Putting your thoughts down in writing can often be cathartic and helpful in itself.
Feel free to include as much information as you are prepared to give. But as email is not always as private and secure as we might think (see below), you might consider omitting certain sensitive or identifiable information, such as the name of the organisation you work for.
What support can I expect to receive in your response?
We read all the emails we receive and will craft a tailored response. We can provide emotional support, relevant information and resources, signpost you to specialist groups, organisations or individuals, and, if appropriate, can offer the services of one of our peer supporters.
How long will I have to wait for a response?
We endeavour to answer all queries within 48 hours of the working day.
Who will see and respond to my email?
Your email will be picked up by our Support Services team. All members of the team have direct experience of working in the law.
Is my email confidential?
Anything you choose to share with us is confidential and we will only breach this if we are concerned about your safety, risk of harm to others or we are required to by law. For more information, see our confidentiality policy.
Remember, email is not a secure way to convey confidential information and can easily fall into the hands of an unintended recipient. You may prefer to use another channel or take steps to anonymise your email communication, such as by creating a temporary email account or not using a work email address.
Can I reply to the email I get in response?
Questions about LawCare
Why do you only help the legal community?
LawCare was set up specifically as a listening service for the legal community and we are funded by the legal profession. Our expertise is in this field.
If you are not associated with the legal profession and need to talk to someone you can contact the Samaritans on 116 123.
What else do you do apart from the support service?
We also work with the legal profession to promote and support good mental health and wellbeing and tackle stigma. This includes visiting Law Societies, barristers’ chambers, CILEx branches, in-house legal departments, firms, and attending conferences to talk about how their staff can look after their mental wellbeing and build resilience.
What background in law do you have?
LawCare has been supporting lawyers for over 25 years and the majority of our staff team have direct experience in working in the law.
Where does the money come from to run LawCare?
We are funded by, but completely independent of, the following organisations:
- Bar Council
- Bar of Northern Ireland
- Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys
- Chartered Institute of Legal Executives
- Chartered Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys
- Costs Lawyers Standards Board
- Faculty of Advocates
- Institute of Barristers' Clerks
- Law Society of England and Wales
- Law Society of Scotland
- Law Society of Jersey
- Law Society of Northern Ireland
- Law Society of the Isle of Man
- Ministry of Justice (for Judges in England and Wales; Scotland; and Northern Ireland)
- Registered Paralegal Scheme Scotland
- The Solicitors Charity
We also receive donations from trusts, companies, firms and individuals on an ad hoc basis over the year.
Where are you based?
LawCare doesn’t have a central office and all our staff work remotely. Our admin office is based in London. The address is LawCare Ltd, PO Box 71193, London SE20 9EQ
Can you publicise my event or service, or add my link or blog to your site?
There is limited space on our website to add external links however we do consider any requests on a case-by-case basis if we feel it would be relevant to our supporters. Unfortunately we cannot add links to individual therapists or counsellors or promote commercial organisations and enterprises.
How can I get involved and help with your work?
There are many ways you can get involved with LawCare. If you have a background in law and are interested in volunteering on the helpline or as a peer supporter email us
You can help to promote wellbeing in your organisation. There are many ways you can do this; here are some suggestions:
- Set up a wellbeing committee or add wellbeing to the responsibility of an existing committee
- Organise wellbeing events, e.g. seminars on relevant topics. You could tie these in with national campaigns such as Mental Health Awareness Week
- Introduce lunchtime walks or yoga sessions that get people up and away from their desks
- Develop an organisational wellbeing policy
- Distribute LawCare literature to staff. We have a range of downloadable materials on the website, and we can also supply articles on wellbeing and mental health targeted at the legal community.
- Include links to our website in your organisation’s staff handbook and intranet site
- If your company is interested in making LawCare their charity of the year or if you would like a staff member to come in and give a talk email us