November 2019 CALL Meeting at Chicago Ditka's

November Business Meeting with Joe Scally

Joe Scally, Clinical Case Manager at the Lawyers’ Assistance Program
We held our November 2019 business meeting at Ditka’s with Joe Scally, Clinical Case Manager at the Lawyers’ Assistance Program. 61 people registered for this meeting.

Stakeholder Guest

At this meeting, we continued the new initiative to invite stakeholders from outside of law librarianship to our business meetings.

We welcomed shareholder Judge Tom Sianis. Judge Sianis was elected to the Cook County Circuit Court last year and is the deputy supervisor in the traffic court. He was previously in the securities department, where he was appointed special prosecutor for the attorney general’s office. On a fun note, Judge Sianis owns the Billy Goat Tavern.

Meeting Sponsor

November CALL Meeting SponsorsOur sponsor for this meeting was TRG Screen. Laura Weidig, along with Jose Camacho, discussed TRG’s variety of research management products, including ResearchMonitor. For the many Chicago-area librarians that TRG already works with, Laura noted that they can expect a number of enhancements in analytics, reporting, and tracking.

Featured Speaker

Joe Scally, Clinical Case Manager at the Lawyers’ Assistance Program

In addition to being a case manager with the Lawyers’ Assistance Program (LAP), Joe Scally is an attorney with The Child and Family Law Center. He has served as a clinician at a number of institutions, and he was a co-director of a multi-year project that how courts obtain and use mental health information. His discussion focused on increasing awareness of mental health issues in law schools and practices.

Mr. Scally explained that LAP as a statewide program funded primarily by attorneys’ fees. Its services are available to attorneys and law students. Mr. Scally outlined that LAP covers both preventative work and treatment, and it largely deals with mental illness and substance abuse. While LAP may seem like “harbingers of doom” for troubled attorneys, the goal is to bring hope to people.

That said, most of the attorneys LAP works with are self-referrals. Generally speaking, LAP works with younger attorneys. About 34% are under 30, and another 26% are between 30 and 40. Mr. Scally attributes this to more stress and more questions for younger attorneys, but also that there may be less of a stigma for younger attorneys to seek help. Attorneys over 60 are also increasingly seeking assistance from LAP.

LAP primarily deals with mental health problems (55%) and substance abuse (33%), while other issues make up the final 12% that they assist with. A study of 12,800 attorneys found that 28% self-identified as clinically depressed, 23% as having chronic stress, 21% as having problems with alcohol, and 19% as having anxiety.

If you’re concerned that a colleague may be dealing with these sorts of issues, be especially aware of mood swings, changes to their physical appearance, and negative changes in productivity and output. Mr. Scally then described various signs of anxiety, depression, and risk of suicide.

Mr. Scally closed on a more positive note about LAP, saying that it helps many people, and those who go to them generally end up for the better. LAP is free and confidential, and its services are tailored for attorneys and law students.

Q&A with the Speaker

Q: How should I approach the situation if I think a colleague is dealing with an addiction or mental health issue?
A: Come to LAP and we can help figure out the best way to proceed.

Q: Is LAP a referral program?
A: We assess clients and then make a recommendation. We can do some counseling, but we don’t provide treatment.

Q: How are you funded?
A: Primarily through attorney licensing fees, though we do accept donations.

Q: How has the prevalence of social media impacted the people you see?
A: Social media can be isolating as people focus on their devices and don’t interact with other people face-to-face. It can be good to sit and have a conversation in person. On top of that, the work of attorneys can be isolating by its nature. The impact hasn’t been quantified, but there’s something to it.

Q: Is there a schedule specifically for law schools?
A: We have office hours at law schools, but students can contact us any time,

Q: At orientation, the administration mentioned when LAP would be on campus. It would be good to let the librarians know.
A: I agree. It could be a good way to reinforce that knowledge for students.

Q: The New York Bar has eliminated the question about mental health treatment for admission. Where is Illinois on that?
A: Illinois doesn’t ask about mental health treatment. It may come up with some questions of behavior or if you use it as a defense of character.

Q: Are certain practice areas more vulnerable?
A: No. We don’t keep statistics, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.

Q: How much support staff do you have?
A: Five full time staff, three clinicians, and hundreds of peer support volunteers.

Committee Updates

Clare Willis for Nominations & Elections Committee at November 2019 CALL Business MeetingNominations and Elections 

Clare Willis introduced the slate for the next CALL election. Annie Mentkowski and Jamie Sommer are running for vice president/president-elect, Janice Collins and Tom Keefe are running for treasurer, and Mandy Lee and Sarah Sherman Walangitan are running for director.

Community Service

Jamie Sommer for Community Service at November 2019 CALL Business Meeting

Jamie Sommer thanked CALL members for their canned goods donations and noted that we can still donate to the Food Depository using the links on the site. There will be a volunteer day at the Depository on December 7. 


Grants and Chapter Awards

Joe Mitzenmacher for the Grants & Awards Committee at November 2019 CALL Business MeetingJoe Mitzenmacher reminded membership about the availability of grants and noted that they can be for any professional development. Travel need not be involved. 


Todd Ito for the Membership Committee at November 2019 CALL Business MeetingTodd Ito noted that earlier this year we switched to Neon CRM from Wild Apricot as our membership management platform. He asked members to check the Neon directory for the correctness of their information and to contact the membership committee if they see any issues. 

Placement and Recruitment

Diana Koppang for the Placement & Recruitment Committee at November 2019 CALL Business MeetingDiana Koppang discussed the committee’s work on helping determine why membership is going down. They have determined that library schools are giving misleading information about law librarianship to students. Only seven schools have offered legal research classes in the last two years, and some people have been told that they need a JD to go into our field.

Diana and Megan Butman will be at career fair in Champagne on November 14, so let them know if you have job openings. Also, UIUC is hosting a networking event on the 21st with the new dean of its School of Information. 

Also, there was a trivia night on October 16 benefiting CARPLS, and CALL sponsored a table for six. The team finished tied for fifth. 

Continuing Education

Debbie Ginsberg noted events in November, on intellectual property research, and December, on the process for making program proposals and presentation techniques. Be on the lookout for registration information!

Event Photos