The Struggle: A New Series from Above the Law

Above the Law has created a new series called “The Struggle” which posts real stories, submitted through emails and messages, about law student experiences with substance use and mental health issues. So far, the following stories have been released as part of the series:

  • When Law School Gives You An Eating Disorder
  • Two Suicides In Two Months At The Same Law School
  • Will Alcoholism Treatment Affect Your Character And Fitness Review?
  • Law School’s Downward Spiral And The ‘Shredding Of Your Self-Worth’
  • Sex, Drugs, And Slitting Your Wrists In Law School
  • Law Students Suffer From High Rates Of Depression And Binge Drinking

About the series, Above the Law writes, “We are posting these stories because sometimes what law students really need is to know that they’re not alone in their pain. Sometimes what law students need is to know that they’ve got a friend who is willing to share not just in their triumphs, but also in their struggles.” Access “The Struggle” from Above the Law here.


New Consulting Firm will Educate Law Firms on Addiction and Mental Health

Patrick Krill, former director of the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation’s Legal Professionals Program, has opened a consulting business that will work exclusively with law firms to educate them on addiction and mental health issues in the legal profession, and on how to create a supportive environment for those who may be facing these types of issues. Recently, Krill co-authored the collaborative study conducted by ABA CoLAP and Hazelden, The Prevalence of Substance Use and Other Mental Health Concerns Among American Attorneys, which reports alarming rates of alcohol use disorders and mental health problems in the legal profession.

Learn more in this ABA Journal article.

Winner of the 2016 CoLAP Meritorious Service Award

The Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs (CoLAP) is pleased to award the 2016 CoLAP Meritorious Service Award to Jane B. Grise, Director of Academic Success and Professor at the University of Kentucky College of Law, for her significant contributions to improving law student mental health and physical wellness. Under Grise’s direction, the school implemented a wellness program that includes the Dean’s Challenge Program, an innovative competition that motivates students to develop healthy behaviors by awarding points – and prizes – for exercising and attending scheduled events on topics such as healthy eating, mindfulness and stress.

The 2016 Meritorious Service Award is presented on behalf of the CoLAP Law School Assistance Committee. Learn more about the Award, view past recipients and learn about the contributions of the other 2016 nominees here.

Law Technology Today on Work Life Balance

Law Technology Today, the official blog from the ABA Legal Technology Resource Center, recently focused on “Finding a Work Life Balance through Technology.” In a roundtable discussion, six panelists provide their answers to questions such as “How do you use technology to manage or minimize stress in your professional life?” and “What stressful part of your work life are you waiting for technology to help you solve?”

Access the post in Law Technology Today here.

2016 National Conference for Lawyer Assistance Programs

We’re Better Together –
Lawyers Helping Lawyers in Vancouver

October 4-6, 2016

The 2016 Conference is being held at the Fairmont Vancouver Hotel in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The Conference will begin with a Welcome Reception and Opening of the Exhibit Hall late in the afternoon on Tuesday, October 4th and conclude Thursday evening, October 6th with the Annual Conference Dinner.

The conference will have sessions of interest to judges, disciplinary staff, bar leaders, lawyer assistance program directors and staff, law school administrators and law firm managers as well as abundant opportunities to network with LAP personnel and volunteers involved in lawyer assistance programs from across the U.S. and Canada.

The Conference will include sessions such as: “Best Practices for Increasing Diversity and Inclusion in LAPs and the Legal Profession,” “How to Offend without Really Trying: The Ethics of Cultural Self-Awareness,” “Practicing Law with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD),” “Bridging The Gap:  Helping Lawyers Transition From Working Full Time To Not Working At All,” “The Intersection of Lawyer Misconduct and Addiction – How Regulators and Assistance Programs Work Together” and much, much more!

In addition, the Conference features an Exhibit Hall of facilities from around the U.S. and Canada that focus on treating substance use disorders, addictions, mood disorders, eating disorders, etc. This is a wonderful opportunity to discover new facilities and interact face to face with the facilities you use currently.

For more information including registration, exhibitor registration, schedule, speakers, hotel accommodations and travel information, click here.

Register today to guarantee the early-bird rate.Vancouver#colap2016

ABA Law Practice Division Focuses on Attorney Well-being

The ABA Law Practice Division has dedicated its June 2016 issue of Law Practice Today to attorney well-being. The issue is packed with features that discuss stress, nutrition and exercise, work-life balance, substance use disorders, depression, resilience, and more.

In the article, “Starting the Conversation About Attorney Well-Being, “Rodney Dowell, Chair of the new Attorney Wellbeing Committee from the Law Practice Division, shares how the ABA has made and continues to make efforts to help attorneys – through the Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs, the Young Lawyers Division #FIT2PRACTICE initiative, and now the LP Attorney Well-Being Committee which seeks to “help broaden the discussion of attorney well-being as a law practice management issue.”

Access the June 2016 Issue of Law Practice Today here.

State Bar of Wisconsin to Create Succession Planning Registry

The State Bar of Wisconsin Board of Governors has approved, and has directed Bar staff to develop, a succession planning registry for lawyers to voluntarily name successor counsel in the event that they are unable to continue their law practices through death, disability, or other incapacity. A Succession Planning Working Group had proposed the registry, which was formed by State Bar President Ralph Cagle and chaired by retired Chief Appeals Court Judge and former CoLAP Commission member Richard Brown. Learn more about the specific recommendations that the Board approved here.