NY State Bar Seeks LAP Director

Description of open LAP Director position from the New York State Bar Association:

The New York State Bar Association, a non-profit professional organization, is seeking applicants for the position of Director of the Association’s Lawyer Assistance Program, which provides educational outreach and confidential assistance to lawyers, judges, law students and their family members who are affected by the problems of alcoholism, substance abuse, or mental health issues. The Director will be responsible for maintaining relationships with the legal community and treatment providers to develop educational programs and recruit and train volunteers to work with impaired judges, attorneys, or law students.

Click here for more details and to apply. 



Fierce & Gritty: Resilience Training for Lawyers

ABA Free CLE Series Webinar
December 19, 2016 | 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM ET

As lawyers, many people depend on us to be at our best. This includes our clients, who depend on us to guide, help, and protect them. It also includes our families and friends, for whom we want to be our best selves. Developing resilience is critical for lawyers to maintain fitness to practice and to avoid running afoul of the Model Rules of Professional Conduct or applicable state rules. We need to be able to bounce back quickly from setbacks, face challenges with a positive perspective, and feel energized rather than depleted. Fortunately, resilience is a collection of competencies that can be developed. This webinar will provide a general overview of how to build resilience, including strategies taught by the U.S. Army to soldiers in combat. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions of our paneled experts.

The learning objectives for this program include the following:

  • Provide an overview of factors and competencies that contribute to resilience
  • Understand the scientific evidence that resilience competencies are positively associated with well-being and business outcomes, such as engagement and retention
  • Learn at least one skill that contributes to resilience


Report on the Survey of Law Student Well-Being

In the spring of 2014, fifteen law schools around the country participated in the Survey of Law Student Well-Being (SLSWB). A comprehensive report of the findings is now available in the Autumn 2016 issue of the Journal of Legal Education. As stated in the report, “The SLSWB is the first multischool study in over twenty years to address law student use of alcohol and street drugs, and the first-ever multischool study to explore prescription drug use and the mental health concerns and help-seeking attitudes of law students.”

Access, “Suffering in Silence: The Survey of Law Student Well-Being and the Reluctance of Law Students to Seek Help for Substance Use and Mental Health Concerns,” by Jerome M. Organ, David B. Jaffe, and Katherine M. Bender, Ph.D.

The study was administered with a grant from the American Bar Association (ABA) Enterprise Fund, sponsored by the ABA Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs, Law Student Division, Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division, Young Lawyers Division and Commission on Disability Rights, as well as with support from the Dave Nee Foundation.

ABA/Hazelden Betty Ford Study – Free Webinar Recording Now Available

On September 15, 2016, ABA CoLAP and the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation presented the ABA CLE webinar, “Charting a Sustainable Path Forward: What the ABA/Hazelden Betty Ford Study on Substance Use and Mental Health Means for the Future of the Profession.” The program featured results from their collaboration on a groundbreaking new research project that collected data on the current rates of substance use, depression and anxiety among licensed attorneys throughout the United States. For those who may have missed it, the recording and materials are now available online for free, for CLE credit.

This program was made possible through the generous support of the Fellows of the Tort, Trial and Insurance Practice Section.

“The Besden Redemption,” a new video about addiction and recovery

The ABA Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs (CoLAP) and Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law present, “The Besden Redemption.”

Laurie Besden is an attorney and the Executive Director of Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers of Pennsylvania. Laurie had a privileged upbringing. She graduated college with a 3.97 GPA, and was in the top 15% of her law school class. On paper, Laurie is the definition of success. Laurie is also a drug addict…

In “The Besden Redemption,” Laurie candidly shares her story. It is a remarkable story of crippling addiction, and ultimately, redemption.

CoLAP’s Law School Assistance Committee set out to create a video that law students can relate to. That will encourage those who are reluctant to seek help to take the first step. That will make those who think, “It can’t happen to me,” realize that it can happen to anybody. As Laurie puts it, “these diseases do not discriminate. But recovery doesn’t either.”

If you’re struggling with a substance use disorder or mental illness, watch this video and know you’re not alone. If you or your entity is in a position to pass along this powerful message, please do so now.

View and download the full video as well as an abridged, 3-minute version here. 

The Crisis Text Line

In 2013, the people behind the youth outreach program DoSomething.org began noticing that young people text more than they do talk, and so they developed the Crisis Text Line. The now 3-year-old operation instantly connects volunteer counselors with anyone who feels the need to “type” in – such as those contemplating suicide, or dealing with domestic abuse – with the goal to listen, engage, offer advice and prevent harm.

The Crisis Text Line can be reached by texting 741741 and is free on most carriers. Learn more about the Crisis Text Line and one of its volunteers, Barb Childs, in this Portland Press Herald article.

Idaho State Bar Publication Features the Lawyer Assistance Program, Talks Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders

The August 2016 issue of The Advocate, the official publication of the Idaho State Bar, is sponsored in part by the Idaho Lawyers Assistance Program. In addition to a welcome message from the Chair of the Idaho Lawyers Assistance Program, Jamie Shropshire, the issue contains the following articles:

  • A Perspective From Bar Counsel’s Office: Addressing Substance Abuse and Mental Health Issues, by Caralee Lambert
  • A Personal Story About Mental Illness in Our Profession, by Andrea Courtney
  • What is the Lawyers Assistance Program? A Short Q & A, by Paul McFarlane

Access the full August 2016 issue of The Advocate here.