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.

Attorney Wellness Featured in The Iowa Lawyer Magazine

In case you missed it, the May 2016 issue of The Iowa Lawyer from the Iowa State Bar Association was dedicated to “Maintaining Attorney Wellness in Your Law Practice.” The issue opens with a letter from Iowa State Bar President Bruce L. Walker titled, “Get back on track, seek assistance” and contains the following feature articles:

  • Study shows lawyers have higher rates of problem drinking and mental health issues, by Hugh Grady
  • Healthy Mind, Healthy body, by Kara M. Sinnard
  • On the balance beam of life with depression and anxiety, by an anonymous Iowa attorney
  • Everything was great until it wasn’t, by an anonymous Iowa attorney
  • Taking care of yourself: Three simple techniques to reduce stress from practicing law, by Scott Bandstra
  • A roadmap to positive behavior change, by Hope Wood
  • Strategic Life Planning: Moving from Success to Significance, by Rich Anderson

Access the entire May 2016 issue of The Iowa Lawyer here.

Free Version of Suicide Prevention Webinar Now Available

A recording of the ABA webinar “I’ve Got Your Back; You’ve Got My Ear: Suicide Prevention in the Legal Profession” is now available to view, free of charge. In this webinar, originally aired on March 21st, 2016, presenters discuss how to recognize the warning signs of suicide and effective ways to help colleagues who may be at risk, and the ethical responsibilities when confronted with a colleague who may have a mental health or addiction problem.

Note that this free version does not qualify for continuing legal education (CLE) accreditation, however, the program is still available for CLE credit through June 23, 2016. 




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

A Free CLE Webinar
September 15, 2016 | 1-2:30 PM ET

The American Bar Association Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs and the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation present the 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. Fifteen thousand lawyers from nineteen states across the country participated. This landmark research was published in the January/February, 2016 issue of the Journal of Addiction Medicine. The study findings are powerful and important serving to initiate, inform and guide decision making and policy development in the legal field and to promote cultural change to increase attorney wellness, competence and ethical behavior.

Join our panel as they discuss:

  • The current prevalence of substance abuse, anxiety and depression among U.S. attorneys and the implications for the legal profession
  • The limited help seeking behaviors and their origins employed by lawyers
  • A systems approach to increasing attorney wellness, competence and ethical behavior

Speaker list:

  • (Moderator) Terry Harrell/ Chair, Commission on Lawyers Assistance Program/ Indiana Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program/ Indianapolis, IN
  • Linda Albert, LCSW, CSAC/ Manager of the Wisconsin Lawyers Assistance Program/ State Bar of Wisconsin/ Madison, WI
  • Patrick Krill, J.D. LADC/ Director Legal Professionals Program/ Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation/ Center City, MN

Program made possible through the generous support of the Fellows of the Tort, Trial and Insurance Practice Section


YOUR ABA E-News Covers Depression, Work-Life Balance

The June 2016 edition of YOUR ABA e-news for members has in it two articles worth checking out:

“Battling depression? Confidential help is available” discusses the material covered in the recent ABA webinar, “Mental Health Awareness 101: Battling Burnout and Depression,” and includes a helpful sidebar directing readers to the resources provided by the ABA Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs.

“Yes, you’re super busy, but you can balance your life and work” discusses the ABA/First Chair book, The Trial Lawyer’s Guide to Success and Happiness, which offers advice on how to build a satisfying and successful career while also leading a healthy and rewarding life. The article includes an interview with the authors and ends with “8 strategies for dealing with stress.”