George Hettrick’s Story of Recovery

George Hettrick, one of the nation’s leaders in the pro bono community, shares his story of recovery from alcoholism, in this recent article. With his list of accomplishments, including having been special counsel to a Virginia governor, assistant general counsel to the state’s largest power company, and creator of a successful corporate finance practice, his serious condition might have derailed his career, not to mention his personal life. He describes how by the time he was in his mid-30s, his drinking patterns matched the medical description of alcoholism as a “chronic and progressive disease, incurable and – if untreated – implacably worsening.” By recognizing and seeking treatment for his disease, Hettrick was able to regain control over his life and subsequently built one of the nation’s leading pro bono law practices. The process was expectedly difficult and required participation in two residential treatment programs. But now, in addition to being a leader in the pro bono world, Hettrick is also a board member with Lawyers Helping Lawyers in Virginia and uses his own experiences to help other legal professionals with substance abuse and mental health issues.

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