“A coalition of groups, including the American Bar Association Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs, released today a comprehensive report, The Path to Lawyer Well-Being: Practical Recommendations for Positive Change, aimed at addressing the problem of substance use and mental health disorders of lawyers.”
Read the full ABA Press Release, “Growing concern over well-being of lawyers leads to comprehensive new recommendations.”
The report is a product of the National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being, assembled in August 2016 to “create a movement towards improving the health and well-being of the legal profession.” Its participating entities include: ABA CoLAP; ABA Standing Committee on Professionalism; ABA Center for Professional Responsibility; ABA Young Lawyers Division; ABA Law Practice Division Attorney Wellbeing Committee; The National Organization of Bar Counsel; Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers; National Conference of Chief Justices; and National Conference of Bar Examiners.
The report’s recommendations focus on five central themes: (1) identifying stakeholders and the role each of us can play in reducing the level of toxicity in our profession, (2) eliminating the stigma associated with help-seeking behaviors, (3) emphasizing that well-being is an indispensable part of a lawyer’s duty of competence, (4) educating lawyers, judges, and law students on lawyer well-being issues, and (5) taking small, incremental steps to change how law is practiced and how lawyers are regulated to instill greater well-being in the profession.
The report provides recommendations – along with state action plans with simple checklists – to multiple legal stakeholders, including legal employers, regulators, the judiciary, law schools, professional liability carriers and bar associations.