The ABA Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs held its first ever virtual event – the 2020 National Conference for Lawyer Assistance Programs – on November 11-12, 2020, drawing 250 attendees and speakers from across the globe.
Commission Chair Tish Vincent welcomed special guests ABA President Trish Refo (who gave opening remarks), ABA President-elect Reginald Turner (who also offered brief remarks), and Canadian Bar Association President Brad Regehr. President Regehr joined a panel of seven esteemed speakers representing the UK, Spain, Singapore, Canada, and the U.S. in the Opening Plenary session to discuss developing global legal well-being initiatives.
Following the conference theme – Cultivating Agility and Resilience in Times of Change – other programs focused on elevating the standing and well-being of the legal profession. These included a presentation by ABA Past-President Bob Carlson and Executive Director of the State Bar of Montana John Mudd covering the “Five Factors” that distinguish happy and satisfied lawyers and a session with Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Loretta Rush discussing state courts’ role in implementing changes to character and fitness bar applications to eliminate questions pertaining to an applicant’s substance use and mental health.
The Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs was proud to announce Janet E. Stearns, Commission member and Dean of Students at University of Miami School of Law, as the recipient of CoLAP’s 2020 Meritorious Service Award and Massachusetts Supreme Court Chief Justice Ralph D. Gants as the posthumous recipient of the Certificate of Appreciation for Justices Award, both in recognition of their significant contributions furthering CoLAP’s goals and advancing lawyer and law student well-being. The recipients were honored virtually and presented with the awards during the National Conference Awards program. Rachael Gants, a recent graduate of Harvard Law School, attended the Conference and accepted the award on behalf of her late father, Chief Justice Gants.
We hope you’ll join us in September 2021 for the next National Conference! Visit our homepage in early 2021 for more information on the 2021 Conference !