Anti-Stigma Campaign from The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division

The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division (YLD) has launched a #StigmaFreeYLD Campaign to help fight the stigma associated with mental illness in the legal profession. According to the campaign website, “[they] aim to demonstrate that dealing with mental illness is not a weakness, but a sign of strength.”

As part of the campaign, the YLD has produced a series of videos featuring attorneys “just like you who have struggled with mental illness but have built wildly successful practices and found true enjoyment in their lives by taking action and seeking help.”

The YLD is encouraging others to share their stories on social media by using the hashtag #StigmaFreeYLD.

 

Register Now! ABA 2019 National Conference for Lawyer Assistance Programs

Online registration is now open for the ABA 2019 National Conference for Lawyer Assistance Programs taking place September 24-26, 2019 in Austin, Texas. This year’s conference theme is “From Surviving to Thriving: LAPs Lead the Way,” Lawyers Helping Lawyer in Austin.

The conference offers a unique opportunity to learn about issues that directly impact the legal community’s well-being, and the services and resources offered by lawyer assistance programs. There will be sessions of interest for judges, disciplinary staff, bar leaders, lawyer assistance program directors and staff, law school administrators and law firm managers, and abundant opportunities to network with LAP personnel and volunteers from across the United States and Canada.

Register by August 3, 2019 to receive discounted registration rates.

Austin

New: Well-Being Template for Legal Employers

The Policy Committee of the ABA Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs (CoLAP) and the ABA Working Group to Advance Well-Being in the Legal Profession developed a Well-Being Template for Legal Employers to provide suggested guidelines to legal employers for responding to an employee who is experiencing impairment due to a substance use disorder, mental health disorder or cognitive impairment. The template is intended to serve as a tool that can be modified as needed to suit the individual employer. Each employer should tailor this document to meet the specific needs of its workplace, taking into consideration size, resources and practice setting, as well as consult with labor and employment counsel.

Access the template here.

Upcoming ABA CLE Webinar

Lawyer Well-Being: What’s It Got To Do With Me?

March 27, 2019 at 1pm EDT

Program Description: Join Bree Buchanan (Chair, ABA Commission on Lawyers Assistance Programs and former Director of the Texas Lawyers Assistance Program) and Lindsey Draper (former chair of the ABA Standing Committee on Public Protection in the Provision of Legal Services) as they survey the information on alcoholism, substance use disorders, and mental health issues that many in the legal profession face.

The issues of alcoholism, substance use disorders, and mental health issues are ones which affect all lawyers who care about client protection. Indeed, lawyers struggling to keep themselves well may not be physically, emotionally, or mentally capable of serving their clients ethically. Listen as Lindsey and Bree explain why this is such a big issue for the legal profession and learn how some systems and people are changing the way they have always done business to better serve clients and lawyers.

Our expert panel will help you:

  • Develop background knowledge on lawyer wellness
  • Link lawyer wellness to client protection, prevention of discipline, and avoiding legal malpractice
  • Provide examples of changes made to systems, practices, and personal behaviors that help protect lawyer well-being and better serve clients.

Further complimentary resources are available from the website for the ABA Working Group to Advance Well-Being in the Legal Profession, including a newly published Well-Being Toolkit for Lawyers and Legal Employers.

Register now!

Save the Date: 2019 National Conference for Lawyer Assistance Programs

Mark your calendars for CoLAP’s 2019 National Conference for Lawyer Assistance Programs, “From Surviving to Thriving: LAPs Lead the Way,” taking place September 24-26, 2019 at the Hilton Austin Hotel, Austin, Texas.

The conference will have sessions of interest to judges, disciplinary staff, bar leaders, risk managers, 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. The conference also features an Exhibit Hall of facilities that address substance use disorders, mental health issues and well-being.

This is a unique opportunity to learn about issues that directly impact the legal community’s well-being, and the services and resources offered by lawyer assistance programs.

Check back on the ABA CoLAP website for more information as it becomes available.

Austin

Podcast on Law Student Mental Health

In the recent KUAF Public Radio podcast, “Maintaining Mental Health During Law School,” David Jaffe, Associate Dean of Student Affairs at American University’s Washington College of Law, discusses how a variety of factors can contribute to a law student’s stress and anxiety. He explains how important it is for law schools to provide a support system for students, and for students to seek help early on, to prevent new or worsen existing mental health or substance use issues.

Jaffe, who is also the Co-Chair of the ABA Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs (CoLAP) Law School Assistance Committee, explains how taking time for self-care may seem like lost time for maintaining your competitive edge, but that you will be better for it in the long run. And while stigma and fear of being denied admission to the bar continue to stand in the way of treatment, students should know they are not alone, and that ignoring the issue will only do more harm than good.

Listen to the podcast episode here.

Mindfulness in Law Society “Mindful Mondays at 4”

The Mindfulness in Law Society (MILS) has launched a new “Mindful Mondays at 4” initiative.  Every Monday at 4 p.m., in each time zone, members of the national MILS community lead a half-hour “virtual sit.” Anyone in the legal profession is welcome to attend the sitting in any time zone. Sessions generally consist of about 20 minutes of guided meditation, and 10 minutes of questions and discussion.

The mission of the Mindfulness in Law Society is to “educate, coordinate and promote activities in the legal profession relating to mindfulness meditation, yoga, and other contemplative practices.”

Visit the MILS website to learn more about session leaders and how to join.