If you’re looking for more information and help with mental health issues, visit these links from the ABA Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs:
- “Fierce & Gritty: Resilience Training for Lawyers”
- “I’ve Got Your Back; You’ve Got My Ear: Suicide Prevention in the Legal Profession”
- “Keeping Legal Minds Intact: Mitigating Compassion Fatigue Among Legal Professionals”
- “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”
- These are all available at the CoLAP CLE page.
Laurie Besden is an attorney and the Executive Director of Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers of Pennsylvania. Laurie had a privileged upbringing. She graduated college with a 3.97 GPA, and was in the top 15% of her law school class. On paper, Laurie is the definition of success. Laurie is also a drug addict. In “The Besden Redemption,” Laurie candidly shares her story. It is a remarkable story of crippling addiction, and ultimately, redemption.
- Directory of state and local lawyer assistance programs where judges, lawyers and law students can go for help.
- Two studies released last year: “Suffering in Silence: The Survey of Law Student Well-Being and the Reluctance of Law Students to Seek Help for Substance Use and Mental Health Concerns” and “The Prevalence of Substance Use and Other Mental Health Concerns Among American Attorneys.”
- ABA Approves Changes to CLE Model Rule, Adding Substance Use, Mental Health Requirement.
- “Substance Abuse and Mental Health Toolkit for Law Students and Those Who Care About Them”
In honor of Mental Health Day, Clio’s Derek Bolen spoke with Brian Cuban, author of “The Addicted Lawyer.” Cuban struggled with alcohol addiction in law school then added cocaine to his résumé as a practicing attorney. He went into recovery on April 8, 2007, and has spent the last decade sharing his story and tirelessly advocating for mental health and addiction treatment—both inside and outside the legal profession. He spoke about the progress law schools are making in helping future lawyers combat addiction, and suggested who lawyers struggling with addiction can turn to for help. Cuban also offers suggestions for law students and legal professionals who may be struggling with addiction in law school or after.
Resources from other associations
The District of Columbia Bar Association has a page of information on lawyer assistance programs that includes information for law students.
The DC Bar also has a profile of member Timothy Lambert talking about “Mindfulness: Lawyers Need to Pause.”
The Idaho Bar Association has an online flyer about its program and information on substance abuse and mental health issues in the legal profession.