The lawyer hunched over a desk, with head in hands. The empty martini glass, perhaps tipped over. The empty pill bottle, perhaps also on its side. These are all commonly used images when bar association journals and other communication vehicles address matters such as alcohol and substance abuse and mental health problems among lawyers.
It’s time for something new.
That was one of the key messages from a panel discussion at the 2017 NABE Communications Section Workshop in St. Louis this past October: It may be much more effective to instead use images that suggest the peace, productivity and other great outcomes that can occur after a lawyer reaches out for help.
Helping communicators learn how to deliver potentially career-saving and even life-saving information were: Bree Buchanan, director of the Texas Lawyers’ Assistance Program; David Crawford, a past president of the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis, past co-chair of The Missouri Bar's Missouri Lawyers’ Assistance Program Committee, and past member of the National Conference of Bar Presidents Executive Council; Joyce Hastings, communications director at the State Bar of Wisconsin; and moderator Nick Hansen, communications specialist at the Hennepin County (Minn.) Bar Association.