Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs

We're Better Together: Lawyers Helping Lawyers.

Judicial Stress and Resilience Survey

Judicial Stress and Resilience Survey

The Results Are In!

Judicial stress is one of the least researched but most influential series of events judges can experience that can affect their health, thinking, and performance. ABA Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs (CoLAP) in collaboration with The College of St. Scholastica and The National Judicial College initiated a groundbreaking research project to survey sitting judges presiding over cases in the United States about their experiences with judicial stress and resiliency. The objective of this study is to contribute to a better understanding of the specific issues faced by the judiciary and provide more information on judicial stress so that education and more effective stress management methods can be available to the judiciary.

Read - Preliminary Report

October 10 - Law School Mental Health Day

The Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs collaborates with the ABA Law Student Division to provide resources for law students on Law School Mental Health Day scheduled annually on October 10. On this day law schools are encouraged to sponsor educational programs and events that teach and foster breaking the stigma associated with severe depression and anxiety among law students and lawyers.

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National Conference for Lawyer Assistance Programs

On behalf of the Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs, a special thank you to all registered guests, speakers, exhibitors, sponsors and volunteers for your participation at CoLAP’s 2019 National Conference for Lawyer Assistance Programs, FROM SURVIVING TO THRIVING: LAPs Lead the Way in Austin, Texas.

Save the Date

Save the Date

2020 National Conference for Lawyer Assistance Programs

Plans are underway for CoLAP’s 2020 National Conference in Springfield, MA taking place October 20-22, 2020. Check back here later for additional details.

News

Bar Admission Resource for Law Students and Graduates

The Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law has released a 50-State Survey of Bar Exam Character and Fitness Questions, compiling the primary character and fitness questions in bar applications across the country that request information about an applicant’s current or past record of mental illness and/or substance use, involvement with the criminal justice system, school discipline (e.g., suspensions or expulsion), and financial problems (e.g., bankruptcy), in an effort to better prepare law school graduates to complete these applications

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Well-Being Template for Legal Employers

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

Anti-Stigma Campaign

Profession-Wide Anti-Stigma Campaign

CoLAP is committed to helping de-stigmatize mental health and substance use disorders in the legal profession. CoLAP is producing high-quality videos that highlight personal recovery stories of lawyers, judges, and law students who have overcome these issues, serving to raise awareness about the nature of addiction and mental health distress in our profession, and challenging the biases and stigma that surround those problems.

ABA Journal article about the Campaign

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Well-Being Pledge for Legal Employers

The Working Group to Advance Well-Being in the Legal Profession—an ABA presidential initiative—has launched a Pledge Campaign for legal employers to improve the substance use and mental health landscape of the legal profession.

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Well-Being Toolkit for Lawyers and Legal Employers

The new Well-Being Toolkit for Lawyers and Legal Employers offers tools and practical guidance for legal employers who want to join the lawyer well-being movement by launching organizational initiatives. Also available is the Well-Being Toolkit Nutshell: 80 Tips For Lawyer Thriving, summarizing 80 of the Toolkit’s key items to help get you started on a lawyer well-being initiative. The Toolkit was created by Anne Brafford, member of the Working Group to Advance Well-Being in the Legal Profession.

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ABA HOD Adopts Lawyer Well-Being Resolution 105 at Midyear Meeting

The ABA House of Delegates adopted Resolution 105 at the ABA Midyear Meeting in Vancouver, which supports the goal of reducing mental health and substance use disorders and improving the well-being of lawyers, judges and law students.

Read - Report

Collaborate with CoLAP

Learn more about the ways we can work together to advance well-being in the profession.

Donate to CoLAP

Your generous donation supports programs that promote lawyer well-being and access to resources and assistance.

Lawyer Assistance Programs

Confidential services and support for judges, lawyers and law students facing mental health and substance use issues.

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Resources for Lawyers, Judges, and Law Students

CoLAP aims to educate the legal profession so that stigma does not stand in the way of prevention and treatment.

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