Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs

2021 National Conference for Lawyer Assistance Programs Call for Proposals

Writing the LAP Story: Reset, Recover, Renew

The Conference Planning Committee of the American Bar Association (ABA) Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs (CoLAP) is planning the 2021 National Conference for Lawyer Assistance Programs. The theme of this year’s conference is Writing the LAP Story: Reset, Recover, Renew. The Conference will be held from September 21-23, 2021, in Washington, D.C. at the Omni Shoreham Hotel. We are seeking program proposals featuring proficient speakers and cutting-edge topics.

Submissions: Prospective speakers and panelists are invited to submit a program and speaker proposal to be considered for either a Conference plenary or breakout session. We are very excited to convene the program in-person in Washington, D.C., however, given public health concerns, all conference speakers & panelists will be asked to be flexible and prepared for the possibility that the Conference may be converted into a virtual format. Conference proposals should reflect an acknowledgment of this format flexibility. Most sessions will be 75 minutes long. Conference attendees are, for the most part, professionals who are staff or volunteers of lawyer assistance programs, lawyers, clinicians, judges, law school deans or professional services administrators, law students, and representatives of legal employers. Conference participants are interested in a wide range of topics including alcohol and substance use, mental health and mental illness, or well-being—as these topics apply to members of the legal profession, including law students, lawyers, judges, and other legal professionals. Submissions are open to anyone with relevant skill, background, knowledge, and expertise. Preference will be given to those presentations that expand the substantive knowledge base of Conference attendees. Panels comprising diverse membership, as well as those relevant to underrepresented groups in the legal community, are strongly encouraged. To make proposals compelling, make it clear what problems your session helps address, what the tangible learning objectives will be, and any practical takeaways.

CoLAP National Conference 2021 Call For Proposals –
DEADLINE EXTENSION – March 1, 2021!!!!!

Follow This Link to Submit a Program Proposal for the 2021 National Conference


Presentation Criteria: Program Proposals will be considered if the following criteria are met:

  • All sections of the application are complete.
  • All presenters or speakers, including the moderator of a program are identified.
  • Presenter credentials and CV/bio indicate sufficient experience and knowledge of the subject matter.
  • Whether the topic/presentation proposal lends itself to format flexibility (i.e., can be given in-person or online).
  • Programs must meet qualifications for Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credit. Continuing Education Units (CEU) may also be available. 
    • To qualify for CLE credit baseline requirements, include in the proposal a description how the presentation deals with matters directly related to the practice of law and covers any of the following subjects: professional responsibility, ethics, professionalism, substance use education, mental health and illness awareness, wellness, and elimination of bias in the legal profession. Ensure that at least one licensed attorney is an active participant in in the presentation, either as speaker or moderator. Wherever possible, proposals should include references to the relevant, a) ABA Model Rules of Professional Responsibility, b) substantive areas of law or c) other special CLE credit requirements
    • CoLAP is a NAADC Approved Education Provider. CEUs for clinicians will be available for presentations that meets NAADC standards.
  • The program must include substantive written course materials. Examples include detailed presentation slides, articles, white papers, essays, or detailed outlines.
  • Presenters employed by or representing treatment providers or commercial enterprises will be expected to provide additional support of the conference by becoming exhibitors at the Conference. 
  • Presentations must embrace the concept of diversity, equity and inclusion and offer unique educational experiences. The proposal should clearly articulate a diverse range of voices, perspectives, and content to find wider support. Presentations that include panels of multiple speakers must include individuals representing a range of ethnic, racial, cultural, and other backgrounds.
  • Sessions should be designed with the assumption that facilitators will use their expertise to promote, guide and elicit discussion and problem solving, rather than simply talking at the audience.
  • The format and delivery method of the program should allow the audience to achieve the stated learning objectives. Consideration will be given to fresh or new styles of presentations such as those that utilize interactive techniques, Ted-talks, interview formats or fireside chats. 
  • The novelty of the topic is a factor in selection—i.e., whether a similar presentation was offered at a recent Conference, will also be a consideration in final selections of proposals.
  • Moderators are optional but consider including a moderator who can manage the speakers, encourage a discussion with the audience and can keep the program directed, lively and interesting.
  • The presentation is not to be used to market products or services and is free from commercial bias.

Benefits of Presenting:

  • Speakers will receive a complimentary conference registration which does not include any meals.
  • Promotion of speaker’s name and credentials on CoLAP’s Conference website, and in all digital and print marketing materials, where appropriate.
  • Recognition of speakers’ expertise by colleagues and other professionals.
  • Networking opportunities.

Responsibility of Speakers/Presenters/Moderators:

  • Responsible for their own travel, hotel and related lodging expenses.
  • Should a speaker/presenter/moderator wish to attend the entire Conference, the cost associated with attending the Conference is the responsibility of the individual.
  • Responsible for making their own hotel arrangements for the conference.
  • Submit a short biography, photo and speaker release.
  • Submit substantive program materials.
  • Participate in 2-3 program planning calls.
  • Moderators and speakers are expected to arrive prior to their scheduled program start time for set-up and any prep.
  • Speakers/Presenters should not apply or submit a proposal if they are unable to attend due to the financial responsibility. 
  • CoLAP will not provide reimbursement or honoraria to any speaker/presenter/moderator presenting at the Conference.

Note: Applicants will be notified of the Committee’s selection or non-selection in the spring. Programs will be scheduled on any of the conference dates and times at the discretion of the Conference Planning Committee.

Please be sure to click Submit at the bottom of proposal form to send electronically or save the form as a PDF and email it to Sharon O’Connell no later than March 1, 2021. 

Thank you.

Anna Levine, Chair, 2021 National Conference Planning Committee
Anne Chambers and Tom Roman, Vice-Chairs, 2021 National Conference Planning Committee