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Resources for Judges

National Helpline for Judges Helping Judges

Judges who need assistance because of alcoholism, substance use disorders, addiction or mental health issues may reach other judges, who are in recovery or who have gone through treatment, by calling a helpline sponsored by the American Bar Association. Judges who have volunteered to be a personal resource to other judges throughout the US and Canada are uniquely positioned to share their experiences, strengths and hope. Both judges in need of help and those interested in serving as a peer-to-peer volunteer should call 800-219-6474 during business hours Central time. All information is confidential and protected by statute.


Featured Article

  • Bree Buchanan, Five ways judges can improve well-being, Judicature, Vol. 101, No. 4 (Winter 2017)
  • See alternative version with footnotes here.


  • Judicial Desk Reference
    This handy desk reference from the Texas Lawyers' Assistance Program informs judges about signs and symptoms of substance use disorders and depression, and how to respond to it.
  • Judicial Roundtable Protocols
    Judicial Roundtables are community building exercises for judges, with the goal to facilitate opportunities for judges to talk honestly and openly with their colleagues about the emotional experience of being a judge.
  • A Wellness Guide for Judges of the Ninth Circuit Courts (Revised July 2015)
    This guide, prepared by the Circuit’s Wellness Committee and now in its fourth iteration, provides a framework for offering assistance and resources to colleagues who may be struggling or may need guidance in identifying available resources.
  • Judges Helping Judges
    CoLAP’s Judicial Assistance Initiative has released Judges Helping Judges, a comprehensive publication to assist judges who may be depressed, chemically dependant, or have other mental health conditions that impair judicial performance. Order a downloadable copy of Judges Helping Judges.
  • For Judges – Are you witnessing Chemical Dependency/ Clinical Depression and a few suggestions if the answer is “Yes”
    The Texas Lawyers’ Assistance Program developed a list of warning signs to help judges detect substance use disorders and depression among attorneys, and offers a list of suggestions to respond to such issues.
  • Impairment in the Legal Profession: A Guide for Judges
     The Florida Lawyers Assistance Program created a guide to inform judges about substance use disorders and mental illness among lawyers and fellow judges. It includes information on myths and misconceptions, help and treatment available and how to spot and address issues.
  • Six-Month Checkup: Early Warning Signs of Judicial Burnout, by Isaiah M. Zimmerman, Ph.D.
    Originally in the November 2001 Missouri Bar Bulletin, this tool allows a judge to screen him or herself for early signs of judicial burnout by responding to a series of true or false statements.
  • Judges and Stress
    This Judges Concerned for Judges of Pennsylvania resource intends to provide judges practical and useful information on stress. It includes information on being aware of and understanding stress, as well as accepting and combatting it.
  • Judges and Compassion Fatigue: What It Is and What to do About It
    The Missouri Lawyers’ Assistance Program created this resource which provides definitions, risk factors and scholarly literature on compassion fatigue as it relates to judges as well as provides tools to effectively respond to it.
  • National Center for State Courts Judicial Stress Resource Guide

Active judges are likely to face numerous work-related experiences (e.g., traumatic cases) that affect performance of their occupational duties. This module looks at the emotional, cognitive, behavioral, and physical effects of judicial stress and how it impacts performance both on and off the bench.