2020 National Conference for Lawyer Assistance Programs



Conference Brochure (pdf)

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

10:00 a.m. –10:45 a.m. - Recovery & Well-Being

  • Open Twelve Step Meeting
  • Al-Anon Meeting
  • Yoga/Meditation

10:50 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. - Welcome Remarks 

Speaker & Special Guests:

Tish Vincent, Chair, ABA Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs
ABA President Patricia Lee “Trish” Refo
ABA President-Elect Reginald Turner

11:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.  - Opening Plenary

Well Being Across the C’s: Coups, Catches, and Challenges in the Developing Global Legal Well Being Movement
A global effort is underway to inspire practitioners to develop and maintain their own emotional well-being. Join this impressive panel of speakers to hear about the efforts across the globe to improve lawyer well-being as well as the improved processes for legal employers to assist those struggling with emotional distress.

Elizabeth Rimmer, Chief Executive LawCare, United Kingdom
Derek LaCroix, Director, Lawyer Assistance Program of British Columbia
Tracy Kepler, Director of Risk Control Consulting , CNA Liability, United States
Brad Regehr, President of the National Canadian Bar Association & Partner, Maurice Law, Canada
Manel Atserias Luque, Culture & Wellbeing Advocate, Ambar Partners, Spain
Kuah Boon Theng, Managing Director, Legal Clinic, LLC, Singapore
Tomás Gabriel García-Micó, Commissioner of International Relations, Mental Health Institute of Legal Professions, Spain
George Artley, Bar Issues Commission Project Lawyer, International Bar Association, United Kingdom

12:45 p.m. – 1:15 p.m. - Tour the Virtual ExpoHall 

Meet the exhibitors, representatives of returning and new facilities and vendors, to discover great resources, valuable content, services and opportunities.

1:15 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.  - Three Concurrent Sessions

Session 1 - Raising the Stakes: Amending Bar Character & Fitness Questions to Promote Lawyer Well-Being
While a number of states have modified or eliminated questions pertaining to an applicant’s substance use and mental health disorders on their Character and Fitness bar applications, some states continue to pose such questions. Law school deans, bar leaders and a state Supreme Court Chief Justice will share their experiences in working to implement changes to their states’ bar applications and discuss strategies for advocating change in the bar admissions processes, resulting in a healthier legal culture.

Janet Stearns, Dean of Students, University of Miami Law School
David Jaffe, Associate Dean for Student Affairs, American University, Washington College of Law
The Honorable Loretta Rush, Chief Justice, Indiana Supreme Court
Henry Greenberg, Immediate-Past President of the New York State Bar Association & Shareholder, Greenberg Traurig, LLP

Session 2 - Differences in Addiction Treatment Based on Physiology, Gender, and Social Considerations
This program will cover the physiologic, psychiatric, and sociologic differences between men and women, and present evidence for better outcomes through gender-responsive therapies. Developing an understanding and awareness of the different physiological, societal, and financial pressures on professional women in the practice of law contributes to the improved health and well-being of all attorneys and the legal culture itself.

Dr. Ellen A. Ovson, M.D., F.A.S.A.M., Lakeview Health, Jacksonville, FL
Kristine Kuzemka, Esq., Director, Nevada Lawyer Assistance Program

Session 3 - Five Factors for Legal Leaders: Shifting the Paradigm of Attorney Well Being
To truly improve well-being in the legal profession, we must not only understand the challenges that we face as a profession, but also learn from attorneys who are happy and successful. This session will cover the “Five Factors” that distinguish happy and satisfied lawyers, the empirical data and modern brain science that supports it, and present a path forward for lawyers, bar leaders and legal employers to implementing the Five Factors in their own work and organizations.

John Mudd, Executive Director, State Bar of Montana
Bob Carlson, ABA Past President (2018-2019) & Partner, Corette Black Carlson & Mickelson P.C, Butte, MT

2:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. - Break (Network with your peers or visit the virtual ExpoHall)

3:00 p.m. – 4:15 p.m. - Plenary

Improving Your LAP’s Outreach and Impact – Promoting Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Cultural sensitivity, inclusivity, and creating a safe space for different voices and perspectives will increase the health of the legal culture and all members of the legal community. Strategies to include divergent voices and viewpoints in the lawyer well-being and lawyer assistance culture are needed to welcome all who seek help. Learn about pipeline projects promoting inclusion and admission efforts to bring more members of historically marginalized populations into law schools and the legal field, and barriers to treatment for mental health and substance use disorders that may impact individuals who are already struggling to overcome biases that discount their experience personally and professionally. The panel will offer suggestions and creative ideas to help LAPs improve their outreach and their impact through promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in all aspects of lawyer assistance programs.

Raul Ayala, Deputy Federal Public Defender, Office of the Federal Public Defender
Sondra Tennessee, Associate Dean for Alumni & Community Relations, University of Houston Law Center
Dru Levasseur, Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, National LGBT Bar Association & Foundation
Kungu Njuguna, Associate Attorney, Hessig & Pohl, PLL
Eduardo Juarez, Supervisory Trial Attorney, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

4:15 p.m. – 4:45 p.m. - Commission on Lawyer Assistance Awards

Each year, the Commission recognizes one or more individuals for their significant contributions, efforts, work and support toward advancing the Commission’s goals, assisting and promoting lawyer assistance programs, and distinguished efforts to address mental health, substance use disorders and well-being issues impacting lawyers, judges and law students.

Join us as we honor Janet E. Stearns, recipient of the Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs 2020 Meritorious Service Award and for the posthumous presentation of the Commission’s Certificate of Appreciation for Justices to Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Ralph D. Gants.

4:45 p.m. – 5:45 p.m. - Discussion & Networking Breakouts

  1. LAP Meeting, Silver Linings & Challenges - LAP Directors and staff will have the opportunity to connect with one another, share experiences in their LAPs this year, and get to know one another and newcomers to this conference
  2. ABA Well-Being Pledge - Pledge signatories, attendees and legal employers interested joining the pledge will have the opportunity to connect, share experiences, resources and programs that advance their commitment to the Pledge Seven-Step framework and bolster the well-being of their attorneys and staff.
  3. Legal Educators - Legal educators, deans, and law students in attendance will have an opportunity to connect with their peers and share in a spontaneous atmosphere as they get to know one another.

Thursday, November 12, 2020

10:00 a.m. –11:00 a.m. - Recovery & Well-Being

  • Open Twelve Step Meeting
  • Al-Anon Meeting
  • Yoga/Meditation

11:00 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. - Remarks from Conference Chairs

Tish Vincent, Chair, Commission Conference Planning Committee
Anna Levine, Vice-Chair, Commission Conference Planning Committee

11:15 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. - Plenary

Neuroscience, Well Being and . . . Ethics!
Join this program to learn the latest neuroscience behind trust and how to generate the moral molecule—oxytocin—to enhance ethical behavior, performance, joy (yes, there is a biochemical basis for joy), and better self-care practices. For example, sleep is seldom discussed in the national conversation about well-being—and almost everything we “know” about sleep is wrong. Sleep impairment impacts competence, focus and diligence, decision-making, effective client communication, and making progress on cases. Learn about the science behind the importance of oxytocin, about a stress release protocol used by the U.S. military, first-responders, the Red Cross, and other humanitarian organizations around the world, and how to utilize these specific techniques to release your own stress and anxiety.

Joan Bibelhausen, Director, Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers, St. Paul, MN
Robin Wolpert, Chair of the Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board & attorney at Sapientia Law Group, Minneapolis, MN

12:30 p.m. – 12:45 p.m. Break (Network with your peers or visit the virtual ExpoHall)

12:45 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. -  Plenary

Best Practices: How LAPS Can Use Technology To Support Long Term Recovery
Technology can provide cost effective therapeutic tools, increase the efficacy of the delivery of services and support the recovery management of substance use disorder. Join us to hear about the evidence-based studies that support the integration of these technologies and their efficacy, the latest trends in drug/alcohol screening, the safe and appropriate use of these communication platforms, and how these platforms can be tailored to meet the specific needs of the individual LAP programs as well as the clients they serve.

Tom Roman, Esq., Pavillon, Advisory Committee Member of the ABA Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs
Kirk Cizerle, Chief Executive Officer, RecoveryTrek, LLC, Norfolk, VA;
Amber Hanna, Program Coordinator, West Virginia Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program, Charleston, WV
Loretta Oleksy, Deputy Director, Indiana Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program, Indianapolis, IN
Bob Hennen, Outpatient Services Manager, Pavillon, Mill Spring, NC; Brian Coon, Director of Clinical Programs, Pavillon, Mill Spring, NC

2:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. - Break (Network with your peers or visit the virtual ExpoHall)

2:30 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. - Three Concurrent Sessions

Session 1 - How to Improve the Relationship Between Your LAP and Lawyer Regulatory Agency
Join this panel to learn how LAPs can support regulators in strengthening their own well-being while at the same time becoming more sensitive to the signs and symptoms of distress in the lawyers they are investigating. The discussion will include how LAPs and regulatory agencies can improve working together to meet mutual goals, using the recommendations identified in the ABA and National Task Force on Well-Being Report, entitled The Path to Lawyer Well-Being: Practical Recommendations for Positive Change.

Dr. Shawn Healy, Clinical Psychologist, Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers, Boston, MA
Rodney Dowell, Chief Bar Counsel, Office of the Bar Counsel, Boston, MA
Stacey Best, Assistant Bar Counsel, Massachusetts Office of Bar Counsel
Barbara Bowe, Staff Clinician, Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers, Boston, MA

Session 2 - Gambling - the “Secret” Addiction
This program will explore Gambling Disorder as well as the connection between gambling and other substance use disorders, depression, anxiety and why lawyers are at higher risk to develop problems. The discussion will include the warning signs of a possible gambling problem and the link between financial crimes and gambling addiction, and the support LAPs provide to the attorney impaired by a gambling disorder. More importantly, this session will address the harm to the legal profession caused by the attorney who is impaired by a gambling disorder and why lawyers may be at greater risk than others.

Brian S. Quinn, Education & Outreach Coordinator, Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers of Pennsylvania
Harry Levant, ICGC-1, Philadelphia, PA

Session 3 - Statewide Collaborations for Law Student Well-Being
Join this session to learn about the collaboration between the eight law schools of Massachusetts on law student well-being initiatives, how this collaboration contributed to the SJC Committee on Lawyer Well-being Report, and how a similar model for state-wide initiatives might be applied in their home state.

Geraldine Muir, Associate Dean for Student Affairs, Boston University School of Law
Marcia Lynn Sells, Dean of Students, Harvard Law School
Michael Johnson, Associate Dean of Student Affairs & Enrollment Planning, Western New England School of Law

3:45 p.m. – 4:15 p.m. - Conference Chairs Closing Remarks

Tish Vincent, Chair, Commission Conference Planning Committee
Anna Levine, Vice-Chair, Commission Conference Planning Committee

4:30 p.m. – 5:45 p.m. - Resilience During Uncertain Times 

This facilitated group will offer participants the opportunity to share how they are coping personally and professionally with the challenges of 2020.