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, and urges stakeholders within the legal profession to consider the recommendations set out in The Path to Lawyer Well-Being: Practical Recommendations for Positive Change from the National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being.
Resolution 105 was primarily sponsored by the Working Group to Advance Well-Being in the Legal Profession, an ABA Presidential Initiative. Resolution 105 was co-sponsored by the ABA Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs, the ABA Standing Committee on Professionalism and the National Organization of Bar Counsel.
The Department of Commerce's United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is initiating a two-year Diversion Pilot Program for patent and trademark practitioners. The program offers practitioners who engaged in minor misconduct (with little, if any, harm to a client) as a result of physical, mental, or emotional health issues (including substance or alcohol abuse) or law practice management issues to enter into a diversion agreement and avoid formal discipline.
In February 2017, the ABA House of Delegates approved Resolution 106 amending the ABA Model Rule for Minimum Continuing Legal Education which includes a requirement for lawyers to receive at least one hour of mental health or substance use disorder programming every three years. It also calls for one hour of diversity and inclusion programming every three years. The Resolution was sponsored by the ABA’s Standing Committee on Continuing Legal Education, Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs and Law Practice Division.
CLE Credit for Lawyer Wellness in Wisconsin
IL Supreme Court Mandates Mental Health, Substance Use and Diversity CLE
See a Comparison of Jurisdiction Rules to ABA MCLE Model Rule by State for developments on this rule.
On August 3rd, 2015, the House of Delegates approved Resolution 102 which calls for character and fitness questions to address conduct rather than treatment or diagnoses when inquiring into a bar applicant's mental health history.
Access the ABA Commission on Disability Rights Bar Information for Applicants with Disabilities resources for state-by-state information on character and fitness questions related to mental health diagnoses.