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April 07, 2020

Frequently Asked Questions

What are Lawyer Assistance Programs?

Lawyer Assistance Programs provide confidential services and support to judges, lawyers and law students who are facing substance use disorders or mental health issues.

How do I find my LAP?

Visit CoLAP’s Directory of Lawyer Assistance Programs to contact your state or local LAP. Every state now has some form of lawyer assistance program.

Are the services really confidential?

YES. Lawyer assistance programs will not disclose any information about lawyers, law students or judges who seek their assistance to the Bar, discipline, or anyone else.

What kinds of services do LAP’s provide?

LAPs provide a number of diagnostic and direct services. However, specific offerings vary among the programs and can be any combination of the following:

Addiction support meetings
Case management
Family support meetings
Financial support
Mental health support meetings
Office support
Peer support
Referrals to treatment centers, counseling, support groups, etc.

For which types of issues do LAPs provide services?

LAPs provide a diversity of services for a range of issues, but like kinds of services, specific issues covered vary among the programs and can be any combination of the following:

Career counseling

Cognitive issues and aging

Financial issues

Marital and family issues

Mental health issues (e.g., depression, anxiety, suicide, bipolar disorder, personality disorders, eating disorders)

Process addictions (e.g., gambling, sexual disorders)

Substance use disorders and addiction (e.g., illegal drugs, prescription drugs and alcohol)

Who operates LAPs?

Bar associations operate roughly half of the LAPs nationwide. The other half are structured within a state's highest court, or operate independently.

While the majority of programs employ paid staff, in some instances the programs are wholly volunteer-run.

Where can I learn more?

Visit your LAP's website via the directory, or access a compilation of articles that discuss LAPs.