lawyer assistance programs in need of lawyers to assist?

I’ve previously discussed the support network available to help lawyers dealing with alcohol and substance abuse, depression, stress and more. I know that the efficacy of any of these programs hinges on getting people to access them. But, I was genuinely surprised by this article’s revelation that the Lawyer Assistance Programs (LAPs) in the attorney-laden part of New York where I work and live are vastly underutilized. Considering the cause of the problem, one program coordinator suggested that lawyers know about their offerings but are too prideful or arrogant to seek help. Yet another “regretfully called the available help the ‘best kept secret’ of the bar group.” Leaders of my local bar association recently met to discuss ways to encourage more lawyers-in-need to seek assistance. I’ll start by getting the word out here. Many bar groups have LAPs or lawyer assistance committees to help you through work-life challenges. Cases are kept confidential. The ABA’s Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs keeps a comprehensive listing of programs by state here.

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