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Continuing Legal Education (*9/5/2017 We are currently short staffed and unable to fulfill any CLE requests except for Stories of Renewal and Recovery, which are presented by LAP volunteers. We apologize for any inconvenience.)

As an accredited sponsor of continuing legal education (CLE) programs in NC, you know how challenging it can be to find quality speakers and topics that fulfill the substance abuse and mental health CLE requirement. You have come to the right place.

LAP strives to create relevant and informative programs that are engaging and entertaining. Our view at LAP is that while some of these topics are very serious, we don’t have to take ourselves so seriously in presenting them. Accordingly, we incorporate humor, cartoons and video clips to illustrate a point wherever we can.

Presentations can be tailored to meet the needs of your particular audience (i.e. in-house counsel or trial lawyers, etc.). Whomever your audience, we can help you offer a dynamic mental health CLE hour. There is no charge for LAP staff or volunteers to speak at your event; however, we do require that CLE sponsors pay the $3.50/credit hour fee to the CLE department for the LAP speaker’s CLE teaching credit.

Getting By With A Little Help From Our Friends



The ABA and Hazelden Foundation recently conducted a nationwide study confirming that lawyers struggle with depression, anxiety and alcoholism at rates that far exceed rates found in the general population and other professions. We all know the risks. We often see colleagues in trouble but are unsure exactly what to do about it. This presentation will highlight real-world strategies that lawyers and law firms can use to 1) identify colleagues at risk, 2) create a culture of safety that will reduce barriers for those in need to asking for and receiving help, and 3) intervene when it is clear a colleague needs assistance.

Presented in conjunction with Lawyers Mutual Insurance Company

ABA Landmark Study & Implications for the Profession



Lawyer assistance programs across the country have known anecdotally for years that attorneys were at greater risk for depression, anxiety and alcohol problems than the general public and even other professionals. A recent national landmark ABA study on attorney mental health is the first to ever bring into sharp focus, with hard data and real numbers, what we are facing in our profession across a spectrum of issues. The findings were published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Addiction Medicine in February 2016. This program will provide participants an overview of the study, how it was conducted, and detailed research findings along with a discussion of implications for the profession and call to action suggestions.

The Price We Pay as Professional Problem Solvers



60, 90 or 120 minute versions available.

Compassion fatigue has been widely studied in social workers and first responders to crisis situations. New ground-breaking research has revealed the impact of this condition on those working in the legal profession. Given that compassion fatigue is akin to burn out, this program resonates deeply for lawyers from all practice areas. This program focuses on the condition itself, the brain science behind it, why and how lawyers may find themselves vulnerable to it, and how to mitigate it.

Getting Lost in Our Own Lives



Lawyers suffer increasingly from depression and anxiety, impairments of their own accord, but also major contributing factors to substance abuse. This program examines some of the root causes of lawyer distress and factors that the legal profession itself and lawyers’ personalities contribute to these conditions. Based on the premise that “Work-Life Balance” is a modern day fiction, the program focuses on areas of life that lawyers can control in order to increase their happiness and emotional resilience.

The Psychology of Transitions



Transition appears in myriad forms throughout our lives and careers: marriage, divorce, having children, children leaving for college, moving to a new town, leaving a law firm, changing practice areas, retirement…the list goes on. Add to that, many of us spend our days counseling and advising clients who face major change arising from divorce, criminal charges, bankruptcy, starting a new business, selling a business, business breakups, personal injuries, and the like. This program examines the unspoken “elephants in the living room” that directly impact and influence our ability (or seeming inability) to welcome or embrace transition and change. Transition is never easy, but with increased awareness of the invisible forces within us that fight transition, it need not be so difficult.

A Lawyer’s Guide to Understanding Addiction



It has been scientifically established that addiction results from adaptations in the brain, not from a moral failing or lack of will power. This presentation combines a basic overview of the neuroscience (tailored to non-physicians) for the first half of the presentation and then follows up with a personal story told from the perspective of a LAP volunteer. The personal story highlights the behavioral side of addiction, representing real-life evidence of the adaptation in the brain.

Stories of Renewal and Recovery



Personal stories of hope and redemption often make for the most compelling presentations. For those in the audience who are struggling silently with issues, this presentation often offers the gateway to getting help. For those in the audience who do not suffer from any of the conditions being discussed by the speakers, they learn about the signs and symptoms to look for in a colleague or a friend and that making an early referral could possibly save a colleague’s life. We strive to schedule two diverse LAP volunteer speakers – preferably of different genders and one from the mental health perspective with the other from the alcoholism/addiction perspective.

Here is a description for use in a brochure or for a CLE application:

A recent national landmark ABA study confirmed that lawyers are at the highest risk of any profession for issues like depression and alcoholism. Anywhere from a quarter to a third of the profession is encountering these issues at a given time. Lawyers are high functioning individuals with tremendous capacity to “never let them see you sweat.” This skill is often the downfall for many who may be dealing with these hidden issues. Typically colleagues are too busy with their own lives and law practices to notice when one of our own may be struggling. In this CLE, volunteers from the NC Lawyer Assistance Program share their experience and personal insight into the specific mental health issues they encountered, the consequences that resulted from those issues, how they began recovery, and what life is like today “on the other side.” The speakers will also share helpful resources and explain how the Lawyer Assistance Program works. These personal stories illuminate hidden symptoms and more obvious behavior patterns that any lawyer can use to identify issues in colleagues or in oneself. As each person’s journey is unique, the stories all differ. Spoken from the heart, these stories are often funny, sometimes heartbreaking, and always inspirational.

Vimeo Video: Lawyer Risk and Resiliency



Lawyers suffer increasingly from depression and alcoholism. Sometimes these two conditions build upon each other. At times it can be difficult to discern the underlying causes and conditions. This video presentation explains in very understandable terms the risks lawyers face and some of the brain science behind not only the conditions but also the recovery process.  To use this video in your CLE program, simply indicate the title and that it is a LAP video when you submit your CLE sponsorship application.

To avoid disruptions in internet service and buffering while playing, it is recommended you download this video for your CLE presentation.

View Video Here


Vimeo Video: NC LAP A Story of Hope and Compassion



The LAP got its start back in the 1970s with the guidance and leadership of some dedicated PALS volunteers and State Bar leadership. This video presentation tracks the history of the LAP from its early days and highlights important developments along the way. To use this video in your CLE program, simply indicate the title and that it is a LAP video when you submit your CLE sponsorship application.

To avoid disruptions in internet service and buffering while playing, it is recommended you download this video for your CLE presentation.

View Video Here

For additional questions or assistance, please contact our CLE Coordinator.

*Note Nov. 2016 – We’ve been having some sporadic technical issues with this form submission with our ISP. Periodically some submissions do not come through. We acknowledge receipt of all CLE requests within 24 hours. If you do not hear from us within 24 hours of submission of this form, please contact our CLE coordinator directly to alert her of  your request.