What We Do
First and foremost, LAP helps legal professionals figure out what is not working in their lives and then provides guidance and on-going support for getting back on track. To this end, LAP provides a range of services. LAP provides both formal and informal mental health and substance abuse assessments. We refer lawyers to appropriate therapists and counselors, treatment centers, psychiatrists, career counselors, physicians or any other type of health care professional best suited to assist with whatever issues a legal professional is dealing with. LAP provides follow-up counseling. We have a cadre of trained volunteers that provide peer support. LAP often consults with managing partners of law firms or judges who may be concerned about a lawyer. We also can assist with the intervention process, and LAP provides on-going monitoring where needed for accountability. We work with lawyers, judges, law students, and family members of law professionals.
LAP clinical staff are each seasoned clinicians and professional counselors with experience working with lawyers who are struggling with a variety of issues. Nothing is too big or too small to warrant a call to LAP. We usually begin with an informal assessment that may last from one to three sessions, with each session lasting one to two hours. All that is involved is talking about your history and what currently seems to be bothering you or causing concern.
Sometimes all that is needed are a few counseling sessions at LAP. If, however, during the initial meeting it is determined that consistent on-going help will be needed to fully resolve an issue, the LAP will refer the individual to the most appropriate resource. This may include counselors, therapists, treatment centers, physicians, hospitals, etc. LAP has no financial ties to any of the providers to whom we make referrals and our referrals are based on a provider’s successful track record in treating the issue and/or knowledge and success in working with lawyers.
LAP maintains on-going relationships with our clients and schedules periodic check-ins to see how the client’s work is progressing. Our follow-up process is closely tied with our peer support function. Clients who successfully overcome their issues and achieve two years of stable recovery are often recruited to become LAP volunteers to work with new lawyers coming into the program.
An individual contacting the LAP will, when appropriate, be connected with a judge or lawyer volunteer who has been through a similar issue who may serve as a mentor, a recovery contract monitor, or a liaison to a local resource. In addition, the LAP has lawyer support group meetings and discussion groups that meet around the state. These meetings are confidential and by invitation only for our clients and volunteers. These lawyer meetings are the highlight for many of our clients and volunteers where lawyers and judges come together to support one another and share experience, strength and hope. LAP has recently begun a conference call support initiative for lawyers dealing with a chronic illness. Participation can be completely anonymous. For information, please see Chronic Illness Support Group.
The LAP regularly provides guidance to judges, law partners, friends, and family members who are concerned about a judge or lawyer and are unsure how to best get the person some help. The LAP staff will help the concerned person explore all of the available options and make recommendations.
If a judge or lawyer is seriously in trouble with drugs or alcohol, or has a mental disorder that demands immediate treatment, the LAP staff can work with family members to conduct an intervention or can refer the family to a professional interventionist. LAP staff and volunteers often conduct informal interventions with the person to encourage the person to accept the necessary help. If the lawyer or judge is willing to accept help, LAP is involved in recommending the appropriate treatment center and can assist in helping the person get to treatment.
Sometimes a law firm or a judge wants assurances that a person is maintaining recovery in the form of abstinence from alcohol or other substances. In substance abuse recovery, accountability is key to help prevent relapse. Monitoring also provides the best assurance that certain behaviors will not be repeated. In fact, many LAP clients who self-referred to LAP for help have voluntarily entered into monitoring agreements to reduce the chance of relapse. LAP provides these monitoring services.
To seek help for yourself, a co-worker, or a loved one, please call or email us today.