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Lawyer Assistance Programs

PencilSometimes the stresses of practicing law can lead to serious mental health or behavioral conditions that require professional help. Sadly, statistics show that as many as one of every four lawyers suffers from stress; out of 105 occupations, lawyers rank first in depression; and a disproportionate number of lawyers commit suicide.

Lawyer Assistance Programs (a/k/a "LAP's") are programs, usually supported by a state bar association or related agency, consisting of trained professionals or volunteers ready to assist members of the legal community -- whether they be attorneys, judges, or even law students -- who are suffering from mental or physical conditions that may impair their ability to practice law.

The ABA offers a list of LAP-related publications here, including a directory of state and local bar association programs addressing a range of personal problems experienced by lawyers.

While dated, the November 2004 issue of ABA’s GP/Solo Magazine, entitled “More Bumps in the Road,” answers common questions about LAP's, and includes other helpful articles on mental health issues.

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