LAWYER ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (LAP)
The mission of the Lawyer Assistance Program (LAP) is to support recovering attorneys in their rehabilitation and competent practice of the law, enhance public protection and maintain the integrity of the legal profession.
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The program aids attorneys struggling with substance abuse, mental health concerns, stress, burnout and other issues impacting their productivity. The LAP supports attorneys in returning to an optimum level of professional practice.
Participation is confidential as mandated by Business and Professions Code § 6234. No information concerning participation in the program will be released without written consent from the attorney participant.
The LAP provides peer group support, individual peer support and individual counseling geared to the needs of legal professionals. Many of the following services are provided at no charge:
ORIENTATION AND ASSESSMENT (O&A)
As a member of the State Bar, you are offered a free professional mental health assessment and an opportunity to experience participation in the LAP without making a longer-term commitment to the program. If you are challenged with stress, relationship issues, alcohol or drug use, depression or similar problems, call 877-527-4435 or send a message to LAP@calbar.ca.gov.
The Support LAP is designed for attorneys who are interested in participating in a weekly group with other lawyers and would like the support of a qualified mental health professional and a trained peer counselor.
In addition to the support of professional group facilitators and other group participants, the Support LAP provides volunteer peer counselors who offer ongoing support to participating attorneys in their recovery efforts—peers who can share their strength and experience in returning to an optimum level of professional practice.
The Support LAP was designed for attorneys who do not require monitoring or verification of participation. There is a fee for group participation.
The Monitored LAP is for attorneys who want to satisfy a specific monitoring or verification requirement imposed by an employer, the Office of the Chief Trial Counsel, State Bar Court, Committee of Bar Examiners or other entity.
The Monitored LAP offers long-term structure and the support of a professional case manager. Attorneys may self-refer into this program or may be referred as the result of an investigation or disciplinary proceeding. The Monitored LAP is also be available to self-referred attorneys who wish to participate and who want the additional structure and support that this component of the program provides.
There is a fee for group participation and lab testing, if required.
In addition to or separate from the above services, the LAP will arrange up to two free one-on-one counseling sessions with a local therapist who specializes in working with legal professionals around any personal issue or concern impacting work productivity—stress, burnout, minor depression, or relationship issues.
(No charge for counseling)
Career counseling is for those members who are having difficulty finding meaningful work in a tight employment market, find their current legal employment unsatisfying, or are pondering how they might better utilize their law degree.
The LAP provides up to two free counseling sessions with a career counselor who specializes in assisting attorneys who wish to make a positive career change. The program also offers low-cost career development workshops to help members chart their way through a significant career transition.
The LAP offers a free one-hour self-study MCLE package that is available to all California attorneys via download from a freestanding educational website, www.calbarlap.com. This is a popular resource for attorneys who appreciate the convenience of affordable, approved self-study material on substance abuse and other personal challenges.
In addition, the program offers free MCLE presentations covering substance abuse, depression, stress and the services of the LAP to local, statewide and specialty bar associations as well as to law firms.
For additional information about any of the above services, please call 877-LAP-4 HELP (877-527-4435) or e-mail LAP@calbar.ca.gov
All communication is confidential.
Richard Carlton, MPH
Lawyer Assistance Program