The ABA and Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation’s (ABA/HBFF) groundbreaking 2016 study confirmed devastatingly high rates of both mental health concerns and substance abuse amongst lawyers. For example, between 21-36% of attorneys qualify as problem drinkers—3-5x higher than the general population. Moreover, 25-30% of attorney disciplinary matters, 60% of all malpractice claims, and 85% of all trust-fund violation cases were caused by a lawyer’s substance-use disorder issues.
Even though the problem is pervasive in the legal community, most lawyers aren’t equipped to seek help if in distress or to have sensitive conversations with those who need help. In fact, the ABA/HBFF’s 2016 study indicated that 93% of attorneys did not receive help for alcohol or other drug abuse. As we struggle to cope with life in post-COVID-19 world, lawyers are particularly vulnerable to worsened mental health and substance abuse issues.
In this eye-opening program, veteran attorney Cindy Sharp will share her struggles with alcohol, reveal how she got sober, and how she has remained alcohol free for over 11 years. Attorney and certified meditation instructor Becky Howlett will share her perspectives on the issues and provide practical tips for reducing stress and anxiety in your professional practice and personal life.
In this timely program, you will learn:
- What is a Highly Functioning Alcoholic Attorney (HFAA)
- Why we must eliminate the stigma surrounding substance use disorder
- How to detect the warning signs of impairment
- Ethical rules to consider: MRPC 1.1 - Competence and MRPC 1.3 - Diligence
- Ethical duties of the law partner of an impaired attorney
- Treatment options and other resources to consider
- Mindfulness as a tool for resilience, stress release, and relapse prevention