Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs

We're Better Together: Lawyers Helping Judges, Lawyers, and Law Students

Mental Health Resources for the Legal Profession

Lawyer Assistance Programs (LAPs) throughout the country provide confidential services and support to judges, lawyers and law students who facing are mental health or substance use issues. To find the lawyers assistance program in your jurisdiction click on link.


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Judicial Stress and Resilience Survey

The Report Is In!

Judicial stress is one of the least researched but most influential series of events judges can experience that can affect their health, thinking, and performance. ABA Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs (CoLAP) in collaboration with The College of St. Scholastica and The National Judicial College initiated a groundbreaking research project to survey sitting judges presiding over cases in the United States about their experiences with judicial stress and resiliency. The objective of this study is to contribute to a better understanding of the specific issues faced by the judiciary and provide more information on judicial stress so that education and more effective stress management methods can be available to the judiciary.

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October 10 - Law Student Mental Health Day

The Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs collaborates with the ABA Law Student Division to offer programs and provide resources for law students on Law Student Mental Health Day scheduled annually on October 10, to coincide with World Mental Health Day. On this day law schools are encouraged to sponsor educational programs and events that teach and foster breaking the stigma associated with severe depression and anxiety among law students and lawyers. Learn more about the 2020 Law Student Mental Health Day programs and activities.

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Substance Use and Mental Health Toolkit for Law Students

CoLAP and the ABA Law Student Division have collaborated on this important resource filled with guidance on how law students and those who care about them can best support their mental health and well-being.

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Virtual Resources for Law School Graduates – Summer 2020

During this challenging time, the Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs encourages law school graduates to take care of themselves and continue to focus on all aspects of their well-being. Your physical and emotional health are critical to your success in life…and on the bar exam.

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ABA Commission on Lawyer Assistance Program's Statement on Racial Inequity

The purpose of the legal profession is to ensure harmonious interaction between society (any organization) and individuals.” That requires the Rule of Law, equal justice, and equal protection, at a minimum. Indeed, there can be no other profession for which the words “equal justice,” “racial equality,” and “equal protection” should be more precious than in the practice of law. Those ideals are the heartbeat of the American judiciary. And yet, the injustices surrounding the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Rayshard Brooks, and Breonna Taylor, and others, serve to magnify the truth –

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Well-Being Pledge for Legal Employers

The ABA Well-Being Pledge Campaign for legal employers was launched to ensure the long term health and well-being of the legal profession, reduce the incidence of problematic substance use and mental health distress, and challenge the stigma surrounding these issues.

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Bar Admission Resource for Law Students and Graduates

The ABA Commission on Disability Rights offers a Chart outlining the character and fitness questions that address mental health and substance use on bar admission applications of each state and D.C. ( Current as of 2020). Another Character & Fitness resource made available by The Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law is a 50-State Survey of Bar Exam Character and Fitness Questions (Feb. 2019), compiling the primary character and fitness questions in bar applications across the country in an effort to better prepare law school graduates to complete these applications

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Well-Being Template for Legal Employers

Well-Being Template for Legal Employers The Policy Committee of the ABA Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs (CoLAP) and the ABA Working Group to Advance Well-Being in the Legal Profession developed a Well-Being Template for Legal Employers to provide suggested guidelines to legal employers for responding to an employee who is experiencing impairment due to a substance use disorder, mental health disorder or cognitive impairment. The template is intended to serve as a tool that can be modified as needed to suit the individual employer. Each employer should tailor this document to meet the specific needs of its workplace, taking into consideration size, resources and practice setting, as well as consult with labor and employment counsel.

Access the template - here

Anti-Stigma Campaign

Profession-Wide Anti-Stigma Campaign

CoLAP is committed to helping de-stigmatize mental health and substance use disorders in the legal profession. CoLAP is producing high-quality videos that highlight personal recovery stories of lawyers, judges, and law students who have overcome these issues, serving to raise awareness about the nature of addiction and mental health distress in our profession, and challenging the biases and stigma that surround those problems.

ABA Journal article about the Campaign

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Well-Being Toolkit for Lawyers and Legal Employers

The new Well-Being Toolkit for Lawyers and Legal Employers offers tools and practical guidance for legal employers who want to join the lawyer well-being movement by launching organizational initiatives. Also available is the Well-Being Toolkit Nutshell: 80 Tips For Lawyer Thriving, summarizing 80 of the Toolkit’s key items to help get you started on a lawyer well-being initiative. The Toolkit was created by Anne Brafford, member of the Working Group to Advance Well-Being in the Legal Profession.

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ABA HOD Adopts Lawyer Well-Being Resolution 105 at Midyear Meeting

The ABA House of Delegates adopted Resolution 105 at the ABA Midyear Meeting in Vancouver, which supports the goal of reducing mental health and substance use disorders and improving the well-being of lawyers, judges and law students.

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Collaborate with CoLAP

Learn more about the ways we can work together to advance well-being in the profession.

Donate to CoLAP

Your generous donation supports programs that promote lawyer well-being and access to resources and assistance.

Lawyer Assistance Programs

Confidential services and support for judges, lawyers and law students facing mental health and substance use issues.

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Resources for Lawyers, Judges, and Law Students

CoLAP aims to educate the legal profession so that stigma does not stand in the way of prevention and treatment.

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