Coronavirus and Your Mental Health: A Lawyer’s Guide to Coping with Isolation, Anxiety and Fear in Uncertain Times

Streams live on Monday, June 29, 2020 at 10:00am EDT

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Course Information

Time 60 Minutes
Difficulty Intermediate
Categories Ethics

Course Description

We know that you have been bombarded with messages about the Coronavirus over the last few months, whether that be on television, social media, or in your community networks. At uncertain times like this, anxiety, stress, fear, and negative thoughts can easily take control. You may be worried about being in crowds, your loved ones, your seniors, your office, your clients, your finances, or how to manage a quarantine. Moreover, recent studies have shown that there has been a dramatic increase in impairment due to alcoholism, addiction, and mental health disorders among members of the legal profession. The statistics are compelling and clearly indicate that 1 out of 3 attorneys will likely have a need for substance use or mental health services at some point in their careers. Accordingly, unexpected events like those we are facing as a society will have an even greater impact on lawyers and those who work with them.

In light of this unprecedented crisis and it’s far-reaching impact, Mr. Quinn will discuss: 

  • The prevalence rates of impairment in the legal profession due to substance use and mental health issues and early warning signs of impairment in both office and personal settings

  • Causes and symptoms of depression, stress, and anxiety

  • The impact of COVID-19 crisis on mental health issues and the role isolation plays

  • The fear associated with the uncertainty surrounding the future of the legal industry

  • Well-being strategies to reduce or alleviate these conditions

  • Ethical dilemmas created by the Coronavirus crisis, including remote supervision of attorneys and staff, record and timekeeping, data security, and confidentiality in the remote office setting.

  • Why legal professionals are at higher risk to develop mental health and substance use disorders

  • Challenges and barriers facing legal professionals from seeking help

  • The free, confidential services provided by Lawyers Assistance Programs to lawyers, their family members, judges, and law students

  • The role that education plays in breaking the stigma and fear associated with addiction and mental illness in the legal profession

  • Resources available to both lawyers and support staff with emphasis on COVID-19 issues

Learning Objectives:

  1. Examine the impact of COVID-19 crisis on mental health and substance use issues, and the role isolation plays

  2. Identify and discuss ethical dilemmas created by the Coronavirus crisis

  3. Gain helpful well-being strategies to reduce or alleviate these conditions

Credit Information

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Brian S. Quinn

Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers of Pennsylvania, Inc.

Brian S. Quinn, Esquire is a licensed attorney in Pennsylvania who currently serves as the Education and Outreach Coordinator for Lawyers concerned for Lawyers of Pennsylvania, Inc., a Lawyers Assistance program established in 1988 for the purpose of helping lawyers, judges and law students recover from alcoholism, drug addiction and mental health disorders.

Mr. Quinn obtained his undergraduate degree in 1970, his law degree in 1973 and a certificate in Drug and Alcohol counselling in 2012, all from Villanova University. Prior to accepting his position with Lawyers concerned for Lawyers in 2017, Mr. Quinn was engaged in private practice for nearly 40 years, handling a variety of civil and criminal matters.

Mr. Quinn has also worked in the field of Alcohol and Drug Counselling at Mirmont Treatment Center and Malvern Institute in suburban Philadelphia.

Mr. Quinn is a past member of the Board of Directors of Lawyers concerned for Lawyers of Pennsylvania and served as a peer volunteer for over six years prior to accepting his current role as the organization's Educator.

As LCL's Educator, Mr. Quinn has conducted CLE presentations for Bar Associations, private law firms and professional organizations in Pennsylvania, as well as for National CLE providers, on a variety of topics in the fields of Lawyer wellness and impairment in the legal profession.