Webcast

Depression: An Occupational Hazard of the Legal Profession

Streams live on Friday, January 29, 2021 at 02:00pm EST

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Course Information

Time 60 Minutes
Difficulty Intermediate
Topics covered in this course: Ethics

Course Description

This program, led by Laurie J. Besden, Esq., Executive Director of Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers of Pennsylvania, Inc., addresses the alarming prevalence rates of substance use and mental health disorders in legal professionals. People in the legal profession are dying because it is too painful to ask for help. This must STOP. This course dispels the stigma associated with mental health, which is a roadblock to legal professionals reaching out for help. It provides a comprehensive overview of risk factors and symptoms of depression, compelling reasons detailing why attorneys with depression should seek help, and intervention strategies for attorneys with colleagues in need of support. Finally, the presentation outlines the confidential, free, safe, and supportive resources that are available through lawyers' assistance programs throughout the United States.



Learning Objectives:
 

  1. Recognize that the stigma associated with mental health disorders is simply an illusion
  2. Identify the prevalence of substance use and/or mental health disorder in the legal profession
  3. Appreciate that substance use and mental health disorders are chronic, progressive, and fatal if untreated, though the prognosis for recovery is excellent if help is sought (depression has a treatment success rate of 80%)
  4. Utilize the confidential, free, safe, and supportive resources that are available through the lawyer's assistance programs throughout the United States

Credit Information

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Faculty

Laurie J. Besden

Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers (LCL)

Laurie Besden is the Executive Director of Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers of Pennsylvania, Inc. (“LCL”). Since 2011, she has served as LCL’s Deputy Executive Director overseeing LCL’s Helpline operations and serving as the primary contact for intervention requests, expanding LCL’s law school outreach, and increasing LCL’s presence within the organized Bench and Bar. As the newly appointed Executive Director, Ms. Besden is now responsible for LCL’s administrative and financial operations as well as Judges Concerned for Judges (judges’ assistance program).

Ms. Besden is a licensed attorney in Pennsylvania (1999) and New Jersey (1999). She practiced law from 1999 through 2001 and 2009-2011 in several capacities including:

  • Attorney-at-law (general civil and criminal practice), East Norriton, PA
  • Law Clerk (Pennsylvania Superior Court), Philadelphia, PA
  • Law Clerk (Philadelphia Municipal Court), Philadelphia, PA

She received her B.A. in Criminology and Criminal Justice from the University of Maryland, College Park, MD (1995) and her J.D. from The Dickinson School of Law of the Pennsylvania State University (1999).

Ms. Besden was the 2015 recipient of the Montgomery Bar Association’s Henry Stuckert Miller Award for her dedication to public service in the legal profession.