Laurie Besden, Esquire, Executive Director of Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers of PA, shares her compelling personal story of an insatiable drug addiction that nearly took her life but settled for her freedom.
Through an in-depth telling of her recovery journey (including her eventual reinstatement to the practice of law), Ms. Besden provides information on how to identify and help attorneys in distress due to substance use and mental health disorders, and outlines the resources for help available, including an overview of LCL services.
The program also includes shocking statistics regarding the prevalence of substance use and mental health disorders in the U.S. legal industry.
I. Grasp the disease and recovery of addiction
II. Understand the prevalence of substance use and mental health disorders in the US legal industry
III. Recognize that everyone is impacted by substance use or mental health disorders at some point in their lives; directly or indirectly
IV. Know that resources are available and that there is always hope
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:
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.
Thank you for sharing!
Extremely informative and professionall presentation. Covered an area of the profession which is overlooked despite its obvious significance to members of the bar.
Wow. Very inspiring!
Ms. Besben's honesty was inspiring.
Great program. It was recommended by my partner. The speaker was engaging and did a great job.
Laurie Besden is a blessing to the legal profession. Her personal story, her dedication to share it with others, and her powerful message of hope are powerful, unique, and stunningly helpful to all of us in this business. Bless you, Laurie Besden, and thank you for everything you do for all of us!
The speaker spoke from personal experience. She was very inspiring and provided good content on topic that is very relevant to today.
This was a great CLE. The speaker was very helpful and I am sure others have enjoyed her testimony.
I appreciate the power of the personal testimony in this course!
The speaker was very effective
It was very, very, informative and interesting.
Excellent supporting documents
Heart felt and eye opening. Thank you.
Great presentation! Could even be divided into two presentations, to delve deeper into the risk of lawyers to develop substance abuse and mental health disorders separately.
Fantastic "confessional" telling from a colleague, who has opened herself up to prioritize helping others.
PRESENTER DID AN AMAZING JOB!!! SHE IS SAVING LIVES AND FAMILIES.
very informative, interesting, and relevant.
Really great and informative presentation. The presenter's personal narrative was vulnerable, but also reaffirming for how victory can be achieved from recovery.
Very inspirational story and discussion about the issues of addiction in our profession
Excellent presentation with an inspirational personal story.
That was an excellent look at reality and what steps can be taken to help yourself or others in need
Absolute BEST CLE I have ever heard!! Bravo Ma'am!!
Best sub. abuse program I have seen--I may have my kids watch it. However, a couple of small things popped into my head that may be good to address . First, Laurie was compelled to detox/enter treatment, whereas many attorneys would need to do so voluntarily. Second, she was never a practicing attorney & her addiction began earlier...it might be helpful to point out that this distinction shouldn't matter. Thank you again for an excellent presentation.
Thank you, Ms. Besden for your selflessness in giving yourself away to others in need. You are a point of light in dark places.
This speaker was very informative and told her story in a way that I found very interesting. I appreciate her candor and openness in discussing such a sensitive matter. I wish her all the best in her future endeavors and continued recovery.
This presentation was powerful and compelling. The presenter was terrific.
Riveting. God bless her!
Amazing story! Spectacular presentation!
Very sobering to me.
Wow. An amazing and insightful story.
Absolutely appreciated the candid retelling of the road through addiction to recovery. This may be the most meaningful CLE I’ve done. Thank you to the speaker for sharing.
Very helpful for not only lawyers but anyone suffering from addiction.
convincing presentation thank you
Wow! What a journey. God bless.
an amazing and inspirational personal Odyssey
very moving presentation
Outstanding presentation and a story we all need to hear
Fantastic and compelling presentation. Incredibly thought-provoking, especially due to the very personal account of a survivor who should inspire others
This is one of the better ethics CLEs I've ever had. I saw the addiction train coming in my life and got out before it got to bad but the knowledge that Lawyers helping Lawyers was out made me look long and hard.
I didn't expect a program about substance abuse, but it was good!
The speaker is outstanding. Her honesty is to be admired.
Best CLE I've seen.
Very articulate and honest presentation
Fascinating presentation because it was so courageous. She talks from the heart and it was such a relief to hear a real story!
Amazing story. Very Inspiring.
This is one of the best courses you all have. Inspiring and informative. Important for all to know even if they are not addicts. Thank you!
Laurie was outstanding in her presentation and her passion for the topic. Best of luck to her.
Sad story. She really was saved.
Excellent presentation and one every single attorney - and every person - should watch.
The best class I have taken. What an amazing story.
Very inspirational and informative.
Excellent presentation - I would highly recommend.
This was a gift from God. Thank you.
So inspirational. Thank you for sharing your story.
Laurie's story is so compelling. Thank God for the work you and your organization do. I have a relative in rehab now. I pray he finds sobriety like you and can live a purposeful life.
Excellent program! Interesting speaker!
Every lawyer in the US should listen to this podcast.
Amazing presentation. Eye opening.
great lady and lawyer thank you
She does a good job!
she did a great job of telling her powerful story.
Incredible personal story with extensive slides
Life changing course. Vital for our profession! Thank you!
One of the best hours that I've spent in years. it is a brilliantly effective presentation.
Ms. Besden was amazing!
this was a very powerful presentation. Thank you for providing this
I thought this was just going to fill another hour of CLE. But wow. Very powerful. Thank you
Excellent -- first-rate -- thank you
Amazingly touching presentation. Wow.
one of the best ethics credits I have ever viewed
This course showed an unedited truth about a lawyer with a substance abuse problem. Many encounter such issues. Great job Lawline.
Appreciated the honesty, the advice for helping others, and the hope.
Very well presented and informative.
Very powerful and compelling story.
The presenter's personal story was very powerful.
Incredible story, honestly told and relevant to all of us.
Hopefully this message gets out to folks who need to hear it. The honesty of the story is commendable.
Wow. Makes a very compelling and very moving case for the value of intervention and helping one another.
Very good course.
Fascinating! Thank you for sharing your story with us!
One of the best CLE lectures. The speaker was very engaging and the personal touch to her stories were very inspirational.
I never realized someone could go through so much and the speaker is just amazing how she recovered. A true model.
Every lawyer should see this
Every attorney should watch this program
A very compelling presentation.
Very informative and humane.
This course provided many insights that may prove useful in the future when addressing issues with colleagues
Amazing and inspiring story!
Courageous program. Loved the honesty of the presenter.
thank you for sharing such a personal story with us!
The presenter was very honest and transparent. Excellent presentation.
A very compelling and moving personal story!
Incredibly brave and inspiring story.
Laurie is very brave to do this program. I found it informative and enhancing. Good on Lawline for having it!
Wish there was more content
Thank you for a great presentation
Presenter was very persuasive and knowledgeable from first hand experience of the dangers of substance abuse and other mental health issues relevant to attorneys.
Her story is amazing!!!
Awesome Very Inspiring
good message and reminders
As recovering alcoholic with 23 years sobriety, I thought the presentation was very good!
Lot of courage to tell your story. Glad the ending was happy!
Most meaningful CLE I attended inn 36 years.
I deeply appreciated Leslie's authenticity and transparency. This should be required viewing for all entering law students. Her story reminded me of a fellow student when I was in law school. She was an incredibly high achieving student, but she had an obvious substance abuse problem. Leslie is right. Her story is not unique.
Very interesting and very helpful.
WOW! I don't know what else to say! Inspirational and PA is luck to have her!
amazing story--great way to understand the ethical side!!
Very different from all other CLE I have seen. Surprisingly, because I would have rated 3 or 4 other CLEs "a perfect 10," I have to say, this is the single best CLIE I have ever seen. Notes are fantastic. Information is also quite useful, outside of law. Everyone should see this CLE, even non-lawyers.
Interesting discussion and I admired Ms. Besden's candor.
Fantastic and very powerful and insightful.
Very amazing life story from this attorney. It makes you very self-aware and gives hope to anyone who believes there is none. Amazing person.
Thank you for sharing your story!
Interesting and informative
Excellent program and handout
Should be played for each graduating law school class!
Compelling story, and important story to hear.
Very good presentation
I admire her courage and commitment to helping other in need with her own story.
I think this is a good program for the profession, sometimes we forget how vulnerable we all are.
A very compelling presentation.
" Fantastic " One of the best programs.
Excellent and inspiring presentation.
Fabulous program, and inspiring speaker. This program should be a "must see" for all attorneys everywhere.
Took this course on whim as I was just looking for another ethics course. Came away inspired by and proud of Ms. Besden.
Great real life cle.
What CLE has the potential to save more attorneys from death or ruined careers or wasted lives than this CLE program? The answer is there no such program.
Incredible story with valuable advice.
Appreciated the added insight into process after rock bottom.
Wow, what an hour ! She was amazing and makes me proud to be a lawyer.
good example of addiction based on personal experience
It was a good story about the speaker's substance abuse history.
Great class - very helpful
Probably should be required program for all lawyers. Thank you.
Honestly, I was just trying to tick off some quick CLE. This was so compelling. Thank you.
I think she was great. Kept my attention the entire time and made me really think about me and my kids future with substance abuse.
She was wonderful. Such an inspirational story. Really touching.
A sobering tale. Very brave of the presenter to be so honest about her situation.
Thank the speaker for her candor and for imparting a hopeful message. She's an excellent speaker.
This is one of the most useful CLE programs I have ever seen. Knowing that there is help and how to get it is an awesome tool for attorneys to have in our toolbox. Awesome!
Thank you for sharing
Very inspiring. Thank you for sharing.
Well done. Informative.
It was eye-opening and well presented.
Honest, courageous, and full of hope
Very powerful presentation by someone who has been there and done that. she truly knows what she's talking about.
Speaker was very frank and interesting.
The most impassioned course I've ever watched on Lawline. Inspiring, useful and informative.
amazing story of survival
Very interesting to hear the personal story and the passion of the speaker for recovery.
Great CLE. I
Sharing her story will help others.
One of the most captivating ones I have viewed. Changed my view on mandatory Bar fees for lawyers assistance.
It was shocking to hear but great to hear that she succeeded after all she went through
One of the best CLE programs I have taken. Laurie was amaxing and has incredible courage. Thank you for educating so many about this disease !
Good personal approach to topic
It's hard to believe the journey Laurie has traveled, and where she is now. She's doing a remarkable service for the profession , and her presentation should be a required program for all law school applicants.
The best CLE I have ever watched
That was very good
This was a fantastic presentation - I am very happy that the speaker was able to get to where she has gotten.
Not what I expected, but it was really good.
You are so strong! Thank you for sharing your story.
An unbelievable story.
Powerful and courageous.
This was compelling; I'm very glad that I chose this course.
Fantastic, honest, engaging presentation!
Alcohol and drug abuse is a big problem in our profession. The instructor was courageous in sharing her story, and offered some great ideas on helping attorney addicts.
This is very important and we should have more of these. particularly of lawyers in private practice and how to deal with this issue before it leads to suspended licenses.
Inspirational, thought provoking speaker with an important message, and story to tell.
This faculty presenter was amazing.
Important topic, great that there is help available!
Brutally honest. Fantastic!
as a former county bar president, I am grateful to the speaker for sharing her story. Too many attorneys, in the business of absorbing other people's problems, feel alone when confronting their own demons.
Kudos to the speaker for her bravery
A courageous and talented young woman.
Best CLE I have ever taken. Thanks.
One of the best CLEs I have taken.
Really moving personal story.
gripping personal story, great to see that she persevered and is back helping other attorneys.
very compelling and effective presentation
Another excellent course.
Very personal and very real. Thank you for sharing your story. You are a great advocate.
This was a fantastic and eye opening program.
Fascnating story. Glad to hear she is in recovery. I will be on the look-out, based on her suggestions, for colleagues who may be in need of some assistance.
THIS WAS PROBABLY ONE OF THE MOST INTERESTING LAWLINE COURSES I'VE EVER HEARD. WHAT A STORY!
Really appreciated this lecture. Thank you!
appreciated the speaker's honesty.
Speaker had an amazing story and presented it very well
Personal story was a powerful one, thanks
Thank you for the work you do.
This was the most transparent and moving course I have ever taken! It will provide you with a level of empathy for SA like nothing ever before. We ALL need this class. This woman is a Blessing. TO the Presenter of this class - If you are reading this message, please know that telling your story to others is invaluable and I pray for you God's greatest blessings. You have been through enough and you have paid for it all. Do not let anyone ever make you feel bad or guilty for your past. You are helping many people.
The presenters candor made her points effective.
Powerful presentation. I hung on to every word.
Gog Bless You and Thank You for what you do!!!
I appreciate presenter's honesty.
If there is ever a CLE that can help attorneys, this is it.
Very powerful presentation.
The presenter was wonderful. I am so glad she was reinstated. What a difference she is making.
Very inspiring. Wishing you continued success.
Very insightful and kept my attention. Plenty of opportunities to use information discussed in this program
Great presentation. I appreciate hearing a real story versus just being told statistics.
Very informative, moving story. I'm glad things worked out, and appreciate the encouragement and information!
God bless her and the attorney that came to her rescue! She provided a very good approach if you come across someone that you are concerned may have a substance abuse problem. I know several attorneys that are now clean and sober, but never asked them what made them turn their lives around. I am sure that they had someone intervene like she did, and that probably saved their lives. Very moving, and important issue in our practice.
The speaker held my attention throughout. She was fantastic. Best of luck to her always!
Interesting, informative, inspirational.
This was a great CLE. Just wonderful to hear Ms. Besden's story and especially of her recovery. Thank you so much.
great presentation and very heartfelt
An effective and humble story.
Wow. Powerful presenter.
It was well organized presentation.
Kudos to the presenter. An excellent presentation.
Best way to learn is from someone who's been there. Thanks for helping us help others.
Really eye opening !
Excellent program. Brave and riveting testimonial.
very useful information
gutsy woman to lay her whole professional life out there so that others might get help.
wow. I have 4.5 years of sobriety. the legal profession was more than I could handle. Thank you for your story.
Best Presentation on Lawline
Well done, great facts to know for ALL attorneys.
Thank you Laurie
She had amazing story and therefore this course has a real impact. She is quite that Lady.
Wonderful lecture, thank you for your openness and honestly!
Fantastic and brave.
Terrific presentation. Appreciate Ms. Besden for sharing her story.
Very informative course. Thank you.
Just realizing that there are those who have been there that can help and have recovered is significant
Every lawyer should see this.
In some ways, a harrowing, and in other ways, an inspiring, lecture.
A compelling story told clearly and persuasively -- everyone should hear this for themselves or for people they might be able to help.
Excellent, very heartfelt couragious presentation!!!!
Best course I have ever taken. Brutal honesty and constructive ways to help attorneys struggling with addiction and depression.
This CLE is FANTASTIC! I couldn't recommend it more. She really knows how to speak to people.
Speaker has the ability to positively affect other attorneys by her journey.
this program may save a life and may help some clients whose layers need information.
gotta say she was great. thank you
Fantastic, moving seminar. Rare that there is a CLE that you think that you are a better person for spending the hour
candid, honest, eager and effective. That was a great and eye-opening hour.
An amazing illustration of the extremes of addiction and recovery and hope.
Very good & informative!
Amazing personal story. Very brave to share and helpful
Thank you for sharing your story.
So impressed by her ability to share details of her life.
The best presentation I have ever seen. Thank you.
Without a doubt, the best motivating speaker I have seen or heard.
Excellent info for all attorneys. Fantastic testimony.
Excellent program--not the usual boring CLE on topic--I actually feel like I learned something that could be useful.
I truly appreciate the speaker's courage in sharing and her dedication to help people help others and themselves.
very brave speaker.
Excellent. I hope it gets it message through to those who need it.
Very powerful presentation. Truly humanizes the issue.
Brave story-telling, useful and important information.
Very effective speaker and compelling topic.
Ms. Besden should be commended for her courage, intelligence and empathy.
Brave person! Thanks for sharing. I realize I might have been able to help someone ( a law student) in the past but wasn't certain what to do. Now I feel better prepared if the circumstances ever arise again.
this was an awesome class
Fantastic and important - thank you
Had no idea what this program was about except it offered 1 hour of ethics. Yet, I learned a lot about addictive behaviors and how to handle situations that crop up in the practice of law and life. Interesting and worthwhile for all attorneys.
Very well presented and interesting
She was effective because she was so sincere. Her caring really shows.
Highly effective, supportive and revealing especially with relating to the presenter. Thank you.
Thank you for this superb and essential program. Every lawyer should watch it for his/her own sake and the sake of other persons known to them. Clearly and persuasively presented -- invaluable!
I loved the personal story. Thank you for sharing with us!
Amazing story, one that everyone should hear, lawyer or not! I am glad to hear that Laurie is now enjoying a sober life.
Wonderful presentation, this is such an important issue and this was a very impactful and well done program, thank you.
Really important topic. I see this problem daily.
Fantastic program. I usually hate this topic because I don't drink or use drugs. Thus I usually approach this subject as one of those things I have to go through every 3 years to keep my law license. I would recommend this program to any lawyer that is resistant to this type of program as I am
Very honest and informational presentation.
Very honest - important to hear all of this information - thanks!
Best CLE ever! I wish this could be seen by other professionals. I wish I could share this with some friends and family members not in our industry. I wish this could have ben 30-60 minutes longer so the presenter could have then gone through the important slides. But, her story was the real grabber!
Amazing and brave!
Easy to listen to CLE.
One of the best courses ever.
Gets the message across
Extraordinary life story that I am sure will help many who are struggling with the life threatening grasp of alcohol/drug addiction. Yeah to Laurie Besden!
Even though I am in year 29 of my sobriety, I really needed to hear this! Thank you:-)
I hope all the other CLE presentations are like hers.
I didn't even know what this was about until the program started, but it was fantastic! Whaty an inspiration!
Just an amazing story -
Very Inspiring from the heart.
Speaker was impressive.
Wow. This is the most impressive story (and CLE) I have ever heard. Kudos to Ms. Besden for sharing her story and finding her calling.
Best program I've heard in a long time.
This is by far the best CLE I have ever done. Thank you for sharing your story.
Good idea to include this topic. Great speaker.
very interesting. thank you for sharing your story
Should be required CLE in every state, every year.
Excellent and courageous presentation!
Compelling and meaningful presentation.
BEST CLE I have ever seen by far in my 10 years of law practice. We need more speakers with her courage and wisdom. People are dying and suffering and all we care about are billable hours. This profession is a shame but thanks to people like her, there is hope. I have strongly considered leaving the law. After seeing this, I am inspired to give it another chance. Finally: some honesty and strength in a CLE course. Asha V. Mathai, J.D., M.S.W.
Definitely one of the best programs I've attended in a long time.
Excellent presenter and content - important and compelling.
written materials were excellent!
The presenter's candor was amazing.
Her story was very informative; she is great for sharing it.
Wow. Best program I ever attended. Thank you. A+ Wow Wow Wow
Very informative and powerful testimony. It can inspire anyone to get help.
her story is unbelievable, it was the most captivating CLE I have ever attended or heard, WOW
Great presentation, standing ovation for the presenter!
Presenter was excellent.
Very eye opening presentation, excellent
Knowing the resources are available is important.
This is a must see for our profession regardless of practice area and one's own addictive nature.
A brave presentation. Thank you.
Very honest and good presentation.
very honest, very compelling. Thank you.
Your story was very familiar to me. After recovery "Ain't life grand!"
I am so grateful for Laurie's courage and honesty to share her story. thank you
Laurie's story puts being an attorney in the proper perspective. It is not worth destroying your life, and there is help.
Very moving presentation.
Eye opening presentation. Would highly recommend it to others.
She was very good.
A story of personal experience combined with excellent written materials.
Thank you for sharing your story, it was very moving.
Very much found this interesting.
This should be required viewing for all new lawyers.
The presenter did an excellent job with a very personal topic. More attention and resources should be devoted to this issue for the benefit of our profession and those many attorneys who may need help at some point during their careers Thank you for sharing your story and perspective
Great presentation. Very timely especially with the press about attorney substance abuse problems!!
A wonderful and impactful presentation.
Thank you for sharing your story.
Great story teller
best cle yet
Such a brave and excellent speaker. I did not take offense at her story at all; thought it was done with such grace. My best friend died from alcoholism, so I don't see this lightly. Best CLE ever. Hope to hear more from this speaker and on this or related topics.
I wonder how many people I've looked at in my life and never really seen? Thank you counselor. This course was impossibly relevant and inspiring.
Very helpful to hear the speaker's life experiences both positive and negative.
I enjoyed listening to her story
I was so moved by this presentation that I amm contacting the Illionois Bae Assoc. to offer my services to this program
Extraordinary Speaker and amazing story. Thanks for sharing.
Well taught and overall an interesting topic.
Very courageous woman. Good presentation
I found this so helpful-basically just motivation to face and overcome obstacles. The speaker's experience was so valuable.
For anyone suffering or knows someone suffering from addiction, WATCH THIS NOW. there is help. there is hope....
I was not sure where this program was going at first but it ended up being a very powerful program.
Don't change a word!
Would have liked some more time for the slides, but this was a very good course that touches on a "nasty" topic that affects a heck of a lot of attorneys. Great job here...
Good to have statistics from such a recent study
Gripping and eye opening.
Excellent speaker, excellent program and inspiring story of recovery
brave woman to share such personal struggles! Our profession needs help and more people like Laurie.
Excellent presentation, very informative.
I thought Laurie Besden was fantastic and she has really paid it forward with her work.
Very brave woman, very moving presentation. Should be mandatory for every attorney in the U.S.
Wow! What a powerful story, great program, and incredible speaker.
An incredibly moving program and very educational
Excellent presentation on a much needed topic.
Excellent information & advice.
This is a seminar that every attorney should be required to watch.
Laurie had a powerful and moving story about addiction and recovery. Well worth listening to and learning from her experience.
Outstanding program. Seminars like this one are the reason I chose Lawline.
Unlimited CLE Subscription gives you access to take almost any course from our catalog and earn as much CLE credit as you need.