With the alarming prevalence of substance use and mental health disorders in the legal profession, it is imperative that we are all armed with the knowledge and insight of how to approach someone who may be struggling. Certain approaches yield greater results than others. While many of us have viewed the “Intervention” show on television, Johnson style interventions don’t typically produce excellent results. Language is key when approaching someone you care about and having them be able to “hear” what you are saying without getting defensive. The window of opportunity to help someone is so small. With the alarming number of suicides in our profession, it tells us that people would rather die than ask for help - and this must stop. We are bringing you this program as part and parcel of the solution.
This important program, led by Laurie J. Besden, Esq., Executive Director of Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers of Pennsylvania, Inc., discusses the two studies conducted regarding the prevalence rates of substance use and mental health disorders in the legal profession which led to the creation of the National Task force on Well-Being. Ms. Besden, a person in long term recovery from an addiction that nearly cost her her life, will share strategies that work when you approach someone you feel may be impaired. Ms. Besden will also share real examples that she has handled through her work with LCL and what could have been done differently to yield different results. She will weave parts of her own addiction and recovery story throughout this program to further emphasize what did and did not work in her firsthand experience.
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:
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.
Loved this course
Excellent program and speaker!!
By graciously sharing her own story, Ms. Besden delivers an incredibly impactful and useful message. Thank you!
Moving, compelling and informative. Wish I had listened to this 10 years ago.
Great class. Very informative. Very helpful.
Absolutely one of the best CLEs I have taken with or without Lawline. The Presenter's personal experience was candid; she was humble and her experience made her an expert in the field. Thank you for sharing. Ms. Besden! Not your routine CLE; I wish more CLEs were personalized and from the heart instead of just the dissemination of rote information. i would recommend this CLE 100%+!
Tragic stories and statistics.
Best course yet
One of the best CLEs I have ever taken--having dealt with addiction issues, mindsets, and behaviors up close, I know that this presenter was in all respects genuine--as well as highly articulate and insightful.
Just excellent and moving. What an amazing person to share her story in such a meaningful way. I am so glad I saw this.
Informative and practical CLE.
Wow - amazing program. Everyone should watch.
Thank you for a superb program which every lawyer should be required to watch!
I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this CLE, I did not even expect to find much use in this course as I do not personally have an addiction problem but it was very insightful.
This is a very heart felt and honest presentation. Great material and a reminder that although we may not be affected...our close friends and associates may have an issue which needs to be addressed.
Very powerful! Would recommend
Powerful and heartfelt with extremely helpful advice.
Shockingly honest and hard-hitting. Recommended.
THIS WAS REALLY A SUPERB COURSE.
Very engaging. Personal stories added context.
i really appreciated the instructors honesty and openness on the subject matter.
This was excellent!!!
nuanced and powerful CLE topic presented very well.
Amazing, moving, and very useful presentation. Thank you.
This was one of your best programs.
thinking this was going to be repetive and boring (just because I have substance abuse in the family and lots of exp,) it was very interesting and well done. thank you Laurie, you are definitely a gift
This was a timely and important course. The instructor’s vulnerability was moving.
Very helpful in reframing difficult issues in a meaningful way
Excellent. Great speaker. Will watch for other presentations by this speaker.
This program was EXCELLENT. Totally captivating and I am so glad I have this information now.
thanks for your personal stories. Very courageous and insightful
She is great. Her personal experience is powerful
i Remember her original story
Difficult subject well done with personal experience
As a person in recovery (14 years) I really appreciated this topic and the presenter. zit seemed similar to an earlier presentation, "The Impared Lawyer".
Extremely effective presentation. Very helpful.
Great presentation. The personal stories were compelling.
Powerful. The MOST impactful substance abuse CLE I've taken in my 15 years of being an attorney. Thank you for the speaker's truth and honesty.
One of the most interesting and informative ethics classes I have taken, told by a professional who has successfully battled the scourge of addiction. A portrait of courage.
Laurie was a powerful presenter! Thank you for sharing your story.
Should be a required course for everyone in our profession.
Very compelling story and a cautionary tale for not just lawyers but everyone.
Absolutely awesome program!
One of the best CLEs I have ever taken. Fantastic presenter. The statistics and information are sobering and really hit home.
I thought the presenter was fantastic. Thank you.
Excellent presentation of practical, legal and ethical considerations.
As an attorney in recovery, I thought this was an exceptionally well done presentation, and sorely needed. Thank you and keep up the good work!
This presenter was extraordinary.
A truly excellent program by a presenter with real experience. Highest marks.
Great course. Eye opening.
Excellent presentation !
Amazing and powerful
This was one of the better presentations I have ever seen on substance abuse issues.
Speaker's personal story was very compelling.
Great to see focus on substance abuse and mental health for attorneys
I feel that a program like this should be mandatory for attorneys. I had no idea how significant a problem this is in the legal community.
This was rewarding, not only for CLE but for everyday experiences.
Presenter was very good. Thank you.
Really important information to get out there!
Very well done.
The speaker is wonderful!
This was such a great program.
The instructor was well suited to present this information because of her personal experience. The anecdoctal illustrations were poignant and helpful.
This was excellent!
Exceptional and moving!
This was the best substance abuse CLE I've done. I appreciate Laurie's vulnerability and her work to help others. My 24 yr. old son is 5 1/2 years sober from drug addiction and I'm so grateful for his hard work one day at a time. Thank you Laurie!
Riveting personal story, excellent information we all need.
This is the second CLE program I've seen by Lori and she is just an inspiration!
Laurie was excellent. Laurie was excellent.
That was the best CLE I've ever attended. Thank you.
Personal story very compelling.
Best and most effective CLE that I have ever taken. Riveting.
This is the best, most useful CLE I have ever listened to. Profound and thank God for how emphatic and transparent the instructor chose to be.
One of the most moving CLEs I've ever seen. Excellent.
Incredible speaker. I thank her for her remarkable honesty. I am inspired by her story and commitment to helping others. Wow. Thank you
This was a very compelling CLE, and I was especially taken by the instructor's personal story. Thank you for sharing, and reminding all of us that there are networks in place to help us.
Powerful. Depressing. But eye opening
Very very good program . Really Awesome!
Fantastic presentation. This is my first Lawline program, and it exceeds my expectations. Wonderful information.
Absolutely great presentation. Such a very, very important topic. Thank you to Laurie for sharing your story.
Very engaging and informative.
Thank you. Very compelling!!!
Excellent, heartfelt presentation. Very well done.
Powerful presentation. Should be a mandatory course in every jurisdiction
This course should be mandatory for all !!! Blunt, raw, and real presentation on addiction issues.
Excellent compelling persuasive presentation. Statistics more compelling w her very real experience backing it up
Wow! Such a moving presentation. I learned a lot
Heavy but important topic thank you.
Excellent on so many levels...
Exceptionally engaging and thought-provoking.
Very powerful and inspirational instructor!
excellent program. Thank you for the honesty.
Excellent presentation. Good review for me with a daughter who is seven years into recovery at age 28. I wish the resources of AA and Alanon had received some mention. Alanon saved me and my family. My daughter saved herself.
Great information. Personal stories are very impactful.
Very heartfelt. I appreciate the presenter being willing to share her story. Made a definite impression.
Exceptional presentation. Thank you for your honesty and candor.
The presenter was fantastic and so fantastic. One of the best and most captivating presentations I have heard in a while.
best one i have ever had, great presenter
ONE OF THE BEST COURSES ON LAWYER ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS I HAVE EVER TAKEN.
So, so good. Thank you!
She is awesome. CLE is great.
Very eye-opening presentation with a strong message of hope and available solutions.
Outstanding! This was such an interesting and dynamic presenter.
The most powerful CLE i've watched.
Fantastic presentation. Very powerful.
Excellent presentation. The best CLE I have seen regarding drug/alcohol abuse and mental health issues in the legal profession.
Outstanding presenter - she was very courageous in sharing her personal story.
Amazing, eye-opening, raw and real. Thank you
An amazing story and very poignant in sharing the various perspectives that people in the speaker's life held during her road to recovery.
So powerful and well done. Thank you for sharing such a valuable resource. This is the first CLE program I’ve ever heard that felt like it was led by the heart and not statutes.
Great topic, great presentation.
Heartwrenching to listen to, but worthwhile. I'm grateful to the presenter for being willing to be vulnerable and generous with her personal story, and to the people who allowed their stories to be shared. Having been in the position of supporting a colleague through a severe mental health crisis, there are resources and advice here that I know would have been useful.
The lecturer’s story bought everything into perspective.
Such a dynamic presenter.
She always puts on a great seminar.
Laurie is such an engaging and effective speaker. This is the second CLE I've watched of hers and each time I'm moved at how open and honest she is about her struggle with substance abuse. I highly recommend this course.
Excellent ... could not have been better.
presenter was great, she did a great job, i really enjoyed her stories and she was relateable. well done and good cle.
Thank you for sharing your personal story; it makes the importance of the message undeniable.
This is the second program I've watched with this presenter and each time I felt empowered and that I learned important things. She does a great job and is clearly passionate about the subject.
An important area of concern for legal professionals -- course offers multiple methods for dealing with such concern.
The information was very helpful, as a family member is currently struggling with substance abuse issues.
I think that this course should be required for all lawyers. It was just that good!
I appreciated the presenter's willingness to share her own experiences.
This is one of the most powerful seminars I've attended. I am so thankful that NC has made this area mandatory for CLE. Thank you.
Truly moving experience. Great presentation.
Arguably the best presentation and presenter that I have ever seen in over 20 years of practice! Outstanding!
Powerful personal stories
Excellent program! Everyone should watch this program.
A very compelling presentation!
Excellent presentation of an important topic
Seriously, one of the best I've seen.
Presenter had excellent credibility and appealed to a wide audience.
Inspiring story and really appreciated her honesty and candor.
Best presentation on Lawline.
Very powerful presentation.
Great course. Excellent instructor.