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.
I started this course thinking it would be like every other mandatory ethics presentation, but it was a very personal discussion that left me somewhat emotional. Although this doesn’t affect me personally, the statistics are staggering and made me realize I probably know someone this relates to, particularly now with stress levels being elevated for so many people. Are you happy to have knowledge of the resources available so I can help if I find myself or a colleague struggling. Great presentation.
i didn't realize some of the indicators of mental health issues in colleagues... i will look more closely now.
Both engaging and informative.
Great CLE! I’m so inspired by the bravery it takes to share a personal story such as this one. Also, lcl provides such an invaluable service. This was very helpful!
Best CLE ever, I really admire the honesty and desire of the presenter; truely a good human being
Exceptional presentation. Thank you.
Laurie gives one of the best presentations on this topic I have ever seen, Highly recommend.
Very compelling, both with personal stories and data.
Useful information but spent too much time talking about herself.
very powerful and important presentation,
I watched her course last year. As usual, excellent!
Laurie was terrific and I found her presentation quite powerful.
Terrific Thanks so much
Ms. Besden was excellent. Not really CLE, but excellent. She is courageous and a very good and relatable speakers.
Personal experiences are always compelling. Very good presentation.
Probably the best CLE course I've ever taken. Thank you!
Very well done
Great presentation. Really is a wake up call. Thanks!
Very good and she seems very comfortable in front of the camera.
absolutely wonderful; personal
I greatly appreciate this content.
Extremely effective advocate for thoughtful intervention.
Simply amazing. I thought the last CLE I listened to was the best ever and now this! Laurie is such a great, engaging speaker and I can’t believe her story. Thank you for such an unbelievable CLE.
Excellent course! Thank you!!
Excellent presentation of important information
Ms. Besden is a very effective advocate and inspiration for those professionals who need help. Her life story is inspiring.
Presenter's personal story was very moving.
Exceptional course. Thank you.
The instructor is excellent. I'm sorry for all she went through but she is able to use her past pain powerfully to help others.
Laurie is an excellent presenter
Great speaker Wonderful person Thank you
the best speaker I have listened to on lawline
A heart-felt lecture.
Your personal experiences added so much to the program. I was especially taken with the fact that after all you went through you were eventually able to reinstate your licenses. That should be hopeful to many. Thank-you for choosing to help others now.
Well done, relateable and interesting
Absolutely great presentation.
In addition to the substantive slides, the speakers personal stories about addiction were very impactful. Thank you for sharing them.
Great presentation; the instructor provided tangible examples (including her own story) and has a clear passion for the subject matter. Would strongly recommend this program.
This is an interesting module with some troubling statistics. The instructor's courage to reveal personal narrative elevates the quality of the program.
Very well presented. The anecdotal information is very useful.
Excellent. Thank you for sharing your story.
Compelling presentation. Thank you.
I appreciate the honest sharing and the scripting for approaching someone with help. Thank you
great topic and very engaging!
Speakers use of her own experience enhanced this program.
Instructor was fantastic and her own personal story added to her credibility.
A real eye opener. I learned a lot I did not know about attorney impairment. Thank you for having Laurie present this.
I rarely provide comments, but this was one of the most informative CLE's I've attended. I commend and thank Lori for her openness, vulnerability, honesty, compassion and passion for the subject matter....people in trouble.
Moving and meaningful.
Very powerful course
Five stars, required listening. You can save a life. Great speaker and program.
Great course, especially for someone who has a child with drug addiction
An excellent but emotional presentation for me.. Important to those who aren't aware of how best to approach and address these complex and devastating situations. Unlike any CLE Course I've ever taken..
This is absolutely heartbreaking when it is already too late. Watch right now. There may be no time left to lose.
in the top 10 best CLE's i've watched. Thanks to the presenter.
This was very good - sharing her story provided a lot of impact.
Excellent presentation and highly informative!
Very humbling story. I am just amazed and saddened that drug addiction is a part of life for so many people. Thank you for sharing your story.
I found this presentation exceptional, especially during this time of COVID-19. I have a new respect for making sure I am recognizing if anyone I work with is in need of help. Her honesty was refreshing.
Fabulous- she should be a presenter at every law schools orientation and swearing in for new lawyers
Informational and relevant class. Authentic
Very informative and somewhat shocking
Thank you, Laurie.
Very well presented and informative
very well done on a very important subject
Very powerful and educational
Compelling speaker and presentation
Excellent, informative, eye opening..
Very well done.
excellent and powerful
It’s a real issue. Lecturer was excellent. Honest
This was such an informative course. The presenter was wonderful.
Powerful and very informative presentation.
Excellent presentation. I highly recommend it.
The best CLE credit I ever watched.
very good, eye opening
Informative and helpful
Excellent presentation-- thank you for sharing your story and experiences with others
This was one of the best CLE's I have ever watched - Laurie does it from the heart and that comes through loud and clear.
This instructor, so far, is always dynamic in her presentations.
Fantastic speaker and program.
Very interesting and very courageous to share her story.
one of the best CLE programs I have attended in past 34 years. Thank you.
Excellent program - sad but very important information.
Quite eye opening.
probably the best CLE program I have taken in 30 years as a lawyer. Having suffered bouts of depression, especially when first starting out, I understand how debilitating it can be. A good reminder for me that I am not alone and to be watchful for others who may be suffering.
Timely, great speaker
Probably the most unusual CLE I've ever taken, and also the most memorable and most impactful. Thank you for sharing.
Her story is inspirational highly recommend this CLE
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.