Mental Health, Substance Abuse & Competence in the Legal Profession

(591 Ratings)

Produced on: January 12, 2018

Course Format On Demand Audio

Taught by


Course Description

Time 64 minutes
Difficulty Beginner

This program is presented by Will Meyerhofer, a retired corporate attorney who is now a psychotherapist in private practice and an author of books and articles about law and mental health. Will specializes in counseling attorneys struggling with career and life issues, including depression, anxiety, burnout and substance abuse, often as a result of their demanding professional lives.

The program will survey the rates of mental health and substance abuse among attorneys and the specific challenges of the legal profession, including recent developments, that may contribute to the high incidence of these issues. Attorneys will learn strategies to help combat and manage anxiety and depression, spot and address burnout, and comply with the ethical rules regarding mental issues, including handling a situation where a colleague's performance might be compromised by substance abuse.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Review the existing statistics around attorney mental health and substance abuse and consider their significance to the profession
  2. Discuss best practices for managing a heavy legal workload, addressing toxic stress, and ensuring competent representation
  3. Examine the reasons lawyers face high levels of stress, and how this situation may impact the future of the legal profession


Will Meyerhofer

A Quiet Room

Will Meyerhofer holds a BA, magna cum laude, from Harvard University, a Juris Doctor from the New York University School of law and a Master of Social Work from the Hunter College School of Social Work. Mr. Meyerhofer is a registered Licensed Clinical Social Worker in New York State, and holds the "R" insurance reimbursement privilege. Since 2005, he has been operating his private practice, A Quiet Room, offering individual, couples and group psychotherapy from his home, a loft in TriBeCa, in Lower Manhattan. 

In addition to his work in private practice, Will served as Program Coordinator for the talkSafe/PLUSES project at the St. Vincents Hospital in Greenwich Village from 2004 to 2006, working with individuals and groups to address sexual risk-behaviors and the spread of HIV among gay men. An expert in work with HIV+ gay men, Will has been interviewed on radio discussing this work, and for many years ran a private group at A Quiet Room focused on gay men living with HIV. In 2010 and 2011 Will appeared as a monthly regular guest, "The People's Therapist" on "The Alternative with Terry Grand" a weekly radio program on LA Talk Radio directed at the LGBT community.

In late 2010 Will released his first book, Life is a Brief Opportunity for Joy, an introduction to the concepts and philosophy underlying psychotherapy. That book was released as a paperback in late 2011. 

During 2011, Will released a second book, Way Worse Than Being a Dentist – the Lawyer's Quest for Meaning, based on material from his columns on law and psychotherapy from A former associate in the General Practice group at Sullivan & Cromwell LLC, Will is an acknowledged expert on psychotherapy and lawyers, has been invited to appear on panels and speaking engagements at law schools around the country, and interviewed and quoted as an expert by radio and print journalists. Will and his practice and writings have been profiled or interviewed in The Financial Times, the ABA Journal, The American Lawyer, Bloomberg TV, and, among other media outlets. 

In March 2013, Will published a comic novel, Bad Therapist: A Romance, about a mild-mannered New York City psychotherapist who falls in love with a blue alien from outer space. 

In May of 2016 Will published a follow up to the best-selling Way Worse Than Being a Dentist, imaginatively titled Still Way Worse Than Being a Dentist (the sequel). Just when you thought it was safe to go back to law school...

Will writes a regular column for the popular legal website,, as well as a blog of his own, The People's Therapist, reflecting a psychotherapist's take on the world. Two years after its launch, had logged over a million individual views and now approaches three million. Because of his specialized background and the reach of his blog and other writings, Will sees many clients nationally and internationally all over the world, via videochat technology. 


Brian T.

The best CLE I've listened to on Lawline to date. ​

Lisa B.

very informative and interesting

Terri M.

Excellent course

Leonard A.

Excellent presenter

Starr A.

The presenter is a knowledgeable insider with tremendous insight that allows him to precisely addresses the confluence of factors that cause so many attorneys to hate their lives. I highly recommend this course to fellow attorneys, and also to law students or those considering entering the legal profession.

Lori B.

Truly helpful.

Matthew M.

This is the best Lawline course I've listened to. Highly recommended. This one should be required.

Mary E G.

Excellent presentation.

Louis B.

Great program! I feel better already.

Marjorie B.

bright and caring instructor

Lisa F.

Presenter was very personable.

Dianne S.


Nanette C.

compelling statistics; ability to offer insightful commentary well beyond general overviews on slides-greatly appreciated.

Angela C.

Charismatic presenter.

Andrew B.

Will did a fantastic job. I believe he is my favorite lecturer so far!

William L.

I truly enjoyed this presentation.

Joseph C.

Good instructor

Rachel G.

Good presenter.Energetic & empathic.

Lynn M.

Very well done.

David D.

The speaker did a great job.

Michael J.

Absolutely great. Is required in Illinois and should be required everywhere.

Elizabeth S.

Well qualified and entertaining presentation

Patricia H.

He was awesome. Favorite course this year!

Alan F.

Excellent program...35 years as attorney...enjoyed his presentation.

James H.

I thoroughly enjoyed the presentation and would like to send it to my daughter, an anxious law student who is soon starting as a summer associate at the presenters former firm.

Aimee A.

Valuable insight into some of the underlying issues contributing to the increased rate of depression among lawyers today.

Tasha B.

Hands down, the best presentation I've seen on this topic.

Allison T.

The presenter was fantastic and provided incredible insight.

Andrew S.

Great idea to have a psychologist do this course. Very insightful and helpful.

Michael L.

Great presenter. interesting and a natural at it.

joseph m.

this was a really good seminar

Bob B.

Thank you for this very informative lesson!

Pat C.

Sobering Topic.

Ryan N.

Very open and informative.

Jethro L.

One of the best programs I have seen on this subject matter.

Andrew K.

Excellent presentation.

Stephanie O.

Great presenter! Tough, "depressing" topic, but the presenter was upbeat and reassuring. Felt like an hour of therapy!

Joan L.

Amusing video. Good one to share with your kid when they say they want to go to law school. :-)

Jacqueline K.

Felt like he was telling my story ;)

Becky M.

most honest presentation on issue I have ever seen. in 35 yrs of practicing law.

Sandra N.

I learned more about the importance of life balance as an attorney

Chris R.

Wish there were more seminars as helpful and informative as this one.

Justin J.

Good background and statistics illustrating the problems. Would suggest possibly some more focus on how to address these problems personally and as a profession.

Quietta B.

Thank you!

Robert S.

Good course and lecturer.

Kerry L.

Really enjoyed this speaker and felt his points were spot on. Would have loved to have heard suggestions for how we can change this profession!

Angie R.

Great presenter. This should be a required presentation for law school students and/or newly licensed lawyers. I could have done without the mention of evolution as this speaks to a personal, scientific belief and did not feel it was topically related. But overall, fantastic presentation.

Kathleen G.

Excellent presentation. Agreed with other commenters that it would be a great add for law schools to help law students understand their vulnerabilities in the profession.

Karen T.

One of the most appropriate coursed I have taken; all lawyers should see this!

Teige W.

This is the most honest CLE I've taken, and this presentation should be required for every entering 1L and new attorney.

James J.

Very good presentation.

Deborah T.

I wish I had seen this program 15 years ago. It would have been helpful to know that I wasn't the problem, I was simply surrounded by sick people.

Kathleen P.

Pace and content were both excellent!

Denise B.

Very informative and should be offered especially to young lawyers and law students

Alisha W.

Really great topic that should be discussed with all lawyers (particularly new lawyers and maybe even law students).

Derek C.

This was outstanding! One of the best courses I've attended. Thank you!

Dean G.

Absolutely terrific presentation!

David B.

Most helpful CLE in this area I've ever attended

ken b.

good speaker

Melany B.

Will did a fantastic job. This was the best program I've watched so far.

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