The Impaired Lawyer: A Call for Action
Created on May 14, 2019
Recent studies have shown that there has been a dramatic increase in impairment due to alcoholism, addiction, and mental health disorders among members of the legal profession. The statistics are compelling and clearly indicate that 1 out of 3 attorneys will likely have a need for substance use or mental health services at some point in their careers. Join attorney Brian Quinn as he discusses these important issues, including a breakdown of the results of the first scientific study of impairment in the legal profession due to alcohol, drugs and mental health disorders as contained in the 2016 ABA/Hazelden Krill report.
This program will place special emphasis on the danger of enabling behavior among the peers of the impaired lawyer or judge and how it can actually prevent treatment by reinforcing the denial that so called "high functioning" impaired individuals often exhibit. Most importantly, Mr. Quinn will share his own compelling story of impairment due to alcohol and drug use over the course of a highly successful career that ultimately resulted in the loss of his family, career, and freedom, and how Pennsylvania's Lawyers Assistance Program helped to restore not only his standing in the legal community, but his life as well.
- Identify the early warning signs of impairment due to alcohol and substance use as well as mental health issues such as depression, stress, and anxiety
- Best approach the impaired individual and understand how your state's Lawyers Assistance Program can provide assistance
- Bring awareness to the services that Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers provides to lawyers, judges, their family members, and law students in a safe, non-judgmental, CONFIDENTIAL environment
- Look closely at what barriers exist that prevents lawyers and judges from seeking the help they so desperately need
- Discuss the role that education plays in breaking the stigma and fear associated with addiction and mental illness in the legal profession
- Address the ethical considerations facing the legal profession and how the impaired lawyer's illness-based misconduct will, if left untreated, often lead to greater harm to clients, careers, and personal well-being
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