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What Every Lawyer Needs to Know About Attorney Ethics & Well-Being

(974 reviews)

Produced on December 10, 2019

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Course Information

Time 1h
Difficulty Beginner
Topics covered in this course: Ethics

Course Description

It has been a truism for decades, if not centuries, that lawyers have problems with the bottle - so common that it even appears as a cliché in movies and novels. This program will first address some of the underlying reasons that lawyers suffer disproportionately high rates of substance abuse and mental health problems. The course will then review some common examples of attorney misconduct caused by substance abuse and/or mental illness. The panel will examine both how these issues affect the individual attorneys and the law firm and profession as a whole, and will provide resources for attorneys who are seeking help. Viewers will also hear firsthand about the experience of managing depression while maintaining a law practice.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Analyze the material issues in the legal profession that make mental illness and substance abuse disproportionately common among attorneys
  2. Discuss hypothetical scenarios of attorney misconduct that can arise due to mental illness or substance abuse
  3. Review the ethical rules relevant to attorneys abusing substances or suffering from mental illness
  4. Identify resources that are available to attorneys looking for help

Credit Information

After completing this course, Lawline will report your attendance information to {{ accredMasterState.state.name }}. Please ensure your license number is filled out in your profile to ensure timely reporting. For more information, see our {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} CLE Requirements page . After completing this course, {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} attorneys self-report their attendance and CLE compliance. For more information on how to report your CLE courses, see our {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} CLE Requirements FAQ .


Meredith Heller

Law Office of Meredith S. Heller

Meredith S. Heller has considerable experience representing clients at both the trial and appellate levels in criminal and civil matters in the state and the federal courts, including arguing cases before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals and the New York Court of Appeals. She has also counseled attorneys facing discipline and bar applicants in the admissions process.

Meredith is a frequent speaker at CLEs and the Orientation Program for Newly Admitted Attorneys in the First Department where she discusses quality of life issues, substance abuse and the resources available through the Lawyers Assistance Program. She has spoken at the Second Department Orientation Program on civility and professionalism.

Eileen Travis

New York City Bar

Eileen Travis is the Director of the Lawyers’ Assistance Program at the New York City Bar.

Mark S. Goldstein

Reed Smith LLP

Mark is Counsel in the New York office of Reed Smith and a member of the firm’s Labor & Employment Group.

Mark’s practice is focused on helping companies in New York and around the world manage their workplace needs. To that end, Mark counsels clients on a variety of day-to-day and also big-picture workplace issues. These issues include policy and handbook development; risk assessment and litigation avoidance; compliance with and overseeing anti-discrimination/harassment and other equal employment opportunity laws; wage and hour compliance; conducting internal investigations of sexual harassment and other allegations; hiring, discipline, discharge, reduction-in-force, and restructuring decisions; providing workplace training to managers and human resource professionals; enforcement of non-competes and other restrictive covenants; drafting employment, independent contractor, separation, confidentiality, and other workplace-related agreements; government audits and investigations; and a wide variety of other employment issues.

Mark also defends employers in a wide range of employment litigation matters. He has experience in both federal and state court, as well as before a multitude of government agencies, and has defended both single-plaintiff and class action claims involving discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wage and hour violations, leaves of absence, misappropriation of trade secrets, and other torts and contract disputes arising out of the employment relationship. Mark has also represented clients in litigation involving covenants not to compete. Mark works with clients at every step of the litigation process to determine which cases should be litigated, which should be resolved in an alternative forum, and which can and should be settled.

Mark also advises clients on all aspects of employment-related issues in corporate transactions. This includes conducting due diligence in connection with proposed asset and stock purchases; reviewing and editing purchase agreements; preparing employment, retention, and separation agreements in connection with business mergers/restructurings; advising clients as to how best to onboard employees of predecessor companies; and assisting in the implementation of separation/mass layoff programs resulting from corporate transactions.

Mark is passionate about mental health issues in the legal industry. He frequently speaks about mental health-related topics, including through webinars, bar association events, and other programs/events.


Lauren B.

Very interesting and important lesson

Nancy C.

An excellent panel. Better content than many courses in this area as it touched on statistics within the legal profession but did not get stuck there.

Sharon A.

Helpful information

Benjamin W.

Well presented. Always a good refresher.

Patrick K.

interesting and enlightening

Kristin W.

This was a thoughtful presentation and the personal testimony at the end was very powerful.

David D.

Very coherent and helpful presentation. Great presenters.

Shonah J.


Kim R.

Very good.

Carroll M.

I thought Mark's ability to share his personal experience was especially meaningful in this presentation. I am appreciative of his doing so!

Pamela W.

Interesting discussion of these important issues.

terry r.

Absolutely helpful

Robert K.

Great course!

Shruti G.

Very good.

Timothy C.

Thank you so much

Gurudev A.

An important topic for all attorneys to be aware of. Good job with this presentation.

Audrey B.

Very insightful!

Keith C.

Thank you for this course! It is not discussed enough in my opinion.

Kimberly C.

The real benefit is the personal example of how mental struggles were handled by the attorney suffering from them. To see how it actually affected his career (not at all because he asked for help early) More stories to reinforce that asking for and needing help is NOT what ends your career but NOT asking can)

Elizabeth G.

Speakers were all engaging

Christy N.

Third presenter was superb. First presenter was very good. Middel presenter was the worst I've seen in a Lawline course. She was at times inappropriate and at other times missed the key points that were right there ready to be made.

Russell A.

excellent ! very nice program, very interesting and wonderful to discuss issues that worry many lawyers.

Ethel F.

A personal success story was a compelling addition to the seminar.

Victor Q.

This is a very delicate issue for many out there. So I thank you for addressing it.

ethan l.

Very useful and frank discussion.

Richard H.

it was easy to listen to.

Laura L.

Thank you, Mark, for sharing your personal story.

Karen A.

Very good! Thanks for having this! We all need to support each other!

John C.

Enjoyed and applaud the commentary regarding mindfulness.

John T.

very good information, good speakers

Laura E.

Mr Goldstein’s contribution was partly compelling

Thurman W.

Good to include live real attorney as case study of issue

Ryan A.

Appreciate Goldstein sharing his personal story and that his firm supports him.

Andrew N.

As a police supervisor for a large, Texas police department I see these issues come up with my subordinates and colleagues. Very relevant to both professions.

Valentin C.

if a college is experiencing mental health issues would recommend

Brian L.

Thank you

Julie A. B.

Good use of examples and personal stories to highlight program learning objectives.

Michael Z.

Well done and persuasive. Liked last speaker’s story

Patty B.

The final real life experience of the attorney was both educational and effective.

Joan R.


Philip S.

well presented

Earl B.

good presentation at the end

Matthew D.

The testimonial from the attorney at the end was incredibly powerful and I greatly appreciate his willingness to speak about such an issue.

Melissa W.

Really enjoyed Mark’s story. One of the highlights of all of the Lawline courses I’ve taken since 2017. Many thanks for his candor!

Kelly W.

One of the best attorney competence CLEs I've attended.

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