Your well-being is important to us
The legal profession is demanding of our time, attention, and energy, which can exact its toll on our physical and mental health. JLAP's staff can help you learn about new ways to merge healthier living with your legal practice. By implementing simple daily wellness strategies, you can better manage the inevitable stress that accompanies the practice of law.
Institute for Well-Being in Law
Longtime JLAP volunteer Jill Carnell has recently completed her masters degree in mindfulness studies. In her academic paper (An Introduction to the Brahmavihāras: For Lawyers, Law Students, & Judicial Officers) she outlines the research around the tremendous suffering the legal profession is experiencing. As a companion project, Jill has developed a seven module, asynchronous, online course designed to introduce Buddhist psychology's heart teachings—friendliness, compassion, joy, and equanimity—to lawyers, law students, and judicial officers as a possible path to easing our suffering. This course is free of charge.
Here are some more areas that JLAP can help with:
- Stress, anxiety, and depression
The demands of the legal profession are real—deadlines, court dates, and hearings, to name a few—and can lead to anxiety, stress, and depression. Research shows that 46% of attorneys experience depression at some point in their career. Factors that can contribute to depression include a persistent high level of stress, a pessimistic outlook developed through law school and practice, long hours, and a low tolerance for failure. JLAP's staff includes professionals with clinical training and those who have lived with anxiety and depression. We provide individual and group support as well as referrals to other professionals and resources.
Mental Health America of Indiana
An affiliate of Mental Health America
National Institute of Mental Health
National Institutes of Health
Lawyers with Depression
Articles, information, and resources for attorneys coping with depression.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
If you are in crisis, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or TTY: 1-800-799-4889
Facts About Anxiety Disorders
From the National Institute of Mental Health
- Substance use and addiction
A recent study by the American Bar Association and the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation found that approximately 21% of participating attorneys scored consistent with drinking that is hazardous, harmful, or otherwise generally consistent with alcohol use disorder. For lawyers under age 30 or in practice less than 10 years, the rate of problem drinking rises to almost 1 in 3. JLAP provides individual and group support as well as referrals to professionals who are familiar with the challenges of the legal profession. JLAP also can provide referrals to professionals who treat process addictions, such as gambling, internet, sex, and pornography.
The Besden Redemption
Laurie Besden is an attorney and the Executive Director of Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers of Pennsylvania. Laurie had a privileged upbringing. She graduated college with a 3.97 GPA, and was in the top 15% of her law school class. On paper, Laurie is the definition of success. Laurie is also a drug addict. In "The Besden Redemption," Laurie candidly shares her remarkable story of crippling addiction, and ultimately, redemption.
A service of Join Together, a project of the Boston University School of Public Health.
Love First Website
Intervention for Alcoholism and Drug Addiction
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) - Indiana
Local Resources that provide AA meeting information
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) - Indianapolis
Local information and a link to the AA General Service Office
Narcotics Anonymous (NA) - Central Indiana
Local information and a link to NA Global Services
Narcotics Anonymous (NA) - Indiana Region
Links to NA Indiana Area Services
Assistance with recovery from addictive behaviors
- Aging and cognitive decline
As attorneys age, some develop a loss of cognitive abilities, which impacts their competency in handling client matters. Unfortunately, some lawyers are finding themselves in the disciplinary system often because of some of these health issues, which go deeper than just having a forgetful memory. Missing deadlines, forgetting court dates, losing case files, and lack of comprehension of facts are just a few examples of problems that have resulted in grievances being filed against an attorney in these circumstances. JLAP can help through education and other resources.
Greater Indiana Chapter
- Compassion fatigue and secondary trauma
Any lawyer who works with people in distress on a regular basis is exposed to secondary trauma which may result in compassion fatigue and significantly decrease effectiveness at work and in life. This can impact professional conduct, including competence, diligence, and communication. JLAP’s team is here to help legal professionals recognize when their work is impacting them in ways that reduce effectiveness and develop plans to increase their resilience and mitigate their risk of developing compassion fatigue.
- Caregiving, grief, and other situational stressors
Life doesn’t stop for the practice of law, and issues such as relationships, parenting, caregiving, and grief can impact legal professionals personally and professionally. JLAP staff is here to provide support and connection for those experiencing bumps in the road of life.