JLAP provides confidential support to law students experiencing anxiety, depression, substance use, and other life stressors. We work with faculty and staff of Indiana’s law schools to provide students with wellness programming and education related to character and fitness requirements. JLAP’s free and confidential services for law students include individual and group support, referrals to quality professionals and programs, and yoga and mindfulness sessions.
Check into the ABA well-being toolkit for law students, see their listserv for law students in recovery, and review our list of articles for law students.
Young & newly admitted lawyers
Finding your place in the practice of law can be daunting. Navigating law school debt, client and employer expectations, and maintaining your network of support and connections sometimes feels overwhelming. The research shows that lawyers 30 years old or younger or in practice 10 years or less experience depression and problem drinking more often than their older or more experienced peers. JLAP provides young and newly admitted lawyers with many resources, including support groups and resources on how to deal with stress and how to maintain a healthier lifestyle.
JLAP recognizes that stressors continue into mid-career and beyond. Juggling professional and personal responsibilities and facing issues of caregiving for children or aging parents can magnify the professional stressors facing lawyers. JLAP helps lawyers find solutions for dealing with these issues and more. We provide support groups for lawyers who are feeling disconnected, caregiving, or living with substance use or mental health issues, and we connect lawyers with resources for incorporating a healthier lifestyle. JLAP maintains a database of professionals that are familiar with the challenges faced by lawyers experiencing these issues.
These days more and more attorneys are practicing law well past retirement age. JLAP encourages and supports advance planning for retirement and helps aging lawyers deal with specific issues, including physical illness and loss of cognitive abilities. Our goal is to connect attorneys experiencing physical or cognitive decline with help that will enable them to end their careers gracefully rather than finding themselves in the disciplinary system.
Serving as a judicial officer comes with its own set of stressors, including personal isolation at the same time they are thrust into the public eye. Yet judicial officers don’t shed their humanity when they take the bench. JLAP helps judicial officers balance these challenges and maintains a list of volunteer judges who are interested in providing support to peers.
Given the high prevalence of substance use and mental health issues among practicing lawyers, firms and other employers of attorneys will undoubtedly be faced with how to react when a situation involving these conditions arises. JLAP can help develop appropriate and compassionate strategies and provide in-house training.
Because of the sensitive nature of mental health and substance use issues, law students, attorneys, or judges who need help—or want to assist someone else who might need help—are often reluctant to seek assistance. Recognizing this concern, and in order to foster early and confidential contact, the Indiana Supreme Court authorized the creation of JLAP with the passage of Rule 31 of the Indiana Rules on Admission to the Bar and Discipline of Attorneys.