About the Lawyer Assistance Program
The D.C. Bar Lawyer Assistance Program is a free, confidential program assisting lawyers, judges, and law students who experience problems that interfere with their personal lives or their ability to serve as counsel or officers of the court. The program provides:
- confidential telephone access to a trained professional counselor;
- assessment and referral to appropriate treatment programs;
- counseling; and
- volunteers who have experienced the same problems and successfully faced them.
Alcoholism, drug abuse, stress, and emotional problems are progressive illnesses. The earlier they are detected and treated, the easier the road to recovery.
Millions of Americans suffer from alcoholism and drug abuse. Stress and emotional problems impair millions more. Studies show a high incidence of these illnesses among professionals, including lawyers and judges.
Impaired lawyers hurt not only themselves, but also their spouses, colleagues, clients, employees, friends, and the legal profession.
Alcoholism, drug abuse, stress, and related illnesses are not moral issues but rather medical and social problems that can be treated. The Lawyer Assistance Program is designed to match impaired lawyers with the many excellent resources in the community available to help them—including lawyers who have experienced and successfully dealt with the same problems, and professional counselors who are trained to recognize and assist lawyers and judges in need of help.
Getting Help for Yourself
To get help call the Lawyer Assistance Program’s private number at 202-347-3131. If a counselor is not available, please leave a message, and a counselor will return your call to discuss the problem and suggest possible solutions.
Getting Help for Another
When someone you know and care about has a serious problem that is interfering with his or her professional or personal life, you naturally want that person to get help. Often, however, the person you want to help won’t even admit that a problem exists.
If you are tired of covering up for your friend or colleague, and the problem isn’t getting any better, you can learn how to be part of the solution by calling the D.C. Bar Lawyer Assistance Program’s private number at 202-347-3131. The program’s trained professionals are available to discuss intervention techniques, a unique process in which colleagues, friends, and family members are taught how to communicate with the troubled attorney. The ultimate goal is to motivate the person in need to begin treatment.