What Is LAP
The Nassau County Bar Association’s Lawyer Assistance Program provides free and confidential assistance to attorneys, judges, law students and their family members with problems related to alcohol, drug, gambling, depression, anxiety and other emotional and behavioral issues that affect one’s well-being and professional conduct.
Who We Are
The Lawyer Assistance Program is staffed by a licensed professional Program Director and volunteer attorneys who are members of the Lawyer Assistance Committee. These individuals are committed to improving the lives of lawyers, judges, law students, their families and the community at large.
Services are free and include:
A consultation consists of an in person meeting with the Director of the Lawyer Assistance Program to discuss the reasons for contacting LAP and to determine which LAP services are best suited for specific situation of each attorney.
In some cases, the Director of the LAP will conduct an initial evaluation to determine the severity of the problem and assess the need for intervention, referral and follow up.
Often LAP conducts outreach to educate members of the legal community about how to recognize a substance abuse or mental health problem before it gets out of control. Early identification can be critical to getting the care that is needed and reducing the harm that is often caused when an addiction or mental health problem get out of control.
Several attorneys volunteer their time as committee members or as part of the larger LAP community to meet with attorneys in need. Some of these volunteers are in recovery themselves from alcohol or drugs or have struggled with depression or anxiety. Peer support can make the difference!
LAP provides supportive counseling to help members of the legal community with stress management by teaching techniques such as time management, mindfulness, and other stress reduction skills. LAP often provides workshops at Law Schools for students struggling with the stress of l managing life law school.
In some cases LAP provides drug or alcohol interventions with attorneys whose lives are spiraling out of control because of an addiction to alcohol or drugs to encourage them to take advantage of help that is being offered. A drug or alcohol intervention is a structured, solution oriented process to persuade the afflicted attorney to seek help. Family, friends, colleagues whose lives have been affected by the substance abuse use the intervention to discuss with the attorney how their lives have been impacted and to encourage their loved one to take advantage of help that is being offered.
A successful intervention is not a confrontation, it is an opportunity for the attorney to accept help. Often the interventionist will meet with the participants to educate and provide guidance before, during and after the intervention.
LAP provides referrals to mental health and substance abuse providers including anger management, psychiatry, therapy, and substance abuse treatment as needed.
LAP provides supportive counseling and education to loved ones of attorneys struggling with depression, addiction or other mental health problems.
In some instances attorneys who are struggling volunteer or are referred by Judges, Attorney Grievance or Discipline Committees, members of character and Fitness Committees any member of the Commission on Judicial Conduct, law school administrations to participate in Lawyer Assistance Program Monitoring Programs.
Monitored attorneys agree to the provisions of the Monitor Agreement for a stated period of time determined by the LAP Director or referring authority.
LAP provides assistance to attorneys or their family members who need help closing a law practice.
You will speak confidentially to a professionally trained and certified counselor who will listen to what’s on your mind. The counselor will discuss the ways that LAP can help you including referrals, suggestions and other options for addressing your concerns.
You will receive continued confidential support and assistance from volunteer attorneys, many of whom have triumphed over their own significant problems and who are dedicated to helping others.