Philadelphia Bar Association
Addiction and the Legal Profession.
A Philadelphia Bar Association Community Forum and CLE program
Addiction and alcohol/substance abuse is a significant problem in the legal profession. Given that the stresses of the legal profession frequently cause anxiety and depression issues among attorneys, the quick and frequent coping mechanism may become alcohol, drugs or both. An attorney’s addiction doesn’t just affect that attorney, but can negatively affect the firm and/or clients of that attorney. We need to understand what the warning signs are so we can help ourselves and fellow lawyers.
According to a collaborative study between Hazelden Betty Ford and the American Bar Association (ABA), attorneys have a greatly heightened rate of depression (26%), stress (23%) and anxiety (19%). Attorneys in their first 10 years of practice are now experiencing the highest level of problematic use of alcohol consumption. The consequences of attorney impairment and addiction are now becoming more evident from the rise in reports to and suspensions by the various states disciplinary boards.
In this community forum and CLE program, thought leaders address the topic of addiction and its impact on the legal profession. Our lead speaker, Brian Cuban, attorney and author of the book “The Addicted Lawyer,” begins our program with his story, then we will hear from additionally featured presenters, Link Christin, Executive Director, Caron Treatment Centers’ Legal Professional Program, Laurie J. Besden, Esq., Executive Director, Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers of Pennsylvania, Inc., Robert S. Tintner, Esq., co-chair of the Bar Association’s professional guidance committee, and the program’s moderator, Debbie Epstein Henry, Esq., consultant, best-selling author and public speaker.
The program will highlight, among other important issues:
- What is addiction?
- How alcohol and/or substance abuse can take over your life
- How to avoid and what to do if you fail to avoid
- How to help yourself
- What to look for in others and how to approach it
- Professional consequences – disciplinary actions, suspension, disbarment, dismissal from firm/case