JLAP Clinical Case Manager at Tulane University Law Center’s Wellness Day

Jessica Duplantis visiting Tulane Law Center promoting Law School Student Health and Wellness.

October 4th, 2018|

ABA Law Practice Today August 2018 Issue – Attorney Well-Being

Burning the Candle at Both Ends Backfires

There’s no getting around it—law is a high-stress, demanding profession. In a culture that measures drive and achievement in billable hours, many lawyers feel compelled to demonstrate their commitment by arriving early, working late, and being reachable around the clock. This 24/7, no-boundaries work ethic has been reinforced by technological developments that facilitate constant connectivity and firm policies that tie bonuses to face time and hours accrued.

But research shows that working longer is not necessarily working better. Rather, every marathon work session has a point of diminishing returns, where plowing forward becomes counterproductive, as cognitive resources are inevitably depleted and we become more prone to error. Some studies indicate that people who over-commit themselves to work ultimately end up underperforming, as they are far more susceptible to exhaustion and burnout.

Notably, this occurs even when people are deeply passionate about their work: According to Robert J. Vallerand, a leading scholar in motivational processes and optimal functioning, there are two distinct types of passion—“harmonious” and “obsessive”—which have markedly different implications for long-term performance. While harmoniously passionate people are able to disengage from work when appropriate (keeping their work in “harmony” with their other activities), obsessively passionate workers cannot help but to rigidly persist in their efforts, even when this creates conflict with other life domains. The end result is that, while harmoniously passionate workers enjoy increased positive emotions, flow states, and psychological resilience, obsessively passionate workers are more likely to suffer from emotional exhaustion and burnout (not to mention poorer health and lower life-and relationship-satisfaction).

In other words, it is simply not possible to consistently give your all when you are working all the time. Taking breaks, on the other hand, has been shown not only to replenish energy and promote focus, productivity, and creativity in the short-term, but also to foster long-term engagement, motivation, and goal-commitment. If you want to achieve lasting success and satisfaction in your law practice, it is in your best interest to take a little bit of time each day to relax and regenerate.

Of course, finding space in your busy schedule for daily breaks will not be easy—it will require dedication and planning. But if you are willing to apply the same level of diligence to self-care as you do in your legal career, the long-term benefits you will reap will be well worth the effort.

Here are some tips to get you started.

 

August 21st, 2018|

ABA Journal – Your Voice – “Top Stories of the Week”

An open letter to potential law students: Know the truth

Niki Black

Nicole Black.

With the recent news that some BigLaw starting salaries are rising to $190,000, it’s no wonder that law school continues to be a top destination for recent college graduates. However, the truth behind those starting salaries—and given the volatility of the legal job market and the effects of globalization and technology on the business of law—should give one pause before taking out $200,000 in school loans.

So the question remains: Should you go to law school? The answer, according to two legal industry experts: It depends.

Nicole Black and Heather Morse are two leading voices in the legal industry when it comes to discussing business of law trends, from the intersection of technology and the practice of law to the inner workings of successful law firms. Both are frequently asked for their advice by potential students considering law school. Here’s what they have to say about the wisdom of attending law school in 2018.

Nicole: I recently received an email from a young man who was considering attending law school, and was seeking my opinion on the advisability of doing so. He told me he’d approached other lawyers for their input on the value of a law degree in 2018 and had received “mixed signals.”

Heather: Given the financial investment to attend law school, with no guarantees of a high-paying job at the end of three years, I’m not surprised to hear that. To be honest, I’m often shocked by the lack of due diligence by the students. I recently had the opportunity to sit down with a 1L who is attending an Ivy League law school. “What type of law are you looking to practice?” I asked her. “BigLaw,” she replied. This led to me to immediately jump on my Legal Watercooler soap box about the current state of the business of law, especially where law school students are concerned.

Continue Reading

August 21st, 2018|

Helping Lawyers with Alcoholism and Addiction

from Positive Sobriety Institute, May 31, 2018

Help for Addicted Lawyers

Long hours, a frantic pace, a competitive environment and pressure to succeed can contribute to making the job of a lawyer extremely stressful. Research shows that lawyers struggle with depression, anxiety disorders and substance use disorders such as drug and alcohol addiction at higher rates than other professions.

Despite the well-known toll that working in a high-intensity, demanding field can take, lawyers are typically unwilling to admit when they were struggling, said Buddy Stockwell, who is also a lawyer and the executive director of the Louisiana Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program (JLAP).

According to Stockwell, the stigma and fear associated with seeking help for mental health and substance use issues are especially problematic for lawyers.

“We are trained in law school very early on to never surrender. That’s a huge barrier to seeking help. Lawyers do not want to give up and do not want to appear incapable of handling problems themselves,” Stockwell said. “And of course, there is the tremendous fear that if anyone finds out that you have a substance abuse problem, even if it’s successfully treated, it will somehow get you fired, get you into trouble with the disciplinary board, and have your peers whispering about you around the water cooler. The fear is that somehow it may be used against you.”

To encourage lawyers struggling with alcoholism, drug addiction and mental health disorders to proactively seek help, the Louisiana Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program facilitates totally confidential assessments, referrals and ongoing support to help attorneys remain substance free. As part of the effort, Louisiana JLAP partners with select addiction treatment centers, including Positive Sobriety Institute in Chicago, that have outstanding reputations for treating professionals in safety-sensitive, high-consequence fields.

“To have a partner like Buddy Stockwell at the Louisiana Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program is really a gift,” said Positive Sobriety Institute Medical Director Dr. Dan Angres. “Because of that partnership, we’re going to see better outcomes. When you combine treatment and monitoring with the ability to collaborate over the long-term, everybody benefits, especially the patient.”

Continue Reading Here

August 20th, 2018|

Facebook to require treatment centers to obtain certification from monitoring firm

Facebook on Thursday announced that, effective immediately, it will require addiction treatment centers to obtain certification from monitoring firm LegitScript before being approved to advertise in-person addiction treatment services in the United States.

To advertise on all of Facebook’s properties—Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and Audience Network— treatment centers will follow a process similar to the one announced by Google for its AdWords advertising platform in April. LegitScript will review a facility’s background, qualifications, compliance with state laws and regulatory licensing requirements, and privacy practices. In total, treatment centers must meet 15 requirements to earn its certification. Once certified, the treatment center can then apply to advertise on Facebook. The social media giant says it will work quickly to verify LegitScript certification and clear treatment centers for advertising.

“Today’s announcement is the next step in our efforts to support our community on Facebook in response to rising addiction rates in the US,” Facebook’s Avra Siegel said in a statement emailed to Behavioral Healthcare Executive. Siegel is on the policy team coordinating Facebook’s effort to respond to the opioid epidemic.

To read more, click here.

August 13th, 2018|

Safety Sensitive Workers Path to Well-Being

Rehab that puts alcoholic pilots back in the cockpit

The words CLEARED FOR TAKEOFF are welcomed by air travelers in a hurry. They’re even more welcomed by airline pilots who once feared they’d never fly again. Our Cover Story is reported by Tony Dokoupil:

Many alcoholics can tell you the exact moment they hit rock bottom. Former airline Captain Lyle Prouse hit his at 30,000 feet.

On March 8, 1990, he was at the controls of Northwest Flight 650, Fargo to Minneapolis, with 58 people aboard, and after a night of heavy drinking on a layover, he was drunk.

“I think on the tab were 14 rum and cokes for me,” Prouse said. “And depending on the testimony you listen to, the figure goes up to 18 or 19. I don’t know.”

drunk-pilots-captain-lyle-prouse-promo.jpg

Captain Lyle Prouse.

 CBS NEWS

His blood-alcohol content that morning was at least 0.13 percent: Too drunk to drive, and more than triple the limit for flying.

Dokoupil asked, “Did you have any doubts about getting on that plane?”

“No. I mean, I wouldn’t fly the airplane if I thought I was gonna die.”

The plane landed safely, but Prouse and his crew were arrested, and became the first commercial airline pilots convicted of flying while intoxicated. Prouse was sentenced to 16 months in federal prison.

“No other pilot in all of American commercial aviation damaged the profession like I did,” he said. “That was a knife in my heart. That hurt.”

Lyle Prouse’s career was a longshot from Day One: Raised by alcoholic parents, he joined the Marines and fought his way from a ground unit into a fighter jet, and a decorated career. Somewhere along the way, though, he became an alcoholic himself.

drunk-pilots-cocktails-244.jpg
 CBS NEWS

“Our pilots are just like all people; they have some of the same shortcomings that any of us could have,” said Peggy Gilligan, the former FAA administrator in charge of safety. She says a drinking problem is not necessarily the end of a pilot’s career.

“There are lots of things that initially might disqualify you from being a pilot, but with proper care and treatment, with proper rehabilitation, you can return to the flight deck,” she said.

And in fact, for decades, the FAA has been doing exactly that: quietly sending pilots diagnosed as substance abusers back to work.

CONTINUE READING HERE

 

 

August 6th, 2018|

Treat Addiction Like Cancer

OPINION – By Laura Hilgers

Ms. Hilgers has written about having a child with an addiction.

Two years ago, I spent a week in Houston helping my stepbrother while he underwent treatment for Stage 4 lymphoma at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. I sat with him while a nurse cleaned his chemo port and made records of her work, to keep his medical team updated. I accompanied him for the blood tests that determined his readiness for the next treatment. I stayed by his bed as his stem cells were harvested for a transplant, one of the cutting-edge, evidence-based therapies that ultimately saved his life.

Around the same time, I was helping my 22-year-old daughter, who struggled with alcohol and drug addiction. The contrast between the two experiences was stark. While my stepbrother received a doctor’s diagnosis, underwent a clearly defined treatment protocol and had his expenses covered by insurance, there was no road map for my daughter. She had gone undiagnosed for several years, despite my reaching out to her health care providers, who either minimized my concerns or weren’t sure what to do.

I had to hire an expensive interventionist — a professional who helps families find appropriate care and runs interventions — to find names of treatment centers. I spent weeks calling programs, asking questions and waiting to learn what insurance would cover. Finally, after my daughter agreed to treatment and we paid all costs up front, I sent her to a 45-day Arizona inpatient program, praying it would work.

Addiction, like cancer, is a complex disease that requires a multipronged approach. It also affects 1.5 times as many people as those with all cancers combined, and it was pivotal in causing some 64,000 overdose deaths in 2016 alone. It makes no sense that what is fast becoming our greatest health care crisis is still dealt with mostly outside the mainstream medical system.

CONTINUE READING HERE

August 6th, 2018|

How Positive Sobriety Institute Partners with Louisiana Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program

May 31, 2018

Note from Dan Angres, MD, Medical Director of Positive Sobriety Institute 

We are thrilled to announce that the Louisiana Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program (JLAP) has chosen Positive Sobriety Institute as one of its partners in providing treatment for substance use and co-occurring disorders for attorneys, judges, law students and their families.

As the founder and medical director of Positive Sobriety Institute, I’ve worked with professionals in safety-sensitive professions such as healthcare and the law for 35 years. I can say without reserve that the work being done by Buddy Stockwell, executive director of the Louisiana Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program, is astounding. JLAP has demonstrated annual programming success rates as high as 97% in abstinence for the members of the legal profession who utilize their monitoring program.

JLAP clinical standards are based on best practices from physicians’ health programs, which provide assessment, treatment and monitoring for physicians in recovery from alcohol and drug addiction. In published studies, physicians’ health programs have a proven high rate of success in helping healthcare professionals achieve long-term sobriety and continue to practice medicine.  

One of the questions we have sought to answer in the addiction medicine research is whether the high rates of success among healthcare professionals is translatable to other professions. Louisiana’s JLAP has shown that they are. This is profoundly important for our field.

To help attorneys struggling with addiction understand how lawyers assistance programs can help them, Stockwell shares what attorneys entering JLAP can expect, what motivates him, and how his organization works to ensure lawyers receive the best addiction rehab.

CONTINUE READING HERE

June 12th, 2018|

Continued Success at the 2nd Annual Retreat for National LAP and JLAP Directors

 

On May 4-6th 2018, Directors and Assistant Directors, from across the country and Canada, came together in Atlanta, GA, for the second Annual Independent LAP and JLAP Directors Retreat. Expanding on the success of last year’s meeting, this year’s event was organized by the North Carolina, Delaware, Ohio, South Carolina and Wisconsin programs.

The mission of this retreat is to provide a closed, confidential forum wherein State LAP and JLAP Directors and Assistant Directors can engage on a business level as a group and share in-depth information about the challenges they face and discuss strong strategic planning methods.

Several presentations were made over the course of the one-and-a-half-day meeting including: how to best assist law schools; spreading the word through pro-active marketing; and individual breakout sessions discussing specialized challenges for both large and small LAP/JLAP programs.

This weekend has proven to be a great resource for all programs involved.  2019 is already in the works!

June 5th, 2018|

Camp JLAP 2018 Agenda & Registration Form

We are every excited to announce that we will be having our first ever Camp JLAP on July 13, 14 and 15, 2018 at the Solomon Conference and Retreat Center in Loranger, Louisiana. Mark your calendars and SAVE THE DATE!!

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

May 14th, 2018|