Jessica Duplantis visiting Tulane Law Center promoting Law School Student Health and Wellness.
Jessica Duplantis visiting Tulane Law Center promoting Law School Student Health and Wellness.
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.
from Positive Sobriety Institute, May 31, 2018
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.”
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.
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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.”
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.
“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.
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.
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!
As part of the 2015 JLAP Performance Audit, it was recommended that JLAP offer “Diagnostic Monitoring” in appropriate cases. In order to help facilitate JLAP’s ability to provide Diagnostic Monitoring, JLAP has obtained a February 2018 Supplemental Report that clearly defines Diagnostic Monitoring, the clinical situations wherein it may be appropriate, and the clinical protocols that are required in providing that type of monitoring. You can access the complete Supplemental Report on Diagnostic Monitoring here:
If you have questions about Diagnostic Monitoring, or any of JLAP’s many services, please call JLAP at (985) 778-0571 or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org