A Message About COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

The COVID-19 emergency requires everyone to protect themselves and others from the physical threat of contracting the Coronavirus. But we must also intentionally protect our emotional well-being during these difficult times.

Stress, Anxiety, Depression, Isolation and a natural “Fear of the Unknown” can impact our quality of life and reduce our ability to be resilient and hopeful. The emotional toll of this emergency is also especially challenging for those already managing mental health challenges.

JLAP’s services by phone and internet are 100% operational and will not be interrupted by this crisis. JLAP’s Licensed Professional Counselors and staff are all available by phone and internet to provide professional clinical mental health support and resources to anyone in need.

JLAP has also created the following comprehensive webpage that provides suggestions and numerous links to valuable mental health information to support your well-being and mental health:

Read the Support Guide for COVID-19 here.

As always, all calls to JLAP are strictly confidential and privileged by law. As such, if JLAP can help, please do not hesitate to call us at (985) 778-0571 or email to JLAP@louisianajlap.com

How Can the Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program Help You?

The Louisiana State Bar Association’s Committee on Alcohol and Drug Abuse was first established in 1985 to provide confidential assistance to members of the Bar and their families who were experiencing problems with alcohol or drug abuse. In 1992, the Louisiana State Bar Association (LSBA) formed the Lawyers Assistance Program, Inc. (LAP) an LSBA-owned 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation designed to provide confidential, life-saving assistance to the profession and its family members.

Over the years, LAP has expanded the scope of its services and is now the Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program, Inc. (JLAP), a full-service and comprehensive mental health and wellness assistance program with full-time professional clinical staff members. JLAP provides direct and confidential assistance for all mental health issues that members of the legal profession may encounter.

JLAP’s most vital mission is to facilitate early intervention and the direct use of JLAP’s confidential services before the person has become involved in the disciplinary system or otherwise encountered severe consequences. In furtherance of that work, JLAP’s staff provides free, professional intervention services in cases deemed appropriate by JLAP. Early intervention is the key to saving lives and careers while also helping to protect the public from the harm that impaired judges and lawyers can cause.

In cases involving disciplinary action as a result of alleged impairment-related unethical conduct, JLAP provides the direct facilitation of JLAP-approved evaluations and assessments, JLAP-approved treatment if indicated, and formal JLAP Recovery Monitoring or Mental Health Monitoring as the person may desire to objectively demonstrate that they are no longer impaired, are in solid recovery, and that the risk of recidivism is remote. JLAP’s reliable services reflect decades of experience by Physicians’, Nurses’, Airline Pilots’ and Lawyers’ Programs.

Regardless of what the mental health issue is, or how early or late it is in its development, JLAP offers immediate and confidential assistance.

All calls to JLAP are confidential as a matter of law. You do not have to give your name.

Donate Now

Who We Help

Competition, long hours, perfectionism, and high stress can wear down even the most competent lawyer, often leading to depression, anxiety, interpersonal problems, gambling issues, substance abuse, and other problems. Chemical dependency is a prevalent problem in the legal profession and lawyers don’t have to struggle alone. National surveys show rates of depression and alcoholism among members of the legal profession are more than twice the rate of the public population. Learn more about how we help lawyers > >
Like all members of the legal profession, judges sometimes face problems – stress, depression, balancing work and family, alcohol or drug abuse, and compulsive behaviors. But a judge’s problem is more likely to go unnoticed and untreated because of the very nature of the judge’s role in the legal system. Learn more about how we help judges > >
For those law students struggling with issues of depression, anxiety, drug addiction or alcoholism or other mental issues, the JLAP is here to help. We offer a full range of resources and solutions to help you manage your issues in the short and long term. Every service provided through the JLAP is 100% confidential and 100% free. Learn more about how we help law students > >
Firm managers (or supervising partners) are likely to become aware of an attorney whose work performance is impaired because of problems related to chemical dependency, either sooner, through direct observation of certain patterns of conduct, or the reports from other personnel or clients of these patterns; or later, through evidence of significantly diminished performance, malpractice claims or other instances of substantial harm. Clearly, a firm has a vested interest in identifying impaired colleagues as soon as possible before substantial harm has occurred. Learn more about how we help employers > >
It is paramount to understand that help is available from JLAP to all family members regardless of whether the chemically dependent person ever admits a problem or accepts help. Family members can learn new tools to break the cycle of family dysfunction and restore their own emotional health. JLAP encourages all families in our legal profession to take full advantage of JLAP’s confidential assistance in chemical dependency cases. Learn more about how we help family members > >

Areas of Support

Age related dementia, specifically Alzheimer’s, typically begins to appear in individuals who are 60 or older. Starting at age 65, the risk of developing the disease doubles every five years. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 25-50% of the 85-and-older population exhibits some signs of Alzheimer’s or age-related dementia. Learn more about aging and how JLAP can help >>
Alcoholism/drug addiction is not a moral issue, but rather it is a treatable illness. Chemical dependency is a chemical brain disease that may be arrested (not cured) by treatment. Learn more about alcohol and drug addiction and how JLAP can help >>
One-third of lawyers and judges suffer from depression, which is the number one cause of suicide. Lawyers and judges have the highest suicide rate of any profession, six times the rate of the general population. Lawyers and judges are twice as likely as the general population to develop problems with substance abuse and other addictive disorders. Out of 105 professions studied by Johns Hopkins University, lawyers and judges top the list in the incidence of major depression. Learn more about depression and how JLAP can help >>
Litigation can be extremely stressful for all involved, especially in high-conflict cases involving domestic and criminal matters. To protect our own emotional well-being in the midst of the trauma and chaos encountered in high-stress areas of the law, it is fair to say that both attorneys and judges quickly realize they must strive for professional objectivity lest they become emotionally entangled in the cases. But scientific research now indicates that simply deciding to remain objective may not be effective and that our natural empathetic responses may overpower our intellectual efforts to maintain objectivity. The result can be Compassion Fatigue, a specific type of emotional burnout that can happen to anyone at any age and cause debilitating symptoms. Learn more about compassion fatigue and how JLAP can help >>
In the same way that a majority of people can consume alcohol recreationally and not experience problems, many people also place a wager in the gaming industry now and then without experiencing problems. But, conversely, much like alcohol becomes poison to the alcoholic who develops a chronic yet treatable illness, gambling may become compulsive and toxic to the problem gambler who develops a pathology that requires similar treatment. Learn more about gambling addiction and how JLAP can help >>
Anxiety, stress, ADHD, grief and bipolar disorder are a few of the mental health isuses affecting lawyers. Learn more about these mental health issues and how JLAP can help >> 

We in the legal profession are at a greater risk for suicide than those in the general population. Scientific studies — most notably the Johns Hopkins study that compared the prevalence of depression in more than 100 professions— have established that lawyers and judges suffer depression at rates up to three times that of the general population. We suffer alcoholism and addiction at rates up to twice the general population. When depression and substance abuse are more prevalent, so is the risk of suicide. Learn more about suicide prevention and how JLAP can help >>

Learning and practicing wellness can help us understand how everything is connected. When our bodies are stressed our digestion and immune system works less, we have faster blood clotting, increased blood sugar, increased cholesterol, and increased metabolism. Stress management is key so these health issues don’t occur all the time. Learn more about wellness and how JLAP can help >>

For Confidential Help Call (985) 778-0571

If you are in need of JLAP’s help, don’t wait! Make the decision to trust JLAP and reach out immediately. No matter how isolated you feel or how reticent you are to share your situation, please put those feelings aside and trust JLAP. You do not even have to give your name. All you have to do is make the call to JLAP at (985) 778-0571. If you have an emergency, go to the nearest emergency room or call 911.