Who We Help
Louisiana JLAP provides free, confidential assistance to lawyers, judges, law students, other legal professionals, and their families in addressing substance abuse, mental health issues, age, and other stressors which impair or may impair an attorney’s ability to effectively practice law.
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 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.
One of the goals of the JLAP is to provide assistance to Louisiana lawyers before these problems become debilitating or cause a lawyer to commit an ethical violation. By not reaching out for help, a lawyer may jeopardize all that is meaningful in his or her life.
The Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program is confidential and here to help with any issue that is impacting a lawyer’s ability to be a productive member of the legal profession. 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.
Judges work in isolation, often shielding their problems from colleagues and associates. They are frequently reluctant to seek help because of fear, denial, and embarrassment – even hopelessness. Above all, they are concerned about their problems becoming known and negatively impacting their status and reputation.
Judges are often in the best position to see problems or impairment in their colleagues on the bench. Lawyers are reluctant to initiate judicial intervention for fear of retaliation by the impaired judge or alienation of other judges.
The JLAP can respond to judges who call for help with complete confidentiality and discretion. Learn more about how we help Judges >>
Law is a challenging discipline that involves the ability to analyze, reason, and communicate. The study and practice of law is rigorous and often stressful, however, a law degree can open many doors to a rewarding career in business, practice, government, teaching and public service.
For those law students struggling with issues of depression, anxiety, drug addiction or alcoholism or other mental issues, the LAP 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 LAP is 100% confidential and 100% free.
When you apply for admission to the bar, you must show that you are fit to practice law and have the necessary character to justify the trust and confidence that clients, the public, and the legal system will place in you. Consequently, the Louisiana Supreme Court Committee on Bar Admissions reviews applicants’ past conduct to ensure that applicants are honest, trustworthy, diligent and reliable. Conduct that raises concern about the competence, character or fit-ness of an applicant may cause the Committee on Bar Admissions to investigate further. Consequently, if you have a history of conduct that may indicate a problem, you should seek further information and assistance. The Lawyers Assistance Program, Inc. offers help for: alcohol and drug addiction, depression, anxiety and other mental issues, as well as compulsive disorders. Learn more about how we help Law Students >>
Since law firms represent a large portion of the legal community, law firms can contribute significantly in an effort to reach attorneys who need help. The Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program (JLAP), therefore, is offering law firm management the opportunity to become educated on the issue of impairment and available assistance resources. Historically, law firms have been reluctant to acknowledge the issue of impairment among legal professionals. Attorneys, viewed by society as authority figures, often are expected to project an image of perfection and invulnerability. In spite of their abilities and training, attorneys share the same problems as people within the general population. Attorneys hesitate to admit to problems with chemical dependency. Nevertheless, these problems exist and exert a profound, negative impact on the legal profession, the public and afflicted individuals. JLAP believes it is important to encourage law firm managers throughout the state to participate in the effort to identify and assist attorneys whose performance is impaired. Learn more about how we help Employers>>
Most people in our legal profession know that the Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program, Inc. (JLAP) provides confidential assistance to lawyers and judges. However, many people do not know that LAP’s assistance is available to family members who may themselves be suffering, either directly or indirectly, from chemical dependency, including illnesses such as alcoholism and drug addiction.
The devastating effects of chemical dependency seriously impact the whole family unit, not just the individual beset with alcoholism or drug addiction. When it comes to treating those illnesses, everyone in the family will play a part in either supporting treatment and recovery or impeding those efforts.
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.
JLAP stands ready to discretely refer family members to clinicians who can guide the entire family toward better health and happiness while also greatly increasing the family’s ability to provide effective help and support to the alcoholic/addict in their midst.Learn more about how we help Family Members>>