Lawyers’ Assistance Program is a not-for-profit organization that helps Illinois lawyers, judges, law students, and their families with alcohol abuse, drug dependency, or mental health problems. Our services include education, information and referral, peer assistance, and intervention.
The Lawyers’ Assistance Program recognizes that addiction and mental health problems significantly impact a professional’s ability to function in a legal setting. It is the responsibility of the legal profession to assist its members who suffer from such impairments.
LAP’s mission is three-fold:
- To protect clients from impaired lawyers and judges
- To help lawyers, judges, and law students get assistance for alcohol dependency, drug addiction, and mental health problems
- To educate the legal community about addiction and mental health issues.
Wherever possible, Lawyers’ Assistance Program addresses problems before they jeopardize a lawyer’s practice, a judge’s career, or a law student’s education. LAP understands that addiction and behavioral problems reach beyond the work environment and strives to provide assistance before family and personal relations are put at risk.
Why the Lawyers’ Assistance Program?
It is estimated that ten to twenty per cent of Illinois attorneys and judges suffer from addiction or mental illness.
Lawyers’ Assistance Program, Inc., created in 1980 by the Illinois State Bar Association and the Chicago Bar Association, provides assistance to any Illinois judge, attorney, or law student whose professional performance may be impaired due to addiction or mental illness.
In this way, LAP not only helps to save the lives and practices of impaired attorneys, it also contributes to the protection of the public, the continued improvement of the integrity and reputation of the legal profession, and, because assistance to an impaired lawyer often prevents future ethical violations, the reduction of disciplinary actions against impaired attorneys.
Lawyers’ Assistance Program, Inc. is a registered not-for-profit 501 c (3) organization funded by $7 of every lawyers’s annual registration fees. The Illinois Supreme Court appoints a 14-member Board of Directors responsible for financial and program oversight.