Mental Health Volunteer for Legal Professionals

Who is a LAP Trained Volunteer

Lawyers Helping Lawyers

Volunteers are the foundation of the Lawyers’ Assistance Program and are the reason we refer to LAP as a program of “lawyers helping lawyers.” Our over 400 trained volunteers provide peer support to lawyers in need and they serve on intervention teams to help those legal professionals who may not realize they have a problem. LAP volunteers also serve as speakers and writers who help educate the legal profession about addiction and stress related issues such as anxiety, grief and depression.

Our volunteers give their time and assistance because they know that their participation is valuable and directly benefits the legal profession. They find it personally rewarding to help others. LAP has volunteer opportunities for attorneys, judges, and law students who are in recovery from chemical dependency or mental health problems, as well as for those who are not in recovery, and simply want to help.

Mental Health Volunteer for Legal Professionals

Get Trained

Mental Health Training

All LAP Volunteers participate in a six hour training session (usually in June) to qualify for this role.  Treatment professionals from Presence Behavioral Health and LAP staff members provide education in the form of lecture, demonstrations, and role play. This day-long training qualifies for MCLE credits.

Participation in a training session does not obligate an individual to become a LAP volunteer, but it is a prerequisite to serving in a volunteer capacity.  Some legal professionals attend these training events to improve their understanding of addiction and mental health problems and how these issues affect the profession.

You may call or email the LAP office is you wish to be notified of the next volunteer training session.

Mental Health Volunteer for Legal Professionals

Volunteers in Recovery

Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers

LAP has opportunities for recovering attorneys and judges to serve as either peer counselors or intervenors, or both. As peer counselors, they provide one-to-one support to colleagues who recognize they have a problem and would like to speak to a recovering attorney. As intervenors, they work in intervention teams to assist the colleagues, families, and friends of troubled attorneys in conducting interventions to help those who may not realize they need help.

Personal recovery in a twelve-step program such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Al-Anon provides an excellent foundation for understanding addiction. It also gives credibility to the hope offered the subject of an intervention that recovery is possible and can be successful. LAP feels so strongly about this factor that it requires that at least one member of an intervention team be in recovery from the illness afflicting the subject.

Persons in recovery do need to be aware that LAP intervention work is not the same as twelve step work. Successful intervention work requires a clear conceptual understanding of what the intervention is designed to do: get the subject to accept help.

Mental Health Volunteer for Legal Professionals

Volunteers Not in Recovery

More than Just Addiction

Though not personally affected by any addiction, those LAP volunteers who are not in recovery, but who have received LAP training, can contribute services as trained interveners. Because these volunteers may not have firsthand understanding of the power of denial and the dynamics of recovery, they often find it helpful to read AA, Al-Anon, and other twelve-step literature and to attend open meetings of twelve-step programs.

These non-recovering volunteers do understand how addiction and mental illness can impair legal professionals. Like all our volunteers, they are a prime example of the good that comes when those within a profession are concerned for their fellow professionals and want to help.