LAWYER ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (LAP)
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« If you stop practicing today, will you have the financial resources you need? LAP can help you plan for your
financial future.Most people encounter a difficulty at least once in their lives. That's why the State Bar's Lawyer Assistance Program (LAP) is here to help. We help lawyers and State Bar applicants who are grappling with stress, anxiety, depression, substance use or concerns about their career.
We strive to support legal professionals in achieving their optimum level of practice, while enhancing public protection and helping to maintain the integrity of the profession.
We know that it is often difficult to reach out for help during difficult times, especially if it’s about a private matter. Rest assured. We promise confidentiality – we release no information about your participation in the program without your knowledge or consent. Participation is confidential as mandated by Business and Professions Code §6234.
Our counselors can offer a free assessment of your situation and help you get the help you need, whether it’s for a mental health issue, substance abuse, a medical condition or just financial planning. (There are some fees if you join a group or need additional services.)
If you represent an organization or agency, the LAP also offers free MCLE presentations covering substance abuse, depression, stress and the services of the LAP to local, statewide and specialty bar associations as well as to law firms that are interested in helping their members.
Want to know more? Contact the LAP by calling 877-LAP-4HELP (877-527-4435) or sending an email to LAP@calbar.ca.gov.
What kind of services does the LAP offer?
Orientation and assessment
As a member of the State Bar, you can receive a free professional mental health assessment and an opportunity to participate in the LAP without making a longer-term commitment.
When you call, you will speak to someone who can discuss your problem and find out what services you need. If you need to speak with a counselor, you will be referred to one right away. Remember, all communications are strictly confidential.
Monitored LAP is for attorneys who want to satisfy a specific monitoring or verification requirement imposed by an employer, the Office of the Chief Trial Counsel, State Bar Court, Committee of Bar Examiners or another entity.
The program offers long-term structure and the support of a professional case manager. Attorneys may refer themselves to this program or may be referred as the result of an investigation or disciplinary proceeding. It is also available to attorneys seeking help independently who want the additional structure and support that this part of the program provides. There is a fee for group participation and lab testing, if required.
Support LAP program is for attorneys who are interested in participating in a weekly group meeting with other lawyers and would like the support of a qualified mental health professional. It was designed for attorneys who do not require monitoring or verification of participation. There is a fee for group participation.
The State Bar also provides free counseling for attorneys who need help, whether it’s about a personal problem or your job. For information on counseling services call 800-341-0572 or email LAP@calbar.ca.gov.
Short-term personal counseling
The LAP will arrange up to two free one-on-one counseling sessions with a local therapist who specializes in working with legal professionals around any personal issue or concern impacting work productivity — stress, burnout, minor depression or relationship issues.
Members who have difficulty finding meaningful work in a tight employment market, find their current legal employment unsatisfying or are pondering how they might better utilize their law degree may need to meet with someone who can discuss their career.
The LAP provides up to two free counseling sessions with a career counselor who specializes in assisting attorneys who wish to make a positive career change.
Workshops and personal consultation
You may be planning for the time when you retire from your law career, or you may be considering leaving your practice due to health limitations. The LAP’s financial planning services can help members create a plan and develop asset targets for the future.
To assist our members with planning and preparing for these possibilities, the LAP offers both free workshops and individual consultations with a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®).
For additional information about any of our services, please call 877-LAP-4 HELP (877-527-4435) or e-mail LAP@calbar.ca.gov.