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Archived updates for Friday, June 10, 2005

Information on Lawyers Assistance Programs

In 1991, Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore interviewed 12,000 workers about depression. Lawyers ranked No. 1 on the list of occupations that were most depressed. While 3 percent to 9 percent of the population at any given time may experience depression, a quality-of-life survey conducted by the North Carolina Bar Association in 1991 reported that almost 26 percent of the bar's members exhibited symptoms of clinical depression. Almost 12 percent of them said they contemplated suicide at least once each month.

Other research by psychologist Andrew Benjamin showed that significant numbers of law students at the University of Arizona were psychologically healthy when they arrived, but within the first year developed major psychological distress that remained through law school and into the graduates’ careers. Anxiety, hostility, and depression ran eight to 15 times higher than in the general population.

For information and confidential help on addiction, depression & related issues by attorneys, for attorneys, judges, law students & law graduates go to
Currently, a lawyer assistance program or committee exists in every state, whereas slightly more than two decades ago, only 15 states had such programs. All of the 60 programs that responded to a 2001 ABA questionnaire reported that they served lawyers impaired by drug or alcohol problems. Most of them were also helping lawyers deal with stress and clinical depression, as well as disorders involving gambling, sex and eating.
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