The Iowa Lawyer Assistance Program (ILAP) provides confidential assistance to Iowa lawyers experiencing substance abuse or mental health issues. According to ILAP:
- Lawyers abuse alcohol at a 50 - 80% higher rate than the general population.
- The incidence of depression among lawyers is twice as high as in the general population.
- According to a recent report of the ABA, studies indicate that more than 50 percent of all disciplinary cases involve impaired lawyers.
- The incidence of malpractice insurance claims is significantly higher among impaired attorneys.
- Lawyers suffering from alcoholism, drug addiction or depression often deny that they have problem.
According to lawyer Lesley A. Russo of the organization Thriving Lawyers (Opens in New Window), lawyers face more stress than other professions because:
- Lawyers often must put personal values aside when representing clients.
- Representing clients generally involves zero sum conflicts, in which one party must lose.
- Adversarial skills required in practice are difficult to leave at the office.
- Results in legal matters necessarily may cause harm to others.
- Law firm culture rewards survival of the fittest.
Lawyers needing someone to talk about these issues should contact the Iowa Lawyer Assistance Program: