Detours on the Path to well-Being

Summer 2020



Problems are not a sign of failure, but an opportunity for growth. 

The goal of the WVJLAP LapQuest is to better connect the WVJLAP with our JLAP volunteers, JLAP participants and State Bar leaders and staff.  All subscriptions are confidential and anonymous…no one will know the WVJLAP e-Newsletter is in your inbox unless you give them access to your inbox. We are also accepting article submissions from anyone who may be interested.

Our hope is that the WVJLAP e-Newsletter provides a small dose of inspiration to you in your day-to-day law practice, and reminds you that you are not alone with whatever frustrations or issues you encounter in your legal career and life.


Law School Wellness

Read the Report on CoLAP’s Law School Wellness Survey published in the AALS Journal of Legal Education

Recognizing Depression

Check out this excellent blog post from the Texas Bar and the Texas Lawyer Assistance Program. A lawyer living with depression shares his advice and experience.

Burnout Prevention

Read this great article addressing burnout in the legal profession, and how Wellness Is the New Competitive Advantage of High-Achieving Attorneys and Law Firms. 

Listen to Brian Cuban, author of “The Addicted Lawyer,” share his story.
Detours on the Path to well-Being

Spring 2020


Lawyer Well-being Week Activities


Check out this article by Anne M. Brafford, Esq, published by the National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being, on how solo practitioner’s and small firms can promote lawyer mental health.  

Well-Being Strategies for Solos and Small Firms: Building Resilient Work Cultures


Understanding the Stress Response

Now, more than ever, it is important for the legal community to learn how to effectively manage stress.  Check out this article, published by Harvard Health Publishing, on understanding the stress response, as well as techniques to counter chronic stress.  


TED TALK:  The Brain-Changing Benefits of Exercise



To Find Meaning in Your Work, Change How You Think About It

Check out this link, published by Harvard Business Review, on finding purpose in your work life.



The Happy Secret to Better Work




Detours on the Path to well-Being

Winter 2020



Enduring Happiness for Attorneys?

David Gold, a former trial lawyer who now helps law firms grow their practices discusses how your law firms culture holds the key to your own piece of mind.

Internet Addiction

Check out this link, published by Social Work Today, on Internet Addiction Disorder.

Lawyer Wellness Week

“Together we can bring out the best in the legal profession!”

Law Student Well-Being Podcast

For too long, law students have been given the message that their well-being is second to the practice of law. Not anymore! The Lawyer Assistance Program community recognizes that teaching students about their own well-being and the well-being of their colleagues and friends as they learn the law is imperative for the future generations of lawyers.

Detours on the Path to well-Being

Fall 2019


The Perfect Addict  

From childhood to adulthood, this attorney suffered with the disease of addiction. With the implementation of a 12-step program and admitting that he was powerless over his substance abuse issue, he was able to develop a better way of living.  He stayed focused, worked hard, and asked for a second chance from other legal professionals. Today this attorney is successful with his employment, and most importantly is also living happy joyous and free.

Read More


ABA Anti-Stigma Campaign

Stigma, shame, and fear. These obstacles frequently play a major role in an individual’s decision not to seek help when suffering from mental health and substance use disorders. Too often, lawyers, judges, and law students find themselves wrestling privately with frustration and despair as an addiction or mental health problem dominates their life and threatens their career.  To raise awareness about the nature of addiction and mental health distress in our profession and to challenge the biases and stigma that surround those problems, the ABA’s Commission on Lawyers Assistance Programs (CoLAP) created a profession-wide anti-stigma campaign that will feature a series of videos highlighting the personal recovery stories of lawyers, judges, and law students who have overcome these issues. These videos send the message that recovery from addiction and mental health problems is entirely possible for legal professionals. Our goal is to ensure that fewer of our colleagues face these challenges alone.

Watch Video


Emotional Sobriety by Bill Wilson

Bill Wilson, co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous wrote about emotional sobriety in a letter he sent to a depressed friend in 1956.  This letter was eventually published in The Grapevine in 1958 titled “Emotional Sobriety: The Next Frontier.”

Read Letter


Law Firm/Organization Impairment Policy

In 2019, the Policy Committee of the ABA Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs (CoLAP) and the ABA Working Group to Advance Well-Being in the Legal Profession developed this template to provide suggested guidelines to legal employers for responding to an employee who is experiencing impairment due to a substance use disorder, mental health disorder or cognitive impairment.

Read Policy






Detours on the Path to well-Being

Summer 2019


Crossing Over

Successful in every respect, this lawyer managed his drinking for years.  When the imaginary line was crossed and his drinking became unmanageable, he sought help through WVJLAP before facing major consequences.  The unexpected results of his recovery became a priceless gift. Read More

Only a Cultural Shift Can Improve Substance Abuse and Mental Health Problems in the Legal Profession

Read Article

Resilience in the Practice of Law

I grew up in a perfect family. I was trained to be a perfect lawyer. As a young attorney, I worked with perfect people in a perfectionist culture. Mistakes were not tolerated. Showing
emotions was unheard of. And seeking support was a sign of weakness. After years of trying to live up to an unattainable “perfect me,” the strain began to take a toll on my physical and
mental health. This was the turning point. I needed to make a change, so I began a new journey to improved well-being. A shift within me and events that followed led to profound
improvements in my job satisfaction, performance, and personal health. Read Article

New Well-Being Template for Legal Employers

The ABA Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs (CoLAP) and the ABA Working Group to Advance Well-Being in the Legal Profession developed this template to provide suggested guidelines to legal employers for responding to an employee who is experiencing impairment due to a substance use disorder, mental health disorder or cognitive impairment. Read Report

 You’re in a pickle.  Can a lawyer assistance program help?

Bree Buchanan discusses how lawyer assistance programs work, and how a person can reach out for assistance. Listen to Podcast