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Lawyers' Assistance Program

Lawyers’ Assistance Program Opens Kane/DuPage County Office

Posted on October 3, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

In response to the growing need for Lawyers’ Assistance Program (LAP) services in the collar counties and beyond, the non-profit organization has opened an office in Kane County.

People seeking assistance can schedule an appointment to meet with Dr. Diana Uchiyama, a licensed psychologist and lawyer.

LAP is an organization that helps Illinois lawyers, judges, law students, and their families concerned about alcohol abuse, drug dependency, or stress-related issues like anxiety, burnout, depression, and many others. Services include individual and group therapy, assessments, education, peer support, and intervention.

4 appointed to "Assistance Attorneys" pilot program in 11th Circuit

Posted on September 1, 2016 by Chris Bonjean

On Tuesday, August 30, 2016 Judge Kevin P. Fitzgerald, Chief Judge of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Illinois, issued a groundbreaking court order when he appointed four attorneys as “Eleventh Judicial Circuit Assistance Attorneys.” The individuals honored with this cutting edge role are: Erin Donaldson, Mike McElvain, Todd Miller, and Judge Rebecca Foley. The Chief Judge’s Court Order, Administrative Order 2016 – 8, is a critical step in a pilot program spearheaded by Lawyers’ Assistance Program (LAP) Volunteer and Board member, Mike McElvain. 

The pilot program aims to make it easier for attorneys beyond the Chicagoland area, an often underserved population, to access LAP’s free and confidential services such as peer support, assessments, interventions, and referrals. The four newly appointed Court Assistance Attorneys serve as local extensions of the Lawyers’ Assistance Program. As such, they receive the same immunity and are bound by the same confidentiality as LAP employees and volunteers, as provided in the Alcoholism and Drug Addiction Interveners and Reporters Immunity Act, 745 ILCS 35/1 et. al., and the provisions of Rule 1.6(d) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct of 2010.  These Court Assistance Attorneys have committed themselves to confidentially accepting “information about Eleventh Judicial Circuit attorneys and judges in need of assistance for the sole purpose of relaying that information to the professional staff at LAP.”

Attorney Mental Health and Substance Use: A Call to Action

Posted on August 17, 2016 by Chris Bonjean

On September 9, 2016, The Kennedy Forum and the Lawyers' Assistance Program will co-host a breakfast focused on the prevalence of depression, addiction, and anxiety in the legal profession. A landmark study conducted by the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation and the American Bar Association Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs revealed substantial and widespread levels of problem drinking and other behavioral health problems in the U.S. legal profession. The event will feature Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne BurkeBrian Cuban, ESPN legal writer/reporter Lester Munson, and the study authors for a panel discussion. 

Lawyers' Assistance Programs to host Volunteer Training

Posted on May 9, 2016 by Chris Bonjean

The Lawyers' Assistance Program will host its Volunteer Training on Friday, June 3, 2016 from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM at Loyola Univeristy School of Law, Chicago & Illinois Wesleyan, Bloomington

  • Learn about our services
  • Better understand addiction and mental health issues
  • Learn how to help colleagues and friends

To register call the LAP office at 312-726-6607 or email us at rbelleau@illinoislap.org

Find out more at http://illinoislap.wpengine.com/event/lap-annual-volunteer-training/

Attorney registration fee increasing $3 to help fund LAP

Posted on April 1, 2016 by Chris Bonjean

The Illinois Supreme Court announced on Friday that the annual registration fee for attorneys practicing in Illinois will increase by $3 next year.

The increased funds will be directed to the Lawyers' Assistance Program (LAP), a not-for-profit organization that helps attorneys, judges, and law students get confidential assistance with substance abuse, addiction, and mental health issues.

Under amended Supreme Court Rule 756, the annual registration fee will increase from $382 to $385 in 2017 for attorneys who have been in active status for three years or longer. Attorneys in active status for less than three years, inactive status attorneys, and out-of-state attorneys eligible to practice in Illinois under Supreme Court Rule 707 will not see their attorney registration fees rise.

“This modest increase in the annual registration fee will have a significant impact on the LAP’s ability to provide services to impaired attorneys and to shine a light on the issues of addiction and mental illness in our profession,” Chief Justice Rita B. Garman said. “I have often observed that when the Court is called upon to impose professional discipline on an attorney for some sort of professional misconduct, the attorney very often has an underlying history of substance abuse or mental illness. Intervention by the LAP, thus, serves not only the attorney whose career may be impacted by these issues, but the members of the public who have placed their trust in the attorney.”

Joseph R. Bartylak Dinner to benefit Lawyers' Assistance Program

Posted on March 18, 2016 by Chris Bonjean

Please join us on Friday, April 8 for the Joseph R. Bartylak Dinner benefiting the Lawyers Assistance Program. The event will be held at the Sangamo Club at 227 E. Adams Street in Springfield. 

The event will consist of a reception beginning at 6 p.m. followed by dinner at 6:30 p.m. Cheif Justice Rita B. Garman will be the keynote speaker. Judge John Gorman will receive the Joseph R. Bartylak Award and Matthew Hutmacher will receive the President's Award.

Tickets are available for $100 per person. 

Contact Bridget McLaughlin at 312-726-6607 or bmclaughlin@illinoislap.org for general information or assistance with tickets, sponsorship, or donations.

LAP to host volunteer training on June 26

Posted on May 19, 2015 by Chris Bonjean

The Lawyers' Assistance Program (LAP) will host a volunteer training on Friday, June 26 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Loyola University School of Law & the University of Illinois at Springfield.

The purpose of this training is to:

  • Learn more about LAP's services
  • Better understand addiction and mental health issues
  • Learn how to help colleagues and friends.

There is no charge for the training, but goodwill donations are accepted to help defray lunch costs. Limited space - registration required.

To register call the LAP office at 312-726-6607 or email at bmclaughlin@illinoislap.org.

LAP to host volunteer training on June 26

Posted on April 21, 2015 by Chris Bonjean

The Lawyers' Assistance Program (LAP) will host a volunteer training on Friday, June 26 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Loyola University School of Law & the University of Illinois at Springfield.

The purpose of this training is to:

  • Learn more about LAP's services
  • Better understand addiction and mental health issues
  • Learn how to help colleagues and friends.

There is no charge for the training, but goodwill donations are accepted to help defray lunch costs. Limited space - registration required.

To register call the LAP office at 312-726-6607 or email at bmclaughlin@illinoislap.org.

Lawyers' Assistance Program to honor Karmeier at Bartylak Dinner

Posted on March 30, 2015 by Chris Bonjean

The Hon. Lloyd A. Karmeier, Illinois Supreme Court Justice, 5th District, will be honored at the 2015 Lawyers’ Assistance Program Joseph R. Bartylak Award Dinner on Friday, April 17, at the Sangamo Club in Springfield. The keynote Speaker will be the Hon. Robert J. Anderson, incoming President of the Illinois Judges Association. The reception begins at 6 p.m. and dinner is at 6:30 p.m.

The Lawyers’ Assistance Program has been confidentially assisting Illinois lawyers, judges, law students and their families with alcohol, substance abuse and mental health issues since 1980. LAP created the Joseph R. Bartylak Award to be awarded annually to deserving ‘downstate’ volunteers. Joe Bartylak served LAP since its inception as an incorporator, volunteer, Board member and as the Associate Director from 2002-2007. Joe also served as Director of Land of Lincoln Legal Services for many years.

For more information or to receive an invitation please contact Bridget McLaughlin at 312-726-6607 or bmclaughlin@illinoislap.org

Lawyers' Assistance Program to honor Karmeier at Bartylak Dinner

Posted on March 2, 2015 by Chris Bonjean

The Hon. Lloyd A. Karmeier, Illinois Supreme Court Justice, 5th District, will be honored at the 2015 Lawyers’ Assistance Program Joseph R. Bartylak Award Dinner on Friday, April 17, at the Sangamo Club in Springfield. The keynote Speaker will be the Hon. Robert J. Anderson, incoming President of the Illinois Judges Association. The reception begins at 6 p.m. and dinner is at 6:30 p.m.

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