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Substance Abuse in the Legal Profession Ross Fishman Marketing Ethics CLE

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Did you know that 32% of lawyers under 37 have a drinking problem? That's a full ONE THIRD. And 21% of the entire legal profession, which is more than 3x the national average? Substance abuse is a serious problem for lawyers.

The results of a comprehensive national study of 13,000 attorneys by the ABA and Hazelden-Betty Ford Foundation showed appallingly high rates of drinking and substance abuse, as well as statistically significant mental health concerns like anxiety, depression, and suicide.

This is part of a powerful educational presentation that uses the HBFF materials and other studies designed to raise awareness of the issue and educate law firms about the problem, to encourage them to develop their own internal lawyer-assistance programs. It qualifies for the new Mental Health CLE credits required in 10 states and recommended by the updated ABA Model Rules. Contact me directly if you'd like a presentation at your firm or bar association. ross@fishmanmarketing.com.
www.lawfirmspeakers.com

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Substance Abuse in the Legal Profession Ross Fishman Marketing Ethics CLE

  1. 1. © 2019 Ross Fishman LLiittiiggaattiioonn CCoouunnsseell ooff AAmmeerriiccaa SSuubbssttaannccee AAbbuussee aanndd tthhee LLeeggaall PPrrooffeessssiioonn Ross Fishman ross@fishmanmarketing.com fishmanmarketing.com/blog © 2019 Fishman Marketing, Inc.
  2. 2. © 2019 Ross Fishman LANDMARK NATIONAL SURVEY
  3. 3. © 2019 Ross Fishman© 2019 Ross Fishman The landmark 2016 survey Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation and ABA National questionnaire – 12,825 attorneys, 19 states 10 questions – 3 objective Qs re how much/often they drink – 7 subjective Qs re “failure” To meet expectations, caused an injury, drank more than intended, needed a drink to function, felt guilty, had friends express concerns…
  4. 4. © 2019 Ross Fishman© 2019 Ross Fishman Statistics Cited: “The Prevalence of Substance Use and Other Mental Health Concerns Among American Attorneys,” 2016 – Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation/the ABA Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs (CoLAP) “Survey of Lawyer Assistance Programs” – ABA, CoLAP, 2014 “Helping Law Students Get the Help They Need,” – The Bar Examiner, Dec. 2015 SCR Intervention
  5. 5. © 2019 Ross Fishman WHAT IS ADDICTION?
  6. 6. © 2019 Ross Fishman© 2019 Ross Fishman Addiction is a Brain Disease Addiction overwhelms the brain’s normal functioning – Regulation – Control – Processing Not a weakness, choice, or character flaw – Significant genetic component – Less stigma than before
  7. 7. © 2019 Ross Fishman LET’S TAKE A QUICK POLL:
  8. 8. © 2019 Ross Fishman© 2019 Ross Fishman Question What percent of the general population experiences drug or alcohol (substance) abuse? – <10% – 20 – 30% – 40% – 50%
  9. 9. © 2019 Ross Fishman© 2019 Ross Fishman Question What percent of the legal profession experiences drug or alcohol (substance) abuse? – <10% – 20 – 30% – 40% – 50%
  10. 10. © 2019 Ross Fishman© 2019 Ross Fishman Question What group of lawyers has the highest level of substance abuse? – 1-10 years of practice – 11-20 years of practice – 21+ years
  11. 11. © 2019 Ross Fishman THE TROUBLING STATISTICS
  12. 12. © 2019 Ross Fishman The problem – lawyers overall What percent of licensed lawyers have problems with drinking? Substantial problem drinking among licensed attorneys.
  13. 13. © 2019 Ross Fishman© 2019 Ross Fishman Self Reporting of Mental Health Concerns Lawyers have much higher rates of problem drinking (and mental health problems) – 21% of lawyers scored as problem drinkers – 12% of “highly educated workforce” overall Three times the 6.4% national rate!
  14. 14. © 2019 Ross Fishman ABA/Hazelden-Betty Ford Study – Problematic Drinking
  15. 15. © 2019 Ross Fishman© 2019 Ross Fishman Other mental health data Lawyers and – Depression – Anxiety – Suicide Men vs. women
  16. 16. © 2019 Ross Fishman© 2019 Ross Fishman Question Do lawyers have more or less substance abuse than medical professionals? – More than doctors? – Less than doctors?
  17. 17. © 2019 Ross Fishman© 2019 Ross Fishman CLE - Substance abuse and mental health This program qualifies for Mental Health CLE Formerly offered, empty classes – Attendance was a clue… Increasingly becoming mandatory – Helping the afflicted get info and help
  18. 18. © 2019 Ross Fishman States requiring substance abuse CLE Ten states as of 2016: – California – Florida – Illinois – Nevada – New Hampshire – North Carolina – Ohio – Pennsylvania – South Carolina – West Virginia Expect most states to add this requirement to match the ABA’s updated model rules – Check your state: http://tinyw.in/UFD8
  19. 19. © 2019 Ross Fishman LAW STUDENT STATISTICS
  20. 20. © 2019 Ross Fishman© 2019 Ross Fishman The ABA Survey of Law Student Well-Being Measured alcohol use, drug use, and mental health issues among law students 15 law schools – 3,300 law students
  21. 21. © 2019 Ross Fishman The ABA Survey of Law Student Well-Being 53% of law students drank enough to get drunk in the prior 30 days 30% of law students binge drank at least once in the prior two weeks Substantial problem drinking
  22. 22. © 2019 Ross Fishman© 2019 Ross Fishman The ABA Survey of Law Student Well-Being Mental health issues – More than 1 in 6 students have depression – Nearly 1 in 4 have anxiety 20% have thought seriously about suicide
  23. 23. © 2019 Ross Fishman© 2019 Ross Fishman Why don’t law students seek help? • Barriers to seeking treatment • Concerns: • Threat to bar admission ― 63% • Threat to job or academic status ― 62% • HALF felt hiding the problem increased chance of bar admission – And 72% of the more serious abusers
  24. 24. © 2019 Ross Fishman© 2019 Ross Fishman Question Would LCA Fellows have a higher or lower percentage of substance abuse? Leaders in the profession – Gifted at this work – More likely to be satisfied if you’re great But cases are bigger
  25. 25. © 2019 Ross Fishman WHY IS THIS SUCH A PROBLEM FOR LAWYERS?
  26. 26. © 2019 Ross Fishman© 2019 Ross Fishman Question What is it about Law that leads to such increased stress?
  27. 27. © 2019 Ross Fishman© 2019 Ross Fishman Why do lawyers have this problem? Law firms are stressful environments – Increases risk of developing a substance-use disorder – Conflict and competition are normal – External sources of conflict and competition Opposing counsel, judges, clients – Internal conflict, competitions b/w firm’s lawyers – Clients are stressed, unhappy Anxious, mad, loss Unrealistic expectations of results
  28. 28. © 2019 Ross Fishman© 2019 Ross Fishman Law firms don’t model positive behaviors Help-seeking behavior disincentivized Personal well-being activities not emphasized – Who has time?
  29. 29. © 2019 Ross Fishman© 2019 Ross Fishman Question How many firms have minimum billable requirements? How many require associates to bill: – 1800? – 2000? – 2200? When do they have time to stay healthy? When can they seek help?
  30. 30. © 2019 Ross Fishman© 2019 Ross Fishman Question Who has a no-alcohol policy at firm events?
  31. 31. © 2019 Ross Fishman THE RISKS CAUSED BY SUBSTANCE ABUSE
  32. 32. © 2019 Ross Fishman© 2019 Ross Fishman The business case for taking action Malpractice avoidance Ethical concerns Firm image Client satisfaction, quality service Culture and morale Attorney retention – Turnover costs Health care costs
  33. 33. © 2019 Ross Fishman SYMPTOMS OF A PROBLEM
  34. 34. © 2019 Ross Fishman© 2019 Ross Fishman Symptoms of substance-abuse problems Missing obligations – Work, school, or home Repeated absences or tardiness Declining performance Neglect of important duties Drug-related legal problems, DUIs Hiding alcohol bottles from friends, spouse
  35. 35. © 2019 Ross Fishman© 2019 Ross Fishman Question Think ― Who do you suspect at their firm might have a problem? Is anyone doing anything about it? – Whose job would it be?
  36. 36. © 2019 Ross Fishman© 2019 Ross Fishman Question Who evaluates the mental health of their young lawyers?
  37. 37. © 2019 Ross Fishman© 2019 Ross Fishman Question Who has an active Assistance Program in their firm to – Identify people with problems and – Get them help?
  38. 38. © 2019 Ross Fishman GETTING HELP
  39. 39. © 2019 Ross Fishman© 2019 Ross Fishman Early identification is key Lawyers don’t seek help because they fear someone will find out and affect their license Early treatment yields better results By the time an attorney is referred to a program, they are severely impaired which may negatively impact the outcome
  40. 40. © 2019 Ross Fishman© 2019 Ross Fishman Suggestions for firms Acknowledge the issues Assess your firm’s culture, values Create / evaluate policy and practice Invest in education, training, guidance, support Change Measure progress
  41. 41. © 2019 Ross Fishman© 2019 Ross Fishman ABA’s “Well-Being Template” Create an in-house initiative Written policy, standards, expectations – “encourage all personnel to use accrued leave time, consider flexible work schedules, and eliminate artificial deadlines while continuing to provide competent, diligent representation”
  42. 42. © 2019 Ross Fishman© 2019 Ross Fishman ABA’s “Well-Being Template” Train everyone, lawyers and staff – Acknowledge the problem exists at every firm – Ensure your firm’s commitment – Identify your contact person If they have a problem or suspect someone else Ensure complete confidentiality “Well-Being Template for Legal Employers” – Download: http://tinyw.in/ca2L
  43. 43. © 2019 Ross Fishman LAWYER ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS (LAP’S)
  44. 44. © 2019 Ross Fishman© 2019 Ross Fishman Lawyer Assistance Programs (LAPs) Lawyers have a unique culture Social, personality, and work factors lead to higher rates of problematic drinking These may benefit from specialized treatment programs
  45. 45. © 2019 Ross Fishman© 2019 Ross Fishman Lawyer Assistance Programs (LAPs) LAPs are designed to maintain confidentiality and protect lawyers from negative professional consequences for seeking and receiving addiction treatment
  46. 46. © 2019 Ross Fishman© 2019 Ross Fishman Lawyer Assistance Programs (LAPs) All 50 states have an LAP Most are underfunded and understaffed – 12 LAPs do not have paid staff, just volunteers – Half use volunteers to respond to initial inquiries Half have budget of <$200,000 – Nine are <$50,000
  47. 47. © 2019 Ross Fishman© 2019 Ross Fishman Funding is needed LAPs need real funding – Outreach, screenings, counseling, peer assistance, support groups, monitoring, preventive education Create assistance fund for lawyers who can’t afford treatment
  48. 48. © 2019 Ross Fishman© 2019 Ross Fishman Recovery Among Legal Professionals LAPs have reputation for confidentiality: – 80% of law students believed a conversation with a LAP would stay confidential – 58% believed it would stay confidential with their dean of students LAPs are often run by lawyers and judges – Empathize with the lawyers’ situation and stress
  49. 49. © 2019 Ross Fishman© 2019 Ross Fishman Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation For more information: Hazeldenbettyford.org
  50. 50. Fishman Marketing, Inc. | 1356 St. Johns Ave | Highland Park, IL 60035 USA | T 847.432.3546 (847-HEADLINE) | ross@fishmanmarketing.com fishmanmarketing.com As CEO of Fishman Marketing, Inc., Ross Fishman helps law, accounting, and other professional-services firms dominate their chosen markets and generate rev- enue. Regularly hired to rebrand prominent firms or overhaul their websites, Ross is known internationally for strategic marketing and differentiation, and the develop- ment of the profession’s most-effective marketing materi- als. Fishman Marketing has launched successful market- ing initiatives for 200 firms from Istanbul to Iceland. Fishman Marketing branding campaigns have received countless international marketing awards, including na- tional first-place honors from the Legal Marketing As- sociation 17 consecutive years, for marketing that was both innovative as well as revenue producing. Fishman Marketing received the LMA’s grand prize, the optional Best of Show award, five of the ten times ever presented. FM programs also received one of Inc. magazine’s ten Marketing Masters awards for “brilliant and successful” marketing. Recipient of the LMA’s first peer-selected Lifetime Achievement award (1998), Ross was also the first legal marketer inducted into the LMA’s international Hall of Fame. In 2016, Ross was selected for the prestigious Law- dragon 100 Leading Consultants and Strategists, one of just ten international marketers “whom lawyers most val- ued for their guidance.” A Fellow of both the College of Law Practice Manage- ment and the Litigation Counsel of America, Ross is known as an “educational and entertaining” presenter who has keynoted more than 300 retreats, training, and Ethics CLE programs on six continents — including once presenting on three continents within 24 hours. A prolific, award-winning writer, Ross has published 250 thought-provoking articles, including five monthly col- umns, and has sat on the editorial board of five national magazines. His popular “The Ultimate Law Firm Associ- ate’s Marketing Checklist” book sold nearly 2,000 copies in the very first month in print. (Subscribe to his pithy blog at fishmanmarketing.com/blog.) An active LMA member since 1990, Ross has been LMA’s Vice President; chair of its Ethics Task Force (2012-2015); a member of both the Strategic Planning and Best Prac- tice Task Forces; and founder, chair, and moderator of seven LMA QuickStart conferences for new marketers. He also created and hosted “Just JDs,” LMA’s first full- day national conference for lawyers. Ross has been the expert legal marketing witness in three precedent-setting branding- and social media-related lawsuits. Ross was a commercial litigator before moving to Win- ston & Strawn to practice marketing full-time, later becoming Marketing Partner of Ungaretti & Harris. A 1986 member of the federal Trial Bar (N.D. Ill), he received a B.A. in Speech Communications, cum laude, from the University of Illinois, and his J.D. from Emory Law School. ROSS FISHMAN, J.D. “Ross has a stronger sense of what will create ‘buzz’ than anyone else in the market.” Rick Klau, Google, Inc. “Ross was going to win in so many categories that LMA created the ‘Best in Show’ so he’d win one grand prize instead of nearly all the trophies” LMA’s “In The Loop,” Fall 2009 “Of Counsel” magazine wrote: “Many people consider Ross to be the nation’s foremost expert on law firm marketing.” Blog: RossFishman.com LinkedIn.com/in/rossfishman Google.com/profiles/rossfishman123 Twitter.com/rossfishman
  51. 51. THERE’S NO ONE IN MARKETING MORE IMAGINATIVE. MICHAEL FREEBORN, MANAGING PARTNER FREEBORN & PETERS, CHICAGO … A MAJOR CREATIVE TALENT. HE DOESN’T JUST ANALYZE — HE EXECUTES. DIANE HAMLIN, FORMER CMO FENWICK & WEST, PALO ALTO, CA … AN INNOVATOR, CONSISTENTLY DISCOVERING THE NEXT LEVEL OF MARKETING. WILLIAM HORNSBY, STAFF COUNSEL AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION …CREATIVE, PERCEPTIVE —AND, MOST IMPORTANTLY — PATIENT. ROD HEARD, MARKETING PARTNER WILDMAN HARROLD, CHICAGO YOUR EFFORTS WERE EXCEPTIONAL. ERIC N. MACEY, MANAGING PARTNER NOVACK AND MACEY, CHICAGO … THE BEST MARKETING PRODUCT AROUND. STEVEN BORKAN, MARKETING PARTNER STELLATO & SCHWARTZ, CHICAGO …BEYOND STRATEGIC MARKETING, ROSS TAKES A FIRM’S MARKETING FROM POLYESTER TO BROOKS BROTHERS. JOHN BUCKLEY, LITIGATION PARTNER UNGARETTI & HARRIS, CHICAGO … ONE OF THE BRIGHTEST, MOST CREATIVE PEOPLE IN THE BUSINESS. NANCY MYRLAND MYRLAND MARKETING, INDIANAPOLIS … AMONG THE ELITE MARKETERS WHO REALLY KNOW WHAT THEY’RE TALKING ABOUT. MARK T. GREENE O’MELVENY & MYERS, WASHINGTON DC ROSS GOT THE FIRM EXCITED, CREATED THE BUZZ, AND GOT RESULTS! COURTNEY COLOMBO, MARKETING MANAGER SANDBERG, PHOENIX, ST. LOUIS Fishman Marketing, Inc. | 1356 St. Johns Ave | Highland Park, IL 60035 USA | T 847.432.3546 (847-HEADLINE) | ross@fishmanmarketing.com fishmanmarketing.com

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