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What is the Tennessee Lawyers Assistance Program?

Lawyers are more vulnerable to personal and professional problems than the average population, because few occupations are as stressful. Competition, long hours, high expectations and win-lose scenarios can wear down even the most energetic lawyer. This can lead to depression, stress, career problems, relationship issues, financial problems, or alcohol and substance abuse. TLAP offers to help lawyers who are experiencing issues that may affect their ability to practice law in a competent and proficient manner.

TLAP helps with a variety of issues

Stress & burnout, anxiety, depression, work/life balance, substance abuse, co-dependency/relationship issues, conflicts with colleagues or family, compulsive behaviors, grief, and more.  No problem is too big or too small. 

TLAP offers numerous services

Consultation, assessments, interventions, support groups, education and presentations, peer support services, critical incident debriefings, and crisis stabilization.

TLAP is free

There is no fee for services. TLAP is entirely funded through attorney annual dues assessments.

TLAP is anonymous

TLAP accepts anonymous referrals from individuals who have concerns about a fellow colleague, law student, or judge. 

TLAP is confidential

TLAP is a confidential service under Supreme Court Rule 33 and T.C.A. Sec. 23-4-101. TLAP never initiates a complaint or reports a self-referral to any disciplinary agency.

Why should I call TLAP?

  • To refer a member of the legal profession who you think may be experiencing mental health or substance abuse issues.
  • To talk about your problems in a safe, confidential place. 
  • To consult about someone in your life (friend, co-worker, family member) who is causing you difficulties due to his or her difficulties.   
  • To volunteer!

Lawyers and Suicide

Studies show lawyers are six times more likely to commit suicide than the average population.  If you are worried that someone you care about is contemplating suicide, please contact TLAP right away.  Suicide can often be prevented with immediate intervention.  TLAP provides a crisis hot-line for emergencies outside of business hours.  Call 1-877-424-TLAP and press “2.”  Someone will return your call as promptly as possible. Or call the 24/7 National Suicide Prevention hotline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255). IF SOMEONE IS IN IMMEDIATE DANGER, CALL 911.

TLAP Helps Attorneys with Disciplinary Issues

TLAP may accept referrals of lawyers, judges or bar applicants under investigational, provisional, or probational status with the Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility (BPR), Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct, Tennessee Board of Law Examiners (BLE) or any disciplinary agency with disciplinary authority; however, TLAP never initiates a complaint.  Information and actions taken by TLAP are privileged and shall not be disclosed to any disciplinary authority unless such disclosure is authorized by the member of the legal profession to whom it relates.

The Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility understands that sometimes personal issues lead to problems that result in ethical complaints.  The BPR strives to work with TLAP to get the attorney the help that he or she needs. 

TLAP Monitoring Agreements:  TLAP monitoring services may be voluntary, or may include mandatory reporting to a disciplinary agency (Rule 33.05 (E). TLAP monitoring agreements are tailored to meet the needs of each individual.  As part of monitoring, participants may be required to attend therapy sessions, self-help groups, treatment programs, aftercare meetings, and/or lawyers in recovery meetings.  All participants are required to submit to random urine drug screens, provide monthly documentation to the TLAP office, and meet regularly with an assigned volunteer Peer Monitor.  

TLAP testimony: If a respondent has been referred in writing by the Board of Professional Responsibility, TLAP may provide information regarding the respondent’s participation in the TLAP program.  TLAP will also appear at hearings to testify to the compliance or noncompliance of a monitored participant.  

 

Links

Bumps in the Road for Young Lawyers  ABA GPSolo Publication 

Is Being a Lawyer Good for You?  The Lawyer, 9/2016

Lawyers Under Pressure  Scott Weinstein, Florida Bar