Lawyers’ Assistance Program
Studies Cited By The Louisiana Supreme Court Indicate the Rate of Addiction Among Legal Professionals May Be Triple The National Average
A growing body of studies indicated to the Louisiana Supreme Court that attorneys are more at risk for various types of impairment, particularly alcohol abuse, than the general population. It is widely accepted that about 10% of the adult workforce in the United States suffers from alcoholism. Therefore, it may be conservatively assumed that more than 1,900 of the just less than 20,000 (19,726) lawyers of the Louisiana State Bar Association are affected by the disease. Recent studies indicate, however, that - among attorneys and some other professionals - the rate of alcohol abuse may be more reliably estimated to be 20 - 30%. Even more troubling for the Court, the statistics provided by experts indicated that between 40 and 60% of lawyers who appeared before disciplinary boards nationwide had some type of alcohol or drug abuse problem. In response to this growing attorney impairment problem, 86% of the state bar associations have some type of impaired lawyer assistance program.