YLS Newsletter

Attorneys Suffering from Stress, Substance Abuse or Other Problems Can Seek Assistance from The Missouri Bar

The legal profession is among the most stressful occupations in the country. Unfortunately, this stress can sometimes lead to depression, substance abuse and other problems. These issues can also have a significant, negative impact on a lawyer’s practice, which can lead to disciplinary actions or legal malpractice claims.

Fortunately, The Missouri Bar has created the Missouri Lawyers’ Assistance Program (MOLAP), a free and confidential service dedicated to assisting attorneys, judges, law students and family members. 

The most common reasons attorneys contact MOLAP are to address substance abuse, depression, marital or family concerns, and professional stress, as well as for a variety of other matters.  MOLAP seeks to address these problems through its confidential counseling service, which is provided free of charge. 

All members of The Missouri Bar have 24/7 access by phone to a licensed clinical social worker.  MOLAP also refers attorneys to other professional resources.  Additionally, MOLAP has a crisis intervention service for individuals and law firms.  Members may also review a number of questionnaires to screen themselves for a variety of problems. 

“There is no stigma attached to getting help,” says Anne Chambers, the Director of MOLAP.

Chambers added that young lawyers should seek help from MOLAP if they are facing these types of issues. 

“Young lawyers sometimes find the first few years of practice to be stressful due to strong competition, pressure to succeed, concern about the changing economy and fear of failure if they make a mistake,” she said.  “Some new lawyers contact us for emotional support while they are seeking jobs, to discuss ways to manage stress and cope with the transition from law school to full-time practice.” 

Chambers noted about one in every five new callers to MOLAP is either a law student or a new lawyer and that the program has demonstrated a positive impact on these individuals’ careers. 

“The majority of law students and new lawyers who contact MOLAP go on to become and remain good standing members of the legal profession,” said Chambers. 

You may reach MOLAP toll-free at 800-688-7859 or at 573-638-2262.  For more information, click here