Attorney Support Groups
5:30 p.m. 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Monday of every month at: UNM School of Law, 1117 Stanford NE, King Reading Room in Library
(UNM School of Law meeting accessible via conference call — dial 1-866-640-4044 and enter code 797 6003 #)
Who we are
The New Mexico Lawyers and Judges Assistance Program (NMJLAP) is a free service for all members of the New Mexico bench and bar and law students. NMJLAP offers confidential professional and peer assistance to help individuals identify and address problems with alcohol and other drugs, depression, and other mental health/emotional disorders, as well as with issues related to cognitive impairment. NMJLAP endeavors to improve the well-being of its members through support and early intervention, and to help reduce the public harm caused by impaired members of the legal profession.
The Hidden Problems of the Profession
Competition, long hours, high expectations, and chronic stress can wear down even the most competent and energetic lawyer, often leading to depression, anxiety, relationship problems, gambling issues, substance abuse, and other problems. A national study conducted in 2015 revealed rates of addiction among members of the legal profession to be three to five times higher than estimated rates in the general population, and the incidence of depression is almost four times greater. A recent multi-state survey of judges identified five significant stressors: being overloaded, isolation, decision burden, emotional trauma, and limited discretion, which can negatively impact social relationships and physical health, and contribute to alcohol abuse, depression, and other mental health and emotional disorders.
The N.M. Rules of Professional Conduct (Rule 16-803) and the N.M. Code of Judicial Conduct (Rule 21-300) provide strict confidentiality for individuals seeking assistance from the NMJLAP. All communications and actions taken by NMJLAP with its clients are held in the strictest confidence and are not reported to any individual or entity outside of NMJLAP, including any professional disciplinary agency, without the client’s permission. Likewise, the identities of individuals who contact NMJLAP with concerns about a legal professional are confidential and not disclosed to the person referred.
Breaking through the Conspiracy of Silence - Your Part
Family, friends or peers concerned about someone in the legal profession not only meet their ethical obligation as fellow human beings, but also as informed reporters in the state of New Mexico by contacting NMJLAP [see Rules 16-803F and 21-300(E)]. By contacting NMJLAP as soon as possible after a concern arises, you help increase the likelihood of an individual receiving help and reduce the risk of potential future harm. We will respect your privacy and anonymity if desired as you voice your concern. That being said, a concern does not have to be a present problem; our job at NMJLAP is to ensure the wellbeing and safety of attorneys and we will assess if it is a matter we can assist with. Your part in helping is key to NMJLAP providing person-centered, respectful and empathetic care to the legal community in New Mexico.
It takes courage and integrity to help someone in need.