FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 18, 2015
Contact: Amy Starnes
Public Information Director, State Bar of Texas
(800) 204-2222, ext. 1706, or (512) 427-1706
New video highlights life-saving services of Texas Lawyers’ Assistance Program
AUSTIN — A new video from the State Bar of Texas seeks to inspire lawyers struggling with substance abuse and mental health issues to get help.
The video, “Courage, Hope, Help—TLAP is There,” uses personal stories from Texas attorneys to show how the Texas Lawyers’ Assistance Program, or TLAP, can change and even save lives. TLAP, a program of the State Bar of Texas, offers confidential help for lawyers, law students, and judges whose professional performance is impaired because of substance abuse or mental health issues.
The video is available for viewing now at texasbar.com/tlapisthere. TLAP will also present the video to law students and legal professionals around the state as part of its continuing outreach on the program.
The inspirational video is an initiative of 2015-2016 State Bar President Allan K. DuBois, a San Antonio solo practitioner who has made attorney wellness a top priority of his term. DuBois is a vocal supporter of TLAP, which he credits for helping him recover from alcohol dependence more than two decades ago.
“When they asked me what my initiatives were, I said I’d like to do something I know,” DuBois said. “I know there’s recovery. I know there’s help. I know there’s hope.”
Some studies have found attorneys are more likely than the general population to suffer from substance abuse and certain mental health issues, including depression. The State Bar of Texas created TLAP in 1989 to provide a safe and confidential place for attorneys to seek help.
The nearly 20-minute video features testimonials from Texas lawyers who describe their journeys from despair to productive and fulfilling lives as they sought treatment for substance abuse.
It also includes interviews with Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Nathan L. Hecht, Texas Center for Legal Ethics Executive Director Jonathan Smaby, former Texas Bar College chair Veronica Jacobs, and others on the important work performed by TLAP and the independent Patrick Sheeran and Michael J. Crowley Memorial Trust, which helps attorneys pay for treatment they otherwise could not afford.
The State Bar of Texas Board of Directors approved a $250,000 donation to the trust in the current budget to support this important work. The Texas Bar College and Texas Center for Legal Ethics each pledged $30,000, and DuBois continues to seek donations from groups and individuals.
“I can’t tell you how important it is for me to present this message of hope to Texas attorneys,” DuBois said. “We’re in the hope business, and once we deliver that hope, we must make the resources available to make good on the promise that TLAP is there, and recovery is possible.”
Help from TLAP is available anytime by calling (800) 343-8527. View the inspirational video at texasbar.com/tlapisthere.
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The State Bar of Texas is an administrative agency of the Supreme Court of Texas that provides educational programs for the legal profession and the public, administers the minimum continuing legal education program for attorneys,
and manages the attorney discipline system. For more information, follow us on Twitter @statebaroftexas, like us on Facebook at facebook.com/statebaroftexas, or visit texasbar.com.