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Webinar: Substance Use Disorders in the Legal Profession – Causes, Signs, and Treatment

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This program offers 1 hour participatory MCLE credit; 1 hour in Competency Issues. You must register in advance to participate. 

The presentation will provide a brief examination of the prevalence of substance use disorders and mental health disorders, both for the general population and attorneys. Attorney-specific data will show prevalence based on years of practice, type of practice, position in firm, gender, etc. The distinction between moderate drinking and binge drinking will be shown as well as causes of addiction and risk factors.

The presentation will then examine how the law culture contributes to the possibility of addiction and will review the many warning signs of a substance use disorder. This will include a brief look at the myth of the “high-functioning alcoholic.”Personality traits that distinguish attorneys from the general public will also be covered which will lead into a discussion of how lawyers think and why this is important for treatment and recovery.

The presentation will examine signs to look for that may indicate an attorney is struggling with a substance abuse issue and touch on why it is important to be aware of these signs, for both the attorney and the firm.Statistics will show that the majority of disciplinary matters and malpractice claims involve substance use. The presentation will discuss manners in which to approach an attorney regarding substance abuse and how to react if the attorney reacts in a positive fashion or a negative one.

Lastly, we will explore resources and how best to utilize them for the care of the attorney.


  • Thomas W. Norris, Jr
  • Jennifer Duncan-Sanford, LCSW, National & Strategic Account Director

We are committed to accessibility! Virtual events are equipped with closed captioning. To request an in-person accommodation, send us a note at or contact us at 916-516-1760 for assistance.


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