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Lawyers & Judges Assistance Program Frequently Asked Questions

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Q: What is attorney monitoring?
A: Also called "contractual probation" or "diversion."

Though unfortunate, it is a reality that the incidence of issues related to substance use and mental health disorders is disproportionately high among legal professionals, and that such issues sometimes lead to impairment with regard to personal and professional functioning. The Lawyers and Judges Assistance Program recognizes that individuals who struggle with such issues of impairment are not "bad" people, but human beings who are suffering from treatable physiological conditions, from which recovery is possible. In the interest of protecting the public and supporting professionalism within the legal profession, the State Bar of Michigan Lawyers and Judges Assistance Program, in cooperation with the Attorney Grievance Commission, has developed the Attorney Monitoring program. Read More

Q: Help with substance use . . . is it really confidential?
A: Completely!

MLJAP policy is based on federal confidentiality guidelines, and prohibits disclosure of information about program participants to the State Bar of Michigan, Attorney Grievance Commission, Attorney Discipline Board, or the Judicial Tenure Commission.

The Attorney Monitoring Program and those working with the program in any capacity, whether volunteer or otherwise, shall be provided all confidentiality and immunity protection afforded the Lawyer's and Judges Assistance Program under MCR 9.125.

Q: I think I'm depressed. What can I do?
A: There are two major types of depression; situational, and clinical.

Situational depression is temporary, and is linked to a life event such as job loss or death of a loved one. Clinical depression may have its roots in brain chemistry and is longer in duration and/or cyclical in nature.

For a free, confidential consultation with a trained mental health professional, call the Lawyers and Judges Assistance Program at (800) 996-5522.

Q: How can my law firm take advantage of the Lawyers and Judges Assistance Program?
A: The Lawyers and Judges Assistance Program is available for free consultations, as well as training services.

We will gladly speak to your group about stress management, substance use issues, or any identified topic which relates to overall coping/mental health. We also coordinate a volunteer recovery network, which is available to lawyers and judges who are entering recovery from chemical dependency. Call Martha Burkett, program administrator, at (517) 346-6337 with your questions and/or requests.

Q: I have a colleague who has a substance use problem . . . what can I do?
A: For over twenty years, the Lawyers and Judges Assistance Program has been serving attorneys in trouble with substances.

We are staffed with trained addiction/mental health professionals. We also have access to over one hundred recovering attorneys and judges throughout the state of Michigan, who lend their time and effort toward supporting attorneys who are new to recovery. The LJAP will gladly consult with you about what action, if any, is necessary and appropriate. Call our free, confidential help line: (800) 996-5522.

Q: If I refer a colleague to LJAP, will they get in trouble?
A: The LJAP is here to assist individuals who are struggling, to get on track, with the hope that disciplinary actions can be avoided.

The Lawyer Monitoring Program and those working with the program in any capacity, whether volunteer or otherwise, shall be afforded all confidentiality and immunity protection afforded the Lawyers and Judges Assistance Program and that provided under MCR 9.125. If you know someone who is struggling, encourage him/her to call our free, confidential help line: (800) 996-5522.

Q: I like to gamble . . . how much is too much?
A: In the past year have you:

  • been preoccupied with gambling?
  • needed to gamble with increasing amounts of money in order to achieve a desired excitement?
  • had repeated, unsuccessful efforts to control, cut back, or stop gambling?
  • been restless or irritable when attempting to cut down or stop gambling?
  • gambled as a way of escaping from problems or of relieving unpleasant feelings, like guilt, anxiety, or depression?
  • after losing money gambling, returned another day to "get even"?
  • lied or minimized regarding the extent of your gambling activity to family or others?
  • committed illegal acts such as forgery, fraud, theft, or embezzlement to finance gambling?
  • jeopardized or lost a relationship, job, or educational opportunity because of gambling?
  • relied on others to provide money to relieve a desperate financial situation caused by gambling?

If you have answered yes to four or more of these questions, or if your response to any of these questions causes you concern, there is a strong possibility that your gambling activity is already, or is becoming problematic.

The Lawyers and Judges Assistance Program has a close working relationship with clinicians who are experts in the treatment of problem gambling. We will gladly assist you with regard to assessment and referral, as appropriate.

Call our free, confidential hotline at: (800) 996-5522


LJAP, supporting wellness. (800) 996-5522



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State Bar of Michigan
306 Townsend St
Lansing, MI 48933-2012
Phone: (517) 346-6300
Toll Free: (800) 968-1442
Fax: (517) 482-6248