In the current stressful marketplace, the rate of lawyers’ incidence of impairment has been ratcheting up from high (see, for example, our September 5, 2008 entry "The Depression Demon Coming Out of the Legal Closet") to even higher. See "Employment Woes Fuel Uptick in Lawyer Depression." Firms suffer losses in productivity, morale and recruitment because of impaired lawyers, and also risk client desertions, losses to their reputations and malpractice liability.
Firms can take several approaches to both assist their lawyers and protect their bottom line. Thomas & Knight attorney Peter Riley, as managing partner, instituted an extensive program to address lawyer stress caused from depression, substance abuse, anxiety, etc. in order to provide help fast, without worrying about insurance authorization or long waits for appointments, and with complete confidentiality. Even with the costs of the program, Riley finds it cost-effective to the firm. "When a lawyer or lawyer’s child or spouse is in crisis, that is going to be the focus of their attention," he says. "If we can provide assistance for them quickly, we have not only done the right thing for our lawyers, we have done the most economic thing. It’s the perfect intersection of what is right and what is profitable."
Let us draw from our extensive experience in this area to help you spot and support critical talent confronting personal distress. We can assist on an individual-by-individual basis or by helping you set up a confidential, effective program attuned to your goals and budget.