Washington Lawyer - January/February 2019 - 18

When we don't let ourselves feel genuine
emotions, when we cut those off in service to
our ego or our career, we suffer. The emotions
go underground without our awareness, and
they fester.
DENISE PERME
D.C. Bar Lawyer Assistance Program Manager

that call us to schedule outreach presentations for their lawyers, to make sure
their lawyers are aware of the problems lawyers face, and the resources that are
available to help them."
The increased interest in wellness inspired the LAP to launch the D.C. Bar Law
Firm Wellness Consortium, which currently consists of 46 individuals from 25
law firms. The consortium held its inaugural meeting in June 2018. "Our thought
was if we sponsored a consortium that met regularly, members could brainstorm ideas and help each other continue the momentum that was started
with the publication of The Path to Lawyer Well-Being," Perme says.

The study also showed that younger lawyers in the first 10 years of practice
and those working in private firms experienced the highest rates of problem
drinking and depression.
The National Task Force on Well-Being published The Path to Lawyer Well-Being:
Practical Recommendations for Positive Change in August 2017. The report issued
a call-to-action plan: identify stakeholders and the role that each can play in
reducing the level of toxicity in the legal profession, end the stigma associated
with help-seeking behaviors, emphasize that well-being is
an indispensable part of a lawyer's duty of competence, expand educational
outreach and programming on well-being issues, and change the tone of the
profession one small step at a time.
Perme says the release of The Path to Lawyer Well-Being was a game-changer
for wellness initiatives in the legal community. "Lawyer assistance programs
everywhere have seen a huge increase in the number of outreach events and
educational sessions, and the District is no exception," she says. "We've seen a
significant increase in the number of local law firms and other legal employers

Consortium members from Hogan Lovells US LLP have even started their own
wellness program that complements the firm's existing Employee Assistance
Program (EAP). "A couple years ago, Hogan Lovells really had to come to grips
with the fact that the EAP program was no longer sufficient to deal with the
other challenges that exist within the law firm," says Alaiki Harris, the firm's
director of benefits and well-being. "To that end, we expanded the benefit and
started opening up a narrative. We developed the 'Ask Program,' which consists
of counselors with PhDs who come onsite and become available to our attorneys and business services personnel. We call it 'Ask Program' because we didn't
want it to become intimidating. We didn't want anyone to feel like they were
being sent to the principal's office."
Perme credits the increased level of interest in lawyer well-being in D.C. and
around the country to the work of the National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being
and its call to action. "Any managing partner or law firm administrator who has
not yet read this report needs to read it and begin taking steps toward implementing its recommendations. We at the D.C. Bar LAP are happy to help them
take those steps."
Fortenberry's experience with the LAP was so beneficial that it inspired her to
become a volunteer and serve on the Bar's Lawyer Assistance Committee for
several years. "I'm a strong believer in it," she says. "I found it to be an invaluable
resource at a difficult time in my life. I think it's amazing that this resource is
available to us for free, and that we can use it to help us through life's difficult
moments so that we can continue doing the work that we love and be the kind
of people that we want to be for our families, friends, and to ourselves."
John Murph is a D.C. Bar staff writer.

NEED HELP? CALL: 202-347-3131



Washington Lawyer - January/February 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Washington Lawyer - January/February 2019

Digital Extras
Your Voice
From Our President
Career & Professional Development
Calendar of Events
Goverment & Gavel
Feature: Fighting the Stigma: The D.C. Bar Lawyer Assistance Program
Feature: The Road to Wellness
Feature: Taking the Stand: How Corporate Monitorships Rein in Misbehavior
Global & Domestic Outlook
Worth Reading & Media Bytes
Attorney Briefs
Ask The Ethics Experts
Disciplinary Summaries
Community & Connections
Last Word
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2019 - Cover1
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2019 - Cover2
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2019 - 1
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2019 - 2
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2019 - 3
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2019 - Digital Extras
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2019 - Your Voice
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2019 - From Our President
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2019 - 7
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2019 - Career & Professional Development
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2019 - 9
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2019 - Calendar of Events
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2019 - 11
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2019 - Goverment & Gavel
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2019 - 13
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2019 - Feature: Fighting the Stigma: The D.C. Bar Lawyer Assistance Program
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2019 - 15
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2019 - 16
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2019 - 17
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2019 - 18
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Washington Lawyer - January/February 2019 - 20
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2019 - 21
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2019 - 22
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2019 - 23
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2019 - 24
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2019 - 25
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2019 - Feature: The Road to Wellness
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2019 - 27
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2019 - 28
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2019 - 29
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2019 - 30
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2019 - 31
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2019 - Feature: Taking the Stand: How Corporate Monitorships Rein in Misbehavior
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2019 - 33
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2019 - 34
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2019 - 35
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2019 - Global & Domestic Outlook
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2019 - 37
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2019 - Worth Reading & Media Bytes
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2019 - 39
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2019 - Attorney Briefs
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2019 - 41
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2019 - Ask The Ethics Experts
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2019 - 43
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2019 - Disciplinary Summaries
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2019 - 45
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2019 - Community & Connections
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2019 - 47
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2019 - Last Word
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2019 - Cover3
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2019 - Cover4
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