Program Description

Research has shown that lawyers may suffer from substance abuse and depression at a rate higher than the general population.  Experience has shown that lawyers may be more reluctant than others to seek help for their own problems.  The purpose of LJA Program is to provide confidential assistance to judges, lawyers, and law students who may encounter these and other issues that could impair their ability to practice in a professional and competent manner.

This website is intended to provide members of the bar and bench with preliminary information about substance abuse, mental health, and other issues that can interfere with the practice of law.  If you think you might have a problem, are concerned about someone else, or want to become an LJA Program volunteer, please explore this website, read about the LJA Program's obligation to confidentiality, and then contact the LJA Program for further assistance or information.

The LJA Program offers help to judges, attorneys, and law students who experience physical or mental disabilities that result from disease, chemical dependency, mental health problems, or age, which may impair these individuals' ability to practice in a competent and professional manner.  Help varies with an individual's needs or a particular case, but ranges from information and referral to assistance with organization of an intervention.  In addition, the LJA Program provides education to the bench and bar on relevant issues.
Because of the sensitive nature of addiction and psychological problems, law students, attorneys, or judges who need help -- or want to assist someone else who might need help -- are often reluctant to seek assistance.

At the LJA Program's inception, it was tasked with the following:

1. To assist lawyers, judges, and law students, or the legal community, as defined by the LAP, in pursuing their recovery from chemical dependency or abuse, mental, emotional, or physical health issues; and
2. To protect the interests of clients from harm that might result from the actions or inactions of lawyers impaired by substance abuse or dependency, physical, or mental health conditions; and
3. To educate the bench, bar, and law school community about the issues and concerns that negatively affect the legal profession; and
4. To develop programs that emphasize prevention of conditions that might negatively affect legal professionals or law students.

LJA Program Services Are:

Available at NO Charge

The identity of any lawyer, judge or family member who requests assistance through the program for themselves or others is kept strictly confidential.

LJA Program services are available to ALL attorneys, Judges, law students, bar applicants, law staff and families.

LJA Program ≠ The MS Board of Bar Admissions

LJA Program ≠ The Office of General Counsel

LJA Program ≠ The Mississippi Commission On Judicial Performance

LJA Program is NOT a disciplinary entity or reporting agency.  The LJA Program does not report or release any information to any disciplinary entity or other third party unless/until specifically authorized to do so by our client.

What can the LJA Program do?
• Confidential advice about individual problems
• Help in arranging and implementing formal interventions
• Monitoring and aftercare services
• Mental illness and addiction are diseases; medical disorders. They are not weakness, a lack of intelligence or will, or moral failings.

15 - 18 % of attorneys suffer from addictive or mental illness, as opposed to 9 - 10 % in the general population.

50-75% of attorney discipline matters involve some sort of addictive or other mental illness.