KALAP’s purpose, set out in Rule 233(a) is fourfold:
- to protect citizens from potential harm that may be caused by lawyers in need of assistance;
- to provide assistance to lawyers in need;
- to educate the bench and bar about the causes of and services available for lawyers needing assistance; and
- to develop programs that emphasize prevention of circumstances that might negatively impact a lawyer.
To accomplish these objectives, KALAP provides many different services, depending on the needs of the lawyer or various bar associations. KALAP services are always confidential and free.
- Referrals for assessments or evaluations
- Referrals for therapy and for treatment
- Short term counseling sessions with a licensed counselor through Alternatives, Inc.
- Peer mentoring and support
- Modified interventions
- Resiliency Groups
- Assistance with Diversion and Probation Plans required by Discipline
- Assistance with Monitoring Contracts required by Admissions
- Guidance in closing a law office and other law practice management issues
- CLE programs to local and specialty bar associations or law firms
Wherever possible, the Lawyers Assistance Program addresses problems before they jeopardize a lawyer’s practice, a judge’s career, or a law student’s education. KALAP understands that addiction and behavioral problems reach beyond the work environment and strives to provide assistance before family and personal relations are put at risk.
In this way, KALAP not only helps to save the lives and practices of impaired attorneys, it also contributes to the protection of the public, the continued improvement of the integrity and reputation of the legal profession, and, because assistance to an impaired lawyer often prevents future ethical violations, the reduction of disciplinary actions against impaired attorneys.
The Lawyers’ Assistance Program recognizes that addiction and mental health problems significantly impact a professional’s ability to function in a legal setting. It is the responsibility of the legal profession to assist its members who suffer from such impairments. Should a lawyer need financial assistance to obtain an evaluation or treatment, the KALAP Foundation may provide loans to KALAP clients when appropriate and approved by the loan committee.