Alex B. Long

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William & Mary Law Review


In 2017, the ABA National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being published The Path to Well-Being: Practical Recommendations for Positive Change, a report that contained numerous recommendations concerning how the legal profession can better address the alarming rates of depression, anxiety, and substance abuse within the legal profession. Since the publication of the report, there have been numerous ethics opinions, bar journal reports, and articles dealing with one issue in particular: the ethical duty on the part of law firm partners and management to supervise or to otherwise take action with respect to another lawyer who may be experiencing depression, anxiety, or some other mental impairment. The organized bar’s increased focus on improving lawyer well-being is commendable. But the lawyer well-being movement has also sometimes perpetuated harmful stereotypes concerning mental health. The Article suggests that in order to more effectively improve lawyer well-being, the organized bar should look more carefully at the text of the Americans with Disabilities Act as well as the policies that underlie it.

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