Two mid-Shore attorneys have started an informal and confidential support group for lawyers in recovery from alcoholism and other addictions. Eastern Shore Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers (ESLCL) meets on the third Tuesday of each month at 6:00 p.m. in the Cambridge office of Miles & Stockbridge, 300 Academy Street.
ESLCL welcomes lawyers and law students, former and retired lawyers, as well as paralegals and other legal assistants in recovery.
The group’s immediate aims are to provide a regularly scheduled meeting for members of the legal profession to talk about recovery issues common to attorneys and to serve as a resource to individuals and groups who might need assistance reaching out to a lawyer in trouble with drugs or alcohol. Its long-term goal is to start a network of similar Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers meetings in towns and cities all over the state.
The Maryland State Bar Association (MSBA) and several county and city bar associations have structured Lawyer Assistance Programs (LAPs), all of which coordinate efforts, some on the record and some not, to assist attorneys in trouble with drugs, alcohol and mental health issues. The Eastern Shore Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers group is the first attempt to provide a casual local gathering, one that does not have ties to MSBA or the Attorney Grievance Commission, nor any affiliation with 12-step groups.
ESLCL was inspired by the successful efforts of several hundred Texas attorneys, after two Maryland lawyers traveled to Houston for the annual meeting of Texas Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers (TLCL). Local groups of attorneys in cities and towns all over Texas meet regularly to provide a network of lawyers available to help other members of the profession who face issues of professional and personal damage caused by alcoholism and addiction. Not a 12-step program and not structurally or financially associated with the more organized Texas LAP, TLCL holds an annual meeting with speakers, workshops and other programs designed to assist sober lawyers to provide advocacy and assistance for other lawyers. The director of the Texas Lawyer Assistance Program uses the volunteers in TLCL as a resource, and many members of the LAP bar committee have also served in leadership positions in TLCL.
For more information, contact Jane at (410) 924-1464 for more information.