The Path to Lawyer Well-Being: Practical Recommendations for Positive Change

Level: Intermediate
Runtime: 94 minutes
Recorded Date: October 16, 2017
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  • Suffering in Silence
  • General Recommendations
  • Recommendations for Judges
  • Regulator Recommendations
  • Recommendations for Employers
  • Recommendations for Law Schools
  • Recommendations for Bar Associations
  • Recommendations for Professional Liability Carriers
  • Recommendations for Lawyers Assistance Programs
Runtime: 1 hour and 34 minutes
Recorded: October 14, 2017


In this program, speakers will provide information on two recent studies that revealed the high rates of substance use and mental health disorders among law students and lawyers, statistics that served as catalysts for the report. They will present recommendations to multiple legal stakeholders, including legal employers, regulators and bar associations, on what they can each do to institute a culture change so that well-being becomes a priority. Much of the focus will be placed on ABA model rule 1.1, competence, and the recognition that well-being is an essential aspect of competent and ethical practice. Speakers will present information on how all members of the profession can work to promote lawyers' well-being, thereby ensuring fitness to practice, competent representation and ethical engagement.

This program was recorded on October 16th, 2017.

Provided By

American Bar Association


James C. Coyle

Attorney Regulation Counsel
Colorado Supreme Court

Jim Coyle is Attorney Regulation Counsel for the Colorado Supreme Court. Mr. Coyle oversees attorney admissions, attorney registration, mandatory continuing legal and judicial education, attorney discipline and diversion, regulation of the unauthorized practice of law and inventory counsel matters. Mr. Coyle has been a trial attorney with the Office of Disciplinary Counsel or successor Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel since 1990. Prior to that, he was in private practice. He earned his law degree from the University of Colorado School of Law in 1985.

Mr. Coyle is actively involved on a national level with the National Client Protection Organization (NCPO), the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE), National Organization of Bar Counsel (NOBC), and the International Conference of Legal Regulators (ICLR). He served on the NOBC board of directors from 2014 – 2016. He also served as NOBC liaison to the Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers (APRL) Committee on ABA Model Rules on Advertising. Mr. Coyle was co-chair of the National Task Force on Lawyer Well-being.

Recent committee work includes being a member of the Advisory Board for the ABA Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs, programming work on and hosting the first ABA Center for Professional Responsibility (CPR)/NOBC/Canadian Bar Association Regulators Workshop on proactive, risk-based regulatory programs, in Denver in May 2015, and in planning workshops in Philadelphia in June 2016, Washington, D.C. in September 2016, and St. Louis in June 2017; acting as co-chair and organizer of the First ABA Standing Committee on Client Protection UPL School in Denver in August 2013; and member of the planning team for the Second UPL School in Chicago in April 2015; participating in the NOBC Program Committee and International Committee, including as Chair of the Entity Regulation Subcommittee now known as the Proactive Practice Management Programs Committee; and NOBC Aging Lawyers and Permanent Retirement subcommittees. Mr. Coyle is also an active member of the Colorado Chief Justice Commission on Professional Development and its mid-career working group, the CBA/DBA Professionalism Coordinating Council and its subcommittee on a professionalism rule, the Supreme Court Standing Committee on the Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct, and the University of Colorado Law Alumni Board’s Diversity Committee.

Bree Buchanan

TLAP Director
Texas Lawyers' Assistance Programs (TLAP)

Bree Buchanan, J.D., a graduate of the University of Texas School of Law, practiced law in the public and private sector with a focus on representing both adult and child victims of family violence. Upon graduation, Ms. Buchanan worked as a family law attorney for Legal Aid of Central Texas and went on to private practice in Austin. From 1998 to 2002, she served as the Public Policy Director for the National Domestic Violence Hotline. After this position, Ms. Buchanan was appointed Clinical Professor and Co-Director of the Children's Rights Clinic at the University of Texas School of Law.

In 2010, Ms. Buchanan joined the Texas Lawyers Assistance Program of the State Bar of Texas and now serves as its Director. In 2015, she was appointed to the ABA’s Advisory Commission on Lawyers Assistance Programs. Ms. Buchanan is also the proud parent of a sophomore at New York University.

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