That’s What Friends Are For: Mentors, LAP Lawyers, Therapeutic Jurisprudence, and Clients with Mental Illness
David B. Wexler
University of Puerto Rico - School of Law; University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law
December 13, 2011
Arizona Legal Studies Discussion Paper No. 11-33
This essay has been prepared for a University of Nebraska-Lincoln Law-Psychology conference on "Justice, Conflict, and Well-Being." It draws on and extends an earlier paper, "Lawyer-Assistance-Program Attorneys and the Practice of Therapeutic Jurisprudence," which dealt primarily with how lawyers themselves in long-term substance abuse recovery possess knowledge, insights, and other strengths that can be profitably used in counseling and representing clients with substance abuse issues. The present paper, inspired largely by some recent stories from the legal academy penned by law professors who have had their own struggles with serious mental illness, extends the proposal to lawyers with mental health struggles and to the counseling and representation of clients with mental health issues. The paper suggests several different practice and pro bono settings (civil commitment cases, mental health court, veterans court, post-traumatice stress disorder issues) and opens a discussion of logistical steps that should be taken to bring this idea to fruition.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 18
Keywords: therapeutic jurisprudence, LAP programs, lawyer assistance programs, disability, pro bono, civil commitment, mental health court, veterans court, post-traumatic stress disorder, PTSD, alcoholism, mental illnessworking papers series
Date posted: November 22, 2011 ; Last revised: March 16, 2012
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