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The ABA COLAP Logo comprised of the text American Bar Association Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs with a photo of a microphone in front of a blurred room

Deadline Extended! Proposals for 2022 National Conference for Lawyer Assistance Programs Due March 2nd

This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be used in place of professional advice, treatment, or care in any way. Lawyers, law students, judges, and other legal professionals in Massachusetts can find more on scheduling a Free & Confidential appointment with a licensed clinician here.

Proposals are now being accepted through March 2nd for the ABA Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs’ annual conference on mental health & well-being in the legal profession, planned to take place in Washington, DC from September 20th – 22nd.


Each fall, the American Bar Association gathers leaders in the legal profession to discuss developments in lawyer mental health, well-being, and related topics. This year’s conference is planned to meet in Washington, DC from September 20 – 22 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel.

The Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs Conference Planning Committee is soliciting program proposals on relevant and cutting-edge topics on the continuum of well-being, especially programs addressing mental health challenges of legal professionals in a post-pandemic world. The commission’s request for program proposals is open through Tuesday, February 15th, with detailed Instructions & Guidelines here, and reproduced below.

Mark your calendars now for this premier legal event, gathering attendees from across the globe, including lawyer and judicial assistance programs professional staff and volunteers, lawyers, clinicians, judges, legal educators and law school deans, law students, treatment providers, regulators, and legal employers to share leadership, guidance, and insights, and offering unparalleled access to national experts to discuss developing and emerging issues on a wide range of topics regarding the continuum of well-being relevant to the legal profession, including mental health and mental illness, alcohol and other substance use disorders, well-being technology, hybrid workforces, diversity, equity, and inclusion, and access to justice.


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American Bar Association

September 20-22, 2022
Omni Shoreham Hotel
Washington, D.C

Please review the Instructions and Guidelines before submitting a proposal to present a program to be considered for either a Conference plenary or breakout session. Most programs will be plenary sessions and 75 minutes long.


Presentation Topics:

Current and relevant cutting-edge topics, especially programs addressing mental health challenges of legal professionals in a post-pandemic world. Our conference programming covers a wide range of topics relevant to the legal profession (lawyers, judges, law students and other legal professionals), including monitoring professionals and best practices, mental health and mental illness, alcohol and other substance use disorders, well-being technology, hybrid workforces, diversity, equity, and inclusion, and access to justice.

Program Proposals will be considered only if the following requirements are met:


Selection Criteria

  • All sections of the Program Proposal Form are completed.
  • All presenters/speakers and moderators are identified, including names and contact information.
  • Presenters’ credentials and bios indicate sufficient experience and knowledge of the subject matter.
  • Programs must meet all qualifications for Mandatory Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) credit.
  • CoLAP is a NAADC Approved Education Provider. CEUs for clinicians will be available for presentations that meets NAADC standards.


Requirements for programs to qualify for baseline general MCLE credit

  • Programs must be designed for and targeted to attorneys.
  • All programs must include at least one licensed attorney who actively participates.
  • Programs must deal with matters directly related to the practice of law, professional responsibility issues and ethical obligations of attorneys, with references to the relevant ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct.
  • Programs should explore relevant and current issues on any of the following subjects that are offered for CLE credit: professional responsibility, ethics, professionalism, substance use education, mental health and illness awareness, technology, wellness, law office management, elimination of bias in the legal profession. substantive areas of law covering current issues or offering advanced training.
  • Must be an organized program of learning with significant intellectual or practical content and the primary objective must be to increase each attendee’s professional competence as an attorney.
  • Programs must be conducted substantially as planned, including the advertised faculty, subject to emergency withdrawals and alterations.
  • All programs must have sufficient substantive written course materials.

Program Description: the presentation description should be clearly written, state the program’s purpose, make clear what issues or problems the session will address, identify the tangible learning objectives, and state practical takeaways.


Additional Requirements and Guidelines

  • Panels comprising diverse membership, as well as those relevant to underrepresented groups in the legal community, are strongly encouraged.
  • Panelist-Moderators are not required but strongly recommended to manage speakers, encourage discussion with the audience, and can keep the program directed, lively and interesting.
  • Presenters employed by or representing treatment providers or commercial enterprises will be expected to provide additional support of the conference by being exhibitors at or sponsors of the Conference.
  • Sessions should be designed with the assumption that facilitators will use their expertise to promote, guide and elicit discussion and problem solving, rather than simply talking at the audience.
  • The format and delivery method of the program should allow the audience to achieve the stated learning objectives. Consideration will be given to fresh or new styles of presentations such as those that utilize interactive techniques, Ted-talks, interview formats or fireside chats.
  • The novelty of the topic and whether a similar presentation was offered at a CoLAP Conference within the last three years will be considered in the selection of proposals.
  • Presentations must embrace the concept of diversity, equity and inclusion and offer unique educational experiences.  Preference will be given to proposals that clearly articulate diverse voices, perspectives, and content on the core topic that will appeal to the broadest audience possible.
  • Presentations may not serve as a platform for promotion of particular programs, projects, products, or services and must be free from commercial bias.


Benefits of Presenting

  • Speakers will receive a complimentary conference registration, not including meals or tickets to special events.
  • Promotion of speaker’s name and credentials on the Conference website, and in all digital and print marketing materials, where appropriate.
  • Recognition of speakers’ expertise by colleagues and other professionals.
  • Networking opportunities.


Responsibilities of Speakers/Presenters/Moderators

  • Each individual is responsible for their own travel, hotel, and related lodging expenses.
  • Speakers, presenters, and moderators attending the entire Conference are responsible for all costs associated with attending the Conference, other than the registration fee.
  • Each individual is responsible for making their own hotel arrangements for the Conference.
  • Each individual must submit a short biography and photo
  • Each individual must submit a speaker release with copyright permission (form to be provided), and secure copyright permission from the appropriate author or publication, if necessary.
  • Panelists for each program must submit substantive written course materials.
  • Panelists for each program must participate in 2-3 program planning calls.
  • Speakers and moderators for each program are expected to arrive prior to their scheduled program start time for set-up and any prep.
  • Speakers/Presenters should not apply or submit a proposal if they are unable to attend due to the financial responsibility.
  • NOTE: CoLAP cannot reimburse expenses or provide an honorarium to any speaker presenting at the Conference.

Applicants will be notified of the Conference Planning Committee’s selection or non-selection in the spring. The Committee has the discretion to schedule programs on any of the conference dates and times, and merge programs that are similar in subject matter.



Please be sure to click “Submit” at the bottom of proposal form to send electronically or save the form as a PDF and email the form to Lucy DioGuardi at no later than March 2, 2022.

CATEGORIES: Announcements | Leadership | Well-Being
TAGS: ABA COLAP | mental health

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