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Virginia Lawyers’ Wellness Initiative

About

The Virginia Lawyers’ Wellness Initiative coordinates the education of, and assistance to, judges, lawyers, and law students regarding professional health and wellness initiatives, with a specific focus on improving mental health and addressing substance abuse in the legal profession. 

Since 2019, the Virginia Lawyers’ Wellness Initiative has administered funding to the Virginia Judges & Lawyers Assistance Program (formerly Lawyers Helping Lawyers), an independent non-profit organization, which provides confidential, non-disciplinary assistance to members of the Virginia legal profession, as well as their family members, who experience impairment as a result of substance abuse or mental health issues. 

Contact Information

  • Wellness Coordinator: Margaret Hannapel Ogden
    Email: mogden@vacourts.gov
    Phone - (804) 786-6455

Resources and Reference Materials

Wellness Initiative Reports

  • A Profession at Risk
    The Report of the Committee on Lawyer Well-Being of the Supreme Court of Virginia, which contains recommendations for the structure, funding, and priorities of the Virginia Lawyers’ Wellness Initiative.
  • The Occupational Risks of the Practice of Law
    The Report of the Virginia State Bar President’s Special Committee on Lawyer Well-Being examines twenty risks unique to the legal profession (including physical, mental & emotional, adaptation, and self-actualization risks) and includes practice pointers for individuals and organizations to ameliorate these risks.
  • The Path to Lawyer Well-Being: Practical Recommendations for Positive Change
    This report, from the National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being, served as the genesis for the Supreme Court of Virginia report.  It includes national statistics on the lack of well-being in the legal profession and offers concrete, actionable recommendations to improve this issue.

Continuing Education and Other Resources