SEATTLE (September 10, 2018) – Perkins Coie, a global law firm with more than 1,000 attorneys, is pleased to announce its support of the American Bar Association’s (ABA) campaign aimed at decreasing substance use and improving the mental health landscape in the legal profession. To underscore its support, Perkins Coie has signed a pledge to adopt and prioritize the ABA’s seven-point framework for building a better future when it comes to the health and well-being of lawyers.
“The well-being of our attorneys and of the legal profession as a whole is of critical importance,” said John Devaney, Firmwide Managing Partner at Perkins Coie. “The challenges and stresses that lawyers face every day in this profession can cause us to lose sight of the fact that we are in this together and that we are part of a strong, caring community. I applaud what the ABA is doing, and I’m proud that our firm is standing alongside other firms to demonstrate that a culture of support and collegiality is imperative to overcoming substance abuse and mental health issues in the legal industry. Working together, I’m optimistic that we can make significant progress in addressing these issues.”
The ABA’s campaign stems from a 2016 report in the Journal of Addiction Medicine, which showed the challenges and stressors of the legal profession regularly lead to addiction, alcoholism, depression, psychological distress and other mental health disorders. The same research found that many in the profession felt uneasy about seeking help due to fears of professional repercussions and reputational harm.
The ABA’s campaign establishes a seven-point framework that law firms and legal employers can take to reduce the possibility of mental health distress and substance abuse among lawyers. This framework includes increasing education for attorneys and staff, developing partnerships with outside resources, providing confidential access to addiction resources, and developing protocols and policies to support assessment and treatment of substance abuse and mental health problems.
Perkins Coie communicates openly with its lawyers on the mental health and addiction issues facing the industry and offers training programs and various health-related benefits, including an Employee Assistance Plan and leaves of absence to address behavioral health issues, among others. The firm has been widely recognized for its workplace environment and commitment to its attorneys and legal staff, including being named:
- One of the “30 Best Workplaces for Consulting & Professional Services” by FORTUNE magazine, 2017 – 2018
- One of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” for 16 consecutive years by FORTUNE magazine, 2003 – 2018
- One of the “Best Law Firms for Women” by Working Mother/Flex-Time Lawyers, 2008 – 2009, 2011 – 2017
- An Am Law 50 firm on The American Lawyer 100 list, 2018
Perkins Coie is a leading international law firm that is known for providing high value, strategic solutions and extraordinary client service on matters vital to our clients’ success. With more than 1,000 lawyers in offices across the United States and in Beijing, Shanghai and Taipei, we provide a full array of corporate, commercial litigation, intellectual property and regulatory legal advice to a broad range of clients, including many of the world’s most innovative companies and industry leaders as well as public and not-for-profit organizations.