Personal Lives

Lawyer's new consulting firm for addiction and mental-health help serves law firms exclusively

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Patrick Krill

Patrick Krill is the founder of Krill Strategies. (Photo provided by Krill.)

Patrick Krill, the attorney-counselor who led the most recent survey on lawyers and substance abuse, recently opened a consulting business that provides law firm partners and employees help on addiction and mental health issues.

Krill Strategies will work exclusively with law firms, he told Law.com (sub.req.). The consulting firm will educate management about alcohol and drug abuse, and also provide help with how they can create a supportive environment where lawyers can come for help before a situation gets out of control. Attorney-regulation agencies also offer assistance, but Krill says that many lawyers aren’t comfortable using them.

A former big firm associate who practiced in California, Krill until recently directed the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation’s Legal Professionals Program.

“I saw an opportunity to meet a significant need,” he told Law.com. “It became increasingly clear to me that there weren’t a lot of qualified specialized resources out there for the legal profession.”

Working with the ABA and Hazelden Betty Ford, Krill’s study released in February found that 20.6 percent of lawyers and judges surveyed self reported problematic alcohol use. And based on questions about alcohol consumption, 36.4 percent of respondents qualified as problem drinkers.

It also found that 28 percent of the attorneys surveyed experienced depression and 19 percent had anxiety. The percentages were higher than those in previous studies about lawyers and substance abuse, Krill told the ABA Journal in February, and it appears that alcohol use disorders and mental health problems occur at higher rates in the legal profession than other industries.

See also:

ABA Journal: “Young lawyers most at risk, substance abuse study says”

ABA Journal: “Substance abuse and mental health issues are a growing problem for the legal profession, say experts”

ABAJournal.com: How can attorneys get help without harming their careers? (podcast with transcript)

ABA Journal: “Lawyers who self-medicate to deal with stress sometimes steal from those they vowed to protect”

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