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Columbia Business Monthly

Nexsen Pruet Joins ABA Well-Being Pledge & Campaign

Dec 21, 2018 02:03PM ● By Kathleen Maris

Nexsen Pruet, one of the Carolinas’ largest law firms, announces that the firm has committed to the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Well-Being Pledge & Campaign, targeting substance-use disorders and mental health issues among lawyers.

According to the association, the ABA Well-Being Pledge & Campaign, organized by the ABA Working Group to Advance Well-Being in the Legal Profession, is designed to support lawyer well-being and address the profession’s troubling rates of alcohol and other substance-use disorders, as well as mental health issues. 

recent study conducted by the ABA and the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation documented that lawyers struggle with substance abuse and mental health problems at levels substantially above both the general population and other highly educated professionals. In light of this troubling industry trend, Nexsen Pruet will emphasize health and well-being as a strategic priority.

In committing to the ABA Well-Being Campaign, Nexsen Pruet will:

1.    Provide enhanced and robust education to attorneys and staff on well-being, mental health, and substance use disorders.

2.    Reduce the expectation of alcohol at firm events by seeking creative alternatives and ensuring that non-alcoholic alternatives are always available.

3.    Partner with outside providers who are committed to reducing substance use disorders and mental health distress in the profession.

4.    Provide confidential access to addiction and mental health experts and resources, including free, in-house, self-assessment tools.

5.    Develop proactive policies and protocols to support assessment and treatment of substance use and mental health problems, including a defined back-to-work policy following treatment.

6.    Show that the firm’s core values include taking care of yourself and getting help when needed by regularly and actively supporting programs to improve physical, mental, and emotional well-being.

7.    Use this pledge, and the firm’s commitment to these principles, to attract and retain the best lawyers and staff.

“We are grateful to the ABA for working to end the stigma surrounding substance abuse and mental health in the legal industry,” said Leighton Lord, chairman of the board of Nexsen Pruet. “For too long, our friends and colleagues have tried to handle these issues on their own. As a firm, we want our attorneys and staff to know we prioritize their well-being and will foster a professional environment that offers support and encourages well-being.”

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