Important information regarding character & fitness

Important information regarding character & fitness

Postby Student Services » Wed Mar 12, 2014 5:53 pm

During your first year Legal Profession course, we the finding that lawyers and law students have higher rates of depression and alcoholism than the general population. The Lawyers Helping Lawyers program presented their stories and offered assistance.

As you graduate and apply for bar admission, sound mental health will continue to be important. For example, the New York State Bar application was revised recently to include new questions about applicants’ mental health. (Please see pages 12 and 13 of the full admission application - Also attached is a brochure on the Character and Fitness process.
The New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) Lawyer Assistance Program can assist applicants prepare to answer these questions. You should know they are here to help if you need to answer “yes” to any of these four questions. I am available to help you too.

The sooner you seek help for depression, drug or alcohol issues the better. There are many resources available to you. Information is available on the Law School web site under “current students” and “dealing with law school stress.”

You have the UB Counseling Center available - 120 Richmond Quad, Ellicott Complex, North Campus, 716-645-2720

• Monday, Tuesday & Friday: 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.
• Wednesday & Thursday: 8:30 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Same day appointments during business hours, for student in severe distress. Intake appointments may be arranged by phone for all others. Outside business hours, you may call Campus Police (645-2222) and ask for the Counselor on Call. The Counselor will call you back.

Law student support group for law students with depression and experiencing extreme stress meet on Friday mornings at 8 am in the Jury Room of the Letro Courtroom. Enter across from room 112. It is led by an attorney from the community as an outreach from the Bar Association’s Lawyers with Depression group. Coffee and bagels are provided.

Below are websites that will provide information and resources to your students. It is our goal to prevent law students from falling victim to these serious diseases.

The NYSBA Lawyer Assistance Program (LAP) - is a free, confidential program that helps lawyers, judges and law students who are suffering from mental health problems such as depression, risky drinking, substance abuse and anxiety. They provide free initial consultations and other resources. Their phone number is 1-800-255-0569.

Lawyers with Depression web site -
section on law school depression -

Bar Association of Erie County Lawyers Helping Lawyers site-

Law Lifeline -
A project of the Jed Foundation & Dave Nee Foundation to fight depression and prevent suicide. It is billed as a “new mental health resource specifically for law students.” I was able to tailor the information for SUNY Buffalo with our resources. The site has a lot of good information and resources.
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University at Buffalo School of Law
Student Services Office
314 O'Brian Hall
Buffalo, NY 14260

Tel.: (716) 645-6223
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