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15 Law & Psychol. Rev. 117 (1991)
Alcoholism in the Legal Profession: Psychological and Legal Perspectives and Interventions

handle is hein.journals/lpsyr15 and id is 121 raw text is: ALCOHOLISM IN THE LEGAL PROFESSION: PSYCHOLOGICAL AND
Eric Drogin *
In recent years, the disease of alcoholism has been investi-
gated in detail. Although attorneys, as members of a professional
class charged with upholding society's standards, are insulated
from many of its ills, alcoholism recognizes no socioeconomic
boundaries. This fact does not mean that the cure and prevention
of alcoholism can be undertaken without regard for the surround-
ing environments of various target populations; rather, in attempt-
ing to curb the disease among attorneys, it is necessary to consider
the specific environment of legal practice and the ways in which
healers and other attorneys have attempted to forestall the ravages
of alcohol in the past.
This article will discuss the psychological environment in
which attorneys practice, the effect this environment has upon at-
torneys, and current attempts to modify the legal environment to
alleviate the stressors which contribute to alcoholic symptoma-
tology. Following will be a description of the nature of alcoholism
among legal professionals, and the attempts which have been made
to curb the spread of the disease, not only on the part of mental
health professionals and bar associations, but also by state courts,
as they have rendered decisions and applied sanctions in discipli-
nary cases involving alcohol abuse by attorneys. Finally, this arti-
cle will suggest ways in which legal and mental health professionals
might best combine this information, in order to provide a compre-
hensive model for preventing as well as treating alcoholism.
Observers have noted certain trends in the contemporary legal
environment which are increasing the psychological toll taken by
an already demanding and emotionally-charged occupation. One
trend is a serious decline in the professionalism of American law-
* J.D., Villanova University, 1990; Ph.D. candidate, Hahnemann University,
1991; B.A., University of New Hampshire, 1983.
The author wishes to acknowledge the instruction, contribution, and encour-
agement of Professor Doris Brogan of Villanova University School of Law.

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