Tennessee Lawyers Assistance Program Ready to Assist Attorneys In Need

March 23, 2020

The Tennessee Lawyers Assistance Program (TLAP) is open and ready to assist attorneys who may be facing extra stress and pressure because of the coronavirus outbreak and related closures. TLAP is a free, confidential assistance program providing consultation, referral, intervention, and crisis counseling for lawyers, judges, bar applicants and law students who are struggling with substance abuse, stress, or emotional health issues. Judges, attorneys, and others in the legal profession may also refer colleagues to the program.

“To all of our legal family, we at TLAP want to let you know that we are up and running during this difficult time of COVID-19 and understand the many complications that have arisen in the legal community,” said Judge Michael Spitzer, TLAP Commission Chair. “Yet, we are confident that this too shall pass, and it will not only make us all stronger, it will help you, as lawyers and Judges, find new ways to serve the public.”

In addition to statewide and local directives calling for social distancing, the Tennessee Supreme Court issued an Order Suspending In-Person Legal Proceedings March 13, which called for judges and lawyers to use innovative strategies to conduct necessary business.

“From this, you will find new ways to conduct your businesses in this changing world. We want you to know that we care about each of you, and as you love and reach out to others, we love beside you; as you hurt, we hurt with you; and as you seek stability in these times, we strive to provide hope and vision if you find yourself or another in need,” Judge Spitzer said. “We at TLAP reach out to each of you, from the Chief Justice to the 1L student and everyone in between in the legal community, and we are confident that you are survivors and will rise to the top in each of your communities. However, always know that we are available to you and anyone you feel might need assistance. Please feel free to call or email us, and remember our services are free, confidential and anonymous. We help with difficult concerns in difficult times, and we look forward to hearing from you as we navigate the weeks and months ahead as a community.”

TLAP can be reached by phone or email — Toll Free: (877) 424-8527 Local: (615) 741-3238; Emily Lacey, CRS, Program Manager emily.lacey@tncourts.gov; Kim Williams, CRS, Head of Office Operation kim.williams@tncourts.gov; Lindsey O’Connell, LMSW, Mental Health Clinician lindsey.oconnell@tncourts.gov; and Vanessa Reinarz, LPC-MHSP, MMFT, ACTII, Mental Health Clinician vanessa.reinarz@tncourts.gov

The Tennessee Lawyers Assistance Program was established by order of the Tennessee Supreme Court in 1999. The mission and general structure of TLAP are set forth in Rule 33 of the Tennessee Supreme Court Rules. For more information, please visit: www.tlap.org