Skip to Main Content

Lawyer Wellness: Working With a Diagnosis in Law School

Depression, anxiety, and substance abuse are common in both the legal profession and in law school. The goal of this guide is to provide resources to cope with or reduce stress and tensions weighing on law students.

Working with a Diagnosis in Law School

Mental health issues like addiction, depression, and anxiety are more prevalent among lawyers than among the general population, but these diagnoses are manageable. Engaging in self-care activities, taking steps to decrease feelings of social isolation, and reaching out for help are all excellent tools for building and maintaining a healthy and functional orientation to the world. Many lawyers have dealt and are dealing with with these issues, and some of their experiences are shared below, along with organizations to reach out to for help when needed. National, regional, and Howard University-specific resources are included.

Table of Contents: Working with a Diagnosis in Law School


Image by Tanaya Sharma


Crisis Resources

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: call 1-800-273-8255
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233
  • DC Safe (Domestic Violence Crisis Intervention): call 1-844-443-5732
  • University Counseling Services’ Emergency ResourcesFind resources for a number of mental health services. For the UCS after-hours and emergency line, call 202-345-6709.
  • University Counseling Services’ Local HotlinesThis is an extensive list of D.C.-area, Maryland and Virginia hotlines to expand your search.


  • Lawyers With Depression: This website offers testimonies and resources for lawyers with depression. Includes links to news articles, blog posts, and a podcast.


  • Cocaine Anonymous: The DC, Maryland, and Northern Virginia website for Cocaine Anonymous. Links to meeting lists and other resources. For the CA helpline, call (202) 368-0476 or (301)-368-9202.
  • Voices of Recovery Podcast Series - "The ABA Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs has produced a new podcast series about overcoming substance use disorders, mental health issues and addiction. The lawyers featured in this series have all agreed to tell their story in the hope that it will reduce the stigma surrounding these issues and encourage others to get the help they need."
  • Brian Cuban blog: This blog by Brian Cuban, author of The Addicted Lawyer, features experience with alcoholism and addiction while practicing law.
  • Drug Rehab Centers in Washington, D.C.: Select accredited treatment centers in Washington, D.C. Find all recovery options in nearby cities and sort by detox, inpatient, outpatient, aftercare, payment type, amenities and more.

If you're interested in learning more, our Continuity of Library Services guide contain sections on (1) coping with stress, (2) prioritizing self-care, and (3) adjusting to change.

© Howard University School of Law Library.  Questions about this guide should be directed to