Working Group on Attorney Mental Health
On behalf of the New York State Bar Association’s (NYSBA) Working Group of Attorney Mental Health, Lauren recently presented a report to NYSBA’s House of Delegates addressing the legality, efficacy and morality of screening New York State Bar applicants for mental disabilities.
The Working Group is comprised of representatives from the Young Lawyers Section, the Committee on Disability Rights, the Lawyer Assistance Committee, and the Committee on Legal Education and Admission to the Bar.
After thoroughly researching the issue, the Working Group found that questions related to mental health on the Bar application should be eliminated. The Working Group recognizes the importance of focusing on a Bar candidate’s behavior and conduct to evaluate fitness to practice law and expects that to continue to be the focus of determining an applicant’s fitness to practice law.
Legislation was introduced to strike questions about mental health history for NY Bar applicants after the report was adopted by the NYSBA House of Delegates. You can read more about it here and here.