TOPEKA—Topeka attorney Danielle Hall will become director of the Kansas Lawyers Assistance Program effective December 30.
The Kansas Lawyers Assistance Program helps lawyers seek treatment for physical or mental illness, substance abuse, or emotional distress. It was created in 2001 and operates under the direction of the Kansas Supreme Court.
Justice Eric Rosen, the Kansas Supreme Court's liaison to the Kansas Lawyers Assistance Program, said he looks forward to working with Hall when she assumes her duties next week.
"Danielle is enthusiastic about the program and the lawyers it serves," Rosen said. "Her ability to connect with people and her past experience make her a good fit to lead this program."
Hall, who currently serves as deputy disciplinary administrator and diversion coordinator in the Office of the Disciplinary Administrator, succeeds Lou Clothier, who resigned in October.
"Throughout my career, the positions I've held have focused on providing service to the bar," Hall said. "I recognized this opportunity would allow me to continue to serve lawyers and their families across the state."
During her time working in the Office of the Disciplinary Administrator, Hall served as diversion coordinator, which involved helping lawyers implement best practices and improve their law practice management skills to better serve their clients and prevent recurring misconduct.
“The very nature of the work lawyers do makes them vulnerable to stress, burnout, anxiety, and depression. We also know lawyers are at a heightened risk for substance abuse," Hall said. "I understand the issues lawyers face. I am glad to be a resource to the profession through the Kansas Lawyers Assistance Program, and I look forward to growing the services we provide.”
Before working for the Office of the Disciplinary Administrator, Hall worked for the Kansas Bar Association as law practices services director and practice management advisor in the association's Law Practice Management Assistance Program. She also served in several roles at Washburn University School of Law, including trial advocacy coach, undergraduate mock trial program director and coach, and adjunct professor.
Hall has a bachelor of arts degree in political science from Washburn University, and a law degree from Washburn University School of Law. She serves as chair for the Topeka Bar Association technology committee, co-chair of the Kansas Women Attorneys Association minority women in the profession committee, and a member of the Kansas Bar Association law practice management committee. She also serves on the Kansas Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being.
About the Kansas Lawyers Assistance Program
The legal profession is considered one of the more stressful occupations, and statistics show attorneys are two to three times more likely to exhibit anxiety, suffer from depression, or become addicted to alcohol or drugs than the general population.
The Kansas Lawyers Assistance Program provides many services designed to fit the needs of lawyers and bar associations, including:
- referrals for assessments, evaluations, therapy, or treatment;
- short-term counseling sessions with a licensed counselor;
- peer mentoring and support, modified interventions, and resiliency groups;
- help with diversion and probation plans required by the disciplinary administrator or with monitoring contracts required by the Supreme Court's attorney admissions office;
- guidance in closing a law office; and
- legal education programs for local and specialty bar associations or law firms.
The program's services are confidential and free. Funding comes from annual registration fees attorneys pay to practice law in Kansas.
The Supreme Court appoints 11 lawyers to serve on the Kansas Lawyers Assistance Board. The board recommends candidates for appointment to the board and makes reports to the Supreme Court.
The heart of the program is a statewide network of more than 130 peer volunteers who help lawyers in need; many are in recovery themselves.
State of Kansas
Office of Judicial Administration
Kansas Judicial Center
301 SW 10th Avenue
Topeka, KS 66612-1507