About the LAT

In 2001, Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye and Chief Administrative Judge Jonathan Lippman announced the formation of the New York State Lawyer Assistance Trust, a permanent entity that brings statewide resources and awareness to the prevention and treatment of alcohol and substance abuse among lawyers, judges and law students.


Organized under the direction of a twenty-one member Board of Trustees appointed by the New York State Court of Appeals, the Lawyer Assistance Trust is responsible for promoting education and early intervention, funding local lawyer assistance programs, creating special educational programs designed specifically for law students, practicing lawyers and judges, and recommending modifications to existing court rules and procedures to facilitate early detection, intervention and referral. The legal profession, through a portion of the current biennial attorney registration fee, finances the Trust.


Creation of the LAT was the key recommendation of the Commission on Alcohol and Substance Abuse in the Profession (the "Bellacosa Commission"), which was formed by Chief Judge Kaye in 1999 to find ways to assist lawyers and judges with alcohol and substance abuse problems and protect the public trust from breaches by addicted members of the profession [Bellacosa Report].


Unique to the Trust is its Grant Program. Bar Associations, law schools, and lawyer assistance committees in New York State may apply for funding for such diverse purposes as educational materials; enhancing professionalism; treatment related expenses; and to support existing and new substance abuse prevention programs.


Hon. Vincent J. Reilly, Jr., Supreme Court Justice, 4th Judicial District, chairs the Trust. The board have met periodically in Albany and New York City; its offices were located at 54 State Street, Albany, NY 12207. Barbara F. Smith served as Executive Director. AS OF MAY 5, 2011, THE OFFICES ARE CLOSED.


PLEASE NOTE: The Lawyer Assistance Programs of the NYS Bar Association, the NYC Bar Association and the Nassau County Bar Association remain ACTIVE and in place. The 20+ Lawyer Helping Lawyer Committees sponsored by county bar associations also remain active and in place. See the Resources Tab for contact information.