The LAP Foundation of NC, Inc. is an independent, free-standing 501(c)(3) organization that exists solely to support NC LAP in its work with lawyers and judges who have drug or alcohol problems or mental health issues. The Foundation’s mission is to provide financial assistance to lawyers and judges who are actively working with NC LAP and who meet financial eligibility guidelines and are unable to afford the level of treatment necessary for their full recovery. If you are a lawyer or judge in need of assistance, please visit nclap.org for more information on how NC LAP can confidentially assist you.
“‘May I not die while I am still alive.’ This simple prayer was lost on me in 2012, for I was dead in spirit and drowning in alcohol. My life was in shambles. My practice had dropped off, creating constant worry about how to pay the bills. I saw no way out of my circumstances. I spent my days drinking, lying in bed, listening to NPR. Chronic despair made me wish I were dead. I had given up.
When LAP intervened and told me I needed to go into treatment, I was shocked, humiliated, and terrified. I was panicked about cost, but the LAP Foundation gave me a loan on extremely reasonable payment terms. That loan allowed me to get the help I needed without the added anxiety about finances. I am so grateful. My life is now full and alcohol-free and my practice is thriving.
Now my first prayer upon rising is, ‘Thank you.'”
“Depression had consumed my life. The only way I could hide the hurt and pain was by using drugs. I saw no way out and didn’t care whether I lived or died. I was financially, emotionally, physically and spiritually bankrupt. Consequently, in 2018, I found myself unemployed without any insurance. The LAP Foundation of NC provided me a loan so that I could get the treatment and counseling that I desperately needed. My life has been transformed. LAP and that loan from the LAP Foundation saved my life. Becoming employed again during COVID has been a challenge, and the Foundation graciously extended my repayment deadline. Today, an attitude of gratitude is what consumes my life. I was so happy to be able to recently repay my loan in full. If it wasn’t for my family, friends, my support network, LAP, and the LAP Foundation of NC, I would not be here today.”
“NC LAP and the LAP Foundation stood up for me when I could not stand on my own. I had survived my entire life with the mistaken idea that seeking help was an indication of weakness. I was knocked down. I was afraid, and I was angry. I was facing the potential loss of my career and inability to provide for my family along with the realization that I could not fix the situation. Though I did not believe in mental health treatment, counseling, or support groups, I did all three. Miraculously, they all helped. I had no reliable income, and the LAP Foundation supported my recovery by loaning me money to obtain the services I needed. I am back to practicing law full-time and I could not be more grateful.”
“When I was totally broke (financially, spiritually, emotionally…) and was willing and wanting to go to a residential treatment center for substance abuse treatment, I was unable. I had no insurance, no real savings, tapped out credit and no one that I could confidentially ask for money to finance the treatment. LAP discreetly found me a bed at a residential program and the Foundation loaned me the necessary money to reserve that bed. It saved my life, my career and my dignity. That was all in 2013, and I would not have been able to achieve sobriety without that loan.”
“After 25 years of child abuse and neglect cases, I was incapacitated by depression. I had stopped sending in fee aps for court-appointed work and stopped billing private clients. It took what little energy I had to show up in court. I broke down in court one day. I could not go on. LAP was a God send. But I had no money, no health insurance, and my house was in foreclosure. I could not afford medication or counseling. The LAP Foundation paid for my medication and counseling until I was stable enough to work and bill again. I cannot imagine where I’d be today without the help I received. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
How many lawyers has the foundation assisted each year?
– The foundation historically assisted an average of 2-4 lawyers each year. From 2007 to 2015, the foundation assisted 31 lawyers with grants and loans totaling $92,000. Update as of October 2020: Due to the success of the 2015-2016 Major Gifts Campaign, the LAP Foundation of NC has approved $108,406 in loans and grants for in-patient treatment, out-patient treatment, counseling, and medication for 28 lawyers and judges who could not afford the care they needed.
How many lawyers need financial assistance to receive the level of appropriate treatment?
– The NC LAP encounters 12-18 lawyers each year who qualify for financial support. At any given time the NC LAP probably has about 20 clients who qualify for financial assistance. They may not opt to take assistance, but they qualify.
How does a lawyer or judge qualify for financial support?
– The eligibility guidelines require that a lawyer or judge meet slightly modified federal poverty guidelines to qualify for financial assistance from the foundation. There can be no 401K or IRA resources in the background. And those that qualify are unable to rely fully on family support or assistance to cover the necessary costs.
How are funds utilized?
– About half of the funds are used in a revolving loan program, with monies repaid by lawyers and judges over time. About half of the funds are given as grants for short term emergency care (such as crisis stabilization, medication and counseling, or short term treatment).
How are the funds distributed?
– Funds are provided directly to the treatment facility, counselor, pharmacy or medical provider. No funds are ever given to a lawyer or judge directly.
How much is a typical grant or loan?
– Grants typically range from $1,000 to $3,000 and loans typically range from $3,000 to $5,000.
How much does treatment typically cost?
– $35,000 to $45,000 is the average cost for a 90-day treatment in-patient program (which is the level of care many clients need).
– $5,000 to $8,000 is the average cost for a year of weekly counseling (a cost which does not include medication costs).
How do these loans or grants help when they only cover a fraction of the total cost of care?
– NC LAP staff are adept at finding and leveraging resources when and where available. Some treatment centers have scholarships to match a foundation loan. Some counselors are willing to provide services on a sliding scale. Sometimes family members can be persuaded to contribute to treatment costs. Each situation is different, and NC LAP staff do the best they can to work with the limited resources available.
What is the success rate?
– From 2007 to 2015 the success rate was 67%. That is an incredibly high success rate, one that is unheard of in the general treatment arena. Part of the reason for the high success rate is the support mechanisms and accountability NC LAP provides – tools and mechanisms that are not available to the general public. These lawyers and judges who were on a dangerous precipice have turned their lives around and are thriving five and ten years after they received financial assistance from the Foundation. As of 2015, the foundation has assisted 31 lawyers, of which 21 are thriving (depending upon the issue encountered, they are either sober, mentally stable, or no longer suicidal). Of the 10 remaining, NC LAP has lost contact with 3 and treatment was unsuccessful for 7.