The Other Bar is a network of recovering lawyers, law students and judges throughout the state, dedicated to assisting others within the legal profession who are suffering from alcohol and substance abuse problems. We are a private, non-profit corporation. Our organization is founded on the principle of anonymity and provides services in strict confidentiality. The program is voluntary and open to all California lawyers, judges and law students.
Our network of “lawyers helping lawyers” comprises over 30 peer support meetings throughout the state, most of which meet every week. This network serves more than 600 lawyers each year who support each other in recovery and assist others in becoming and staying clean and/or sober. The Other Bar is not a 12 step program, although many meetings follow the 12 step model. Individual meeting formats are decided at the local level. For many, however, The Other Bar serves as a bridge to the larger community of recovery options. All recovering lawyers, judges, and law students are welcomed regardless of their recovery model: 12-steps, medical, therapeutic, religious, secular, etc. The Other Bar also provides MCLE programs, both online and live, focused on recovery. Through its Shot of Sobriety Loan Program, it assists with the costs associated with hospitalization and residential treatment for attorneys and judges who need it. Finally, it provides two retreats in the fall, one for men and one for women members, and a statewide Networking Conference each spring, where lawyers, judges, law students and their families come together to share their experience, strength and hope. Scholarships to the Retreats and Networking are available through the Judge William Beard Memorial Fund, based upon the need for financial assistance.
The Other Bar is completely unrelated to the discipline system of the State Bar of California. In fact, many Other Bar participants have had no disciplinary problems at all. And unlike the State Bar Lawyer Assistance Program, the Other Bar has no dues or fees for participation and serves a community of lawyers, judges, law students and others in the legal community at various stages of recovery, and it is the only network that focuses on continuing recovery — for life. The Other Bar differs from traditional AA or NA in that it is the only forum where lawyers can openly work on problems and pressures directly related to the practice of law. Lawyers can be assured of complete confidentiality and the mentorship of others with decades of experience with the same challenges.
If you, or someone you know, is suffering from alcoholism or chemical dependency, please call our 800 number (1-800-222-0767) and speak with one of our professional consultants who can immediately respond to an individuals concerns with hands-on help with recovery and referrals. Our consultants, David Mann (Northern California) and Greg Dorst (Southern California) can provide confidential assistance; both have personal knowledge of what it means to be an attorney in need of help with alcoholism and/or drug addiction. They can assist an attorney, judge or law student with recovery services and most certainly, a ride to their first meeting of The Other Bar. There is help, so call today.