Who is JLAP?
It is estimated that ten to twenty per cent of Arkansas’ attorneys and judges suffer from addiction or mental illness.
The Arkansas Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program, JLAP, created by the Arkansas Supreme Court in 2000, provides mental health and substance abuse services to Arkansas’ judges, lawyers, and their family members.
JLAP can help address problems before they jeopardize a lawyer’s practice, a judge’s career, or a family member’s health. We understand that addiction and behavioral problems reach far beyond the workplace; thus we strive to provide assistance before and ethical violations, malpractice claims, disciplinary actions arise or family and personal relations are put at risk.
The Mission of JLAP
- To protect the interests of clients, litigants, and the general public from harm caused by impaired lawyers or judges;
- To assist impaired members of the legal profession to begin and continue recovery; and
- To educate the bench and the bar to the causes of and remedies for impairments affecting members of the legal profession.
Members of the JLAP Committee are appointed by the Supreme Court of Arkansas.
Contact the Chairman
Mike Moore Chair
Melanie Conway, MD
Hon. Melinda French
Hon. Ann Hudson
Prof. Cynthia Nance
Jonathan Q. Warren
Vince Ward, Chair
Hon. Annabelle Imber-Tuck
Research has found legal professionals have unique personal characteristics that need to be challenged to promote healthy change. The Supreme Court of Arkansas and the JLAP Committee are committed to providing quality staff to meet the needs of firms, judges, lawyers, and their family members seeking assistance.
Sarah Cearley, PhD, LCSW
Dr. Cearley oversees all aspects of services JLAP provides. Dr. Cearley held the position of Director of Client Services from 2006 – 2008 prior to the JLAP Committee selected her as Executive Director in January 2009. She holds a PhD in Social Work and practices in Arkansas as a licensed certified social worker. Dr. Cearley came to JLAP from a faculty position at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock School of Social Work. In addition to her academic and clinical background, she brings a three-generation familial understanding of life’s issues for lawyers.
Laura Laser, LCSW
Laura joined JLAP in October 2011 and is already an integral part of the program. She earned her MSW degree from UALR and has been a clinical social worker for over 15 years. Laura has family connections to the Arkansas legal community and from those relationships has a deep sense of our clients that leads to an understanding of their issues and recognition of their needs.