How many lawyers has the foundation assisted each year?
The LAP Foundation assists an average of 4-6 lawyers each year. Update as of October 2023: since 2012, the LAP Foundation of NC has approved $132,000 in loans and grants for in-patient treatment, out-patient treatment, counseling, and medication for 40 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. They may not opt to take assistance, but they qualify.
How does a lawyer or judge qualify for financial support?
The financial eligibility guidelines require that a lawyer or judge be substantially without resources or access to resources to cover the expense in question and have less than $3,500 in nonexempt assets ($5,000 in case of married person) and income equal to or less than the calculated living wage for the county in North Carolina in which they reside. For purposes of calculating living wage, the Foundation Board approved the living wage calculator developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. That tool can be found at https://livingwage.mit.edu/states/37/locations. There can be no savings, 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 $2,000 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.