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Mental Health, Competence, Substance Abuse and Addiction in the Legal Profession: A Focus on Gender Distinctions

Program Number: 2726 Presenter: Joan Bibelhausen, JD

Studies show that lawyers are at greater risk for alcohol use disorders, depression, other mental illness and stress than members of other professions or the general population. Women and men attorneys differ in the ways and reasons that these problems develop, their symptoms, their willingness to get help and the types of treatment that are most effective. Stigma is a particular issue for women. Learn about these gender differences and how to recognize problems, reach out to offer help and the resources that are available for men and women in the legal profession.

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Positive Steps to Increase Gender Diversity and Eliminate Bias in the Legal Profession

Program Number: 2721 Presenter: Alton (Al) B. Harris, Esq., Andrea S. Kramer, Esq.

In this lively and thought-provoking program, Andrea S. Kramer and Alton B. Harris discuss how implicit gender bias can prevent legal organizations (such as corporate legal departments and law firms) from achieving their desired diversity goals and surprisingly, their economic goals. Using the ABA's Professional Responsibility Model Rule 8.4(g) and state bar professional responsibility rules as a skeletal structure, the presenters discuss how gender stereotypes and implicit biases hold legal organizations back from achieving necessary gender diversity and inclusion, and reduce career opportunities and advancement progress for women attorneys. They also focus on how people can avoid or overcome the discriminatory negative effects of gender bias, such as in the career-sensitive decisions (hiring, assignments, evaluations, compensation, and promotion policies) that are most often affected by implicit biases. Finally, they provide: (1) tips and an action plan for addressing implicit biases in corporate legal departments and law firms that can be used

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Overcoming and Eliminating Age Bias against both Younger and Older Lawyers, with a Discussion of ABA Model Rule 8.4(g)

Program Number: 2647 Presenter: Alton (Al) B. Harris, Esq., Andrea S. Kramer, Esq.

Join Andrea S. Kramer, partner in McDermott Will & Emery LLP, and Alton B. Harris, partner in Nixon Peabody LLP, for this important program about age bias in the legal profession. When lawyers understand the stereotypes surrounding younger lawyers (Millennial generation) and older lawyers (particularly women over 45), and the biases that result from these stereotypes, they are in a position to effectively combat age discrimination in their own legal organizations and improve generational harmony in the legal profession generally. In this program, our presenters address the new ABA Model Rule 8.4(g) expanded definition of “professional misconduct.” They provide lawyers with advice and techniques they can use to avoid or overcome the bias they may face as they enter the profession and as they grow older. Attendees will also get information and insights they can use to recognize the often subtle and unconscious biases that exist in the profession against both younger

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What Men and Legal Organizations Can Do to End Discriminatory Biases against Women Attorneys

Program Number: 2625 Presenter: Alton (Al) B. Harris, Esq.

Join Alton B. Harris, partner in Nixon Peabody LLP, for this important program about combatting gender discrimination and increasing gender diversity in the legal profession. Mr. Harris first identifies the subtle and generally unconscious gender stereotypes that are pervasive throughout the legal profession and the biases they foster against women lawyers. He then presents a series of practical, effective steps men and the legal organizations they manage can take to combat these biases and remove the obstacles they create for women to advance in their legal careers on a basis comparable to men. Note: Mr. Harris and Ms. Kramer are co-authors of the book, Breaking Through Bias: Communication Techniques for Women to Succeed at Work, available at:

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