The CBA (BC) Benevolent Society and LAPBC

Right up the road is a helping hand


The CBA (BC) Benevolent Society and LAPBC

The CBA (BC) Benevolent Society

Lawyers are expected to help people through their difficulties. They are not expected to have difficulties of their own, or admit to having them, and thereby show any weakness.

 But lawyers are human and it is because of their humanity that they suffer, usually quietly, and alone.

Despite the mythology and the fancy education, lawyers often have nowhere to turn when a problem becomes a crisis. Fortune can turn very quickly – the progressive impact of alcohol, drugs, stress, or other unforeseeable health reversals can eliminate a lawyer’s means of survival.

The CBA (BC) Benevolent Society’s purpose is simple. We exist to respond discretely to a crisis in a lawyer’s or articled student’s life, and to provide emergency funding and a measure of dignity to the applicant and his or her family. We pass no judgment and offer no red tape. Our directors assess an applicant’s circumstances within one week and, if they fit the society’s mandate, financial support (benevolence) comes quickly.

The society’s money is raised annually through the various Battles of the Bar Bands occurring throughout the province. Lawyers and students in Kelowna, Victoria, Nanaimo and Vancouver all get their rock God on in support of their fallen colleagues. Rock and roll has some features similar to the practice of law. There are lofty highs, abysmal lows, and an always-demanding clientele. The fit is uncanny.

If you or someone in the profession needs help, we hope you will consider coming to us. Some of our profession’s finest men and women have needed help. You are not alone and there is no shame in being vulnerable.

Lawyers Assistance Program of BC

Practising law is a fabulous way to make a contribution to society and to make a good living doing it. It is also a profession fraught with potential problems. Research out of Johns Hopkins University found law to be the #1 profession for major clinical depression; it also has rates of alcohol abuse at more than double the general population. Many of our colleagues will fall prey to one of these debilitating diseases. The Lawyers Assistance Program (LAPBC) is here to help.

Law also has a tradition of lawyers helping one another. The LAPBC has grown from that tradition, as has the Benevolent Fund, with whom we often work in collaboration. We are available to offer a variety of support. We have trained lawyer/counsellors and we have many trained and empathetic volunteers around the province. Give us a call if you have a problem (or even think you might be about to have a problem) of any kind.

There are several ways to be involved with the LAP.

  1. Ask for assistance for yourself.
  2. Attend one of our “Healthy Living” Seminars or one of our ongoing support groups.
  3. Volunteer to help others.
  4. Call in and let us know if you observe another member who may be in distress.

Each call we receive is treated as confidential. We treat each communication as having solicitor/client confidentiality.

LAP also offers a wide variety of educational, informational and supportive programs across the province. We provide assistance to lawyers and their families, judges, students, and support staff. The LAP has become one of the most popular initiatives within the legal community. We are an independent, non-profit society. The Law Society has respected, in fact supported, the necessary independence of the LAPBC.

If you or someone you know is having a problem, please call us at 604-685-2171, toll free 1-888-685-2171 or visit our website at

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