CLE: Mental Health Concerns and Substance Abuse Affecting Virginia's Legal Community (Virginia Approved for 1 CLE Ethics Credit)

  • Monday, October 18, 2021
  • 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
  • Live Interactive Webcast
  • 81


  • Member is in good standing for current year, July 1, 2021 - June 30, 2022.
  • Attorney who is currently not a member of the Alexandria Bar Association.
  • CLE Course Sponsor

This seminar addresses the ethical considerations when dealing with a lawyer that suffers from a substance abuse problem or mental impairment. The program presents hypotheticals that help identify the applicable Rules of Professional Conduct. The program also will discuss the signs and symptoms of an impairment or conduct that points to a lawyer with substance abuse or mental health problems, and what actions the Rules of Professional Conduct require to address those situations. The program will also discuss the Virginia Lawyer Wellness Initiative.

James M. McCauley
Ethics Counsel 
Virginia State Bar

James M. McCauley is the Ethics Counsel for the Virginia State Bar. He serves as staff liaison to the Virginia State Bar’s Standing Committee on Legal Ethics and manages the staff in the Legal Ethics Department and the Legal Ethics Hotline. Mr. McCauley served on the faculty of the Virginia State Bar’s Mandatory Professionalism Course from 2004-2010. For 15 years Mr. McCauley taught Professional Responsibility at the T.C. Williams School of Law in Richmond, Virginia and served on the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Legal Ethics and Professionalism from 2008-2011.  In 2018, Mr. McCauley was elected “Leader of the Year” in the Virginia Lawyers Weekly “Leaders in the Law” awards program. He serves on the Planning Committee for the ABA’s Center for Professional Responsibility Annual Conference and the Lawyer Advertising Committee for the Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers.  Mr. McCauley is a Fellow of the Virginia Law Foundation and American Bar Foundation.  From 2014-2020, he served on the Board of Directors for the Virginia Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program (VJLAP), formerly Lawyers Helping Lawyers.

Jim Leffler MS LPC
Clinical Director
Virginia’s Judges and Lawyer’s Assistance Program

Jim Leffler is a Licensed Professional Counselor who joined Lawyers Helping Lawyers (now Virginia Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program).as the Mental Health Services Coordinator in January 2004. He assumed the role of Executive Director in December 2005. He relinquished the role of Executive Director to become Clinical in August 2015.Mr. Leffler has extensive experience in the field of chemical dependency and mental health. The staggering numbers of attorneys that commit suicide led to Mr. Leffler’s interest into this phenomenon. He became certified as a suicide prevention instructor in 2004 and has made numerous presentations on this subject to numerous Virginia Bar organizations in Virginia and nationally to three different sections of the American Bar Association.                                                                    

He started and managed outpatient programs for the Medical College of Virginia’s Department of Psychiatry, Charter Westbrook Hospital and St. John’s Hospital. He has supervised numerous individuals working towards licensure and certification as counselors in the state of Virginia. He also has consulted with various agencies in matters such as professional conduct of staff, privacy rights of clients, and the importance of accurate diagnosis to insure appropriate treatment.  Mr. Leffler has undergraduate and graduate degrees from Virginia Commonwealth University and has been licensed since 1990.

Office Location and Hours

Alexandria Courthouse
The Alexandria Bar Association
520 King Street, Room 202
Alexandria, VA 22314

Monday - Thursday: 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. by telephone 703-548-1106 or email at