VJLAP is excited to announce VOLUNTEER TRAINING is planned for Friday, July 26!
If you are currently volunteering or would like to volunteer for VJLAP, please join us for a day of learning. Lunch will be provided.
🗓️ Date: Friday, July 26
🕒 Time: 9:45AM – 3:30PM
📍 Location: 4801 Cox Road, Suite 108, Glen Allen, VA
PLEASE KINDLY RSVP on or before July 12 by sending an email to: bmardigian@vjlap.org
SAVE THE DATE and plan to join VJLAP for the 20th Annual Fall Retreat in Winchester, VA on September 21-22 at The George Washington. It’s going to be a weekend filled with incredible programming, comradery, rejuvenation, and fun. Don’t miss out – mark your calendars now! Registration link will be posted soon and more details to follow!


We Help Students

We Help Students

Law school is hard. Classes are extremely competitive, and they force you to relentlessly compare yourself to others. We understand you may feel inadequate at times. The scrutiny law students must endure causes high levels of stress. This stress can turn into burnout, anxiety, depression, grief, anger, or all the above.

Mental Health

Mental health is our emotional, psychological and social well-being that affects how we think, feel and act. Mental health determines how we handle stress, relate to others and make choices.

As a law student, you may develop mental health problems due to the stress that comes with being top of your class, standing out and passing the State Bar.

Some common mental health problems include:

Anger Management

Anger management is the inability to express anger in a healthy way. Chronic, explosive anger has serious consequences for your relationships, your health and your state of mind. Anger oftentimes masks other feelings, such as insecurity and vulnerability. As a law student, getting constructive feedback or a bad grade may have you feeling insecure more often than not.


People with anxiety disorders experience constant, intrusive and unrelenting worry that dominates their thoughts and perceptions. This level of anxiety can interfere with daily responsibilities, job performance and relationships.

As a law student, you may have anxiety finding the time to finish all your assignments and studying for tests all while trying to maintain your personal life.

Depression & Suicide

We all feel sad from time to time, but clinical depression is an illness that greatly impacts one’s quality of life.

Law school is competitive. You may feel alone and that you can’t trust anyone. Finding friends may be extremely difficult. All of these factors may lead you to feel sad and alone, eventually leading to depression. If depression progresses far enough, you may have suicidal thoughts or event attempt to take your own life to escape the emptiness you feel.

Stress & Burnout

Burnout is a state of emotional, mental and physical exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress and anxiety. Burnout occurs when one feels overwhelmed and unable to meet constant demands.

As stress heightens for you as a law student from dealing with meeting deadlines, writing and citing papers, working on group projects and being competitive, you may lose focus of your hobbies and interests outside the classroom, eventually losing all motivation that led you to want to go to law school in the first place.


Addiction is a complex disease affecting the functioning of the brain and body. Studies suggest people diagnosed with mood or anxiety disorders are about twice as likely as the general population to also suffer from a substance use disorder.

Process Addictions

When we think of addiction, we usually think of drugs and alcohol. However, it also refers to compulsive behaviors like gambling, sex, eating and spending money. A process addiction follows a destructive path. When left untreated, it will impact a law student’s ability to study, take tests, function in group settings and complete assignments. Process addictions are often coupled with mental health issues such as anxiety.

Substance Abuse/Addiction

Drug or alcohol abuse is defined by having two or three symptoms of addiction. Many people experience alcohol or drug abuse problems but are able to stop using or change their patterns without progressing to addiction. The most severe form of substance abuse is addiction: a physical, chronic disease that typically requires long-term treatment. Types of addiction include: Nicotine, alcohol, illegal drugs and prescription drugs.

To mask the feelings of stress, anxiety and depression you feel as a law student, you may turn to drugs and alcohol. If left untreated, drug and alcohol addiction can have catastrophic effects not only for you but your loved ones as well.


Wellness is an active process of becoming aware of and making choices toward a healthy and fulfilling life. It is more than being free from illness; it is a dynamic process of change and growth.

Grief & Loss

Grief is a natural response to loss. Grief can also be a normal response to change because change in life brings loss in some form, whether big or small. Grief usually throws us off balance and into chaos. Unfortunately, law school does not stop to allow us adequate time to grieve. We have to continue with classes while simultaneously grieving. The good news is that you are not alone. Everyone suffers loss. Grief counseling can help.

Self Test

Below is a self test to help determine if you are suffering from any of the above mentioned afflictions. If you answer yes to any of these symptoms, we can help you regain control.

Stress & Anxiety

Have you suffered with two or more continuous weeks of:

  1. Feeling anxious, frustrated, and/or irritable?
  2. Feeling on edge?
  3. Feeling overwhelmed?
  4. Difficulty sleeping?
  5. Fatigue, headaches, and/or muscle aches?
  6. Lowered productivity and/or performance?
  7. Catastrophic thinking?


Have you suffered with two or more continuous weeks of:

  1. Feeling sad, lonely, despair, and/or hopeless?
  2. Experiencing over/under reaction to events?
  3. Having problems concentrating/remembering?
  4. Experiencing difficulty in making decisions?
  5. Changes in appetite and/or weight?
  6. Experiencing insomnia and/or wanting to sleep all the time?
  7. Experiencing the loss of enjoyment from activities you once enjoyed?
  8. Feeling unmotivated, apathetic, and/or bored?

Alcohol & Drugs

  1. Have you ever felt you should cut down on your drinking and/or drug use?
  2. Have people annoyed you by criticizing your drinking and/or drug use?
  3. Have you ever felt guilty about your drinking and/or drug use?
  4. Have you ever had a drink or other drug to steady your nerves and/or to get rid of a hangover?
  5. Have you ever broken a promise to reduce your drinking and/or drug use or to quit altogether?
  6. Has drinking and/or the use of other drugs interfered with your work, relationships, and/or other commitments?
  7. Have you ever lied to cover up your drinking and/or drug use?
  8. Are you drinking and/or using drugs during the work day?
  9. Are you coming to work after a long night of drinking and/or using drugs and counting the hours until the end of the work day to have a drink and/or use drugs again?

Problem Gambling

  1. Have you ever had trouble sleeping because of gambling?
  2. Are you reluctant to use “gambling” money to pay bills?
  3. Do you ever gamble longer and/or spend more money than planned?
  4. Have you had to sell things to finance your gambling?
  5. After a win, do you have a strong urge to return and win some more?
  6. Has gambling adversely affected your relationships, reputation, and/or career?
  7. Do you ever gamble to get money to pay debts?
  8. Do arguments, frustrations, and/or disappointments create an urge to gamble?
  9. Have you ever borrowed client’s monies to cover your gambling debt or to finance your gambling?

How We Can Help

Because of the competitive nature of law school, you may feel that you have no one to talk to about what you’re going through.

You do not have to face this alone. Many students feel the way you do and have tried coping by using alcohol, prescription medications or other drugs. We are here for you, and we can help you.

Find Out How We Help

Need Help?
(or know someone who does?)
Call Our 24-Hour Confidential Help Line
Refer a Colleague:
Contact Us