Getting to Well: The Professional Imperative for Lawyer Well-Being – D01

The President’s Track
Presented by the Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being

Session D: 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.


About the Program

In August 2017, the National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being issued The Path to Lawyer Well-Being: Practical Recommendations for Positive Change, which outlines more than 40 steps that lawyers and leaders across the profession can take to support a commitment to holistic wellness for attorneys. Our panel will review key aspects of the report, and provide personal insight, context, and suggestions for moving forward under the new framework. 

You Will Learn

  • About the findings of the ABA National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being  
  • The imperative for lawyer well-being 
  • Strategies to reduce the stigma of talking about mental health and addiction challenges 
  • Strategies for moving the conversation of well-being forward 


Traci Cipriano, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven

Traci Cipriano, JD, PhD is a licensed clinical psychologist and a licensed non-practicing attorney.  She obtained her doctoral and law degrees from the University of Connecticut.  She is licensed to practice psychology in Connecticut.  Her bar admissions include Connecticut (inactive), New York (retired), and the United States District Court, District of Connecticut.  During law school, she was an associate editor of the Connecticut Journal of International Law.  Dr. Cipriano’s private practice focuses on consultation and coaching, with an emphasis on work with the legal community.  Her training and experience as both a lawyer and a psychologist give her a unique perspective when working with lawyers and law students.  Her past clinical work with attorneys, physicians, and other professionals, as well as law students, medical students and college students, further informs her work as a leadership coach and consultant.  Her dissertation research examined the impact of work and family stress on the physical and mental health of Connecticut attorneys.  She has been providing presentations and workshops for attorneys, law firms and law schools on stress management and wellness, and other topics, since 2005.  She has presented several times for the Connecticut Bar Association.  In 2013, she presented with Justice Schaller and Attorney Mary Alice Moore Leonhardt at the Connecticut Bar Foundation’s Impaired Lawyers Symposium. 


Bree Buchanan, Texas Lawyers Assistance Program, Austin TX

Attorney Buchanan, J.D., a graduate of the University of Texas School of Law, practiced law in the public and private sector with a focus on representing both adult and child victims of family violence. Upon graduation, Ms. Buchanan worked as a family law attorney for Legal Aid of Central Texas and went on to private practice in Austin. From 1998 to 2002, she served as the Public Policy Director for the National Domestic Violence Hotline. After this position, Ms. Buchanan was appointed Clinical Professor and Co-Director of the Children’s Rights Clinic at the University of Texas School of Law.

In 2010, Ms. Buchanan joined the Texas Lawyers Assistance Program of the State Bar of Texas and now serves as its Director. In 2015, she was appointed to the ABA’s Advisory Commission on Lawyers Assistance Programs. Ms. Buchanan is also the proud parent of a sophomore at New York University. 


Ellen M. Cosgrove, Yale Law School, New Haven

Associate Dean Cosgrove joined Yale Law School in 2015 as Associate Dean overseeing the Offices of Student Affairs and Career Development. Dean Cosgrove came to Yale with twenty years of experience in higher education as an Associate Dean and Dean of Students, first at the University of Chicago Law School (1995–2004) and then at Harvard Law School (2004–2015). A 1984 graduate of Mount Holyoke College, Dean Cosgrove spent four years in corporate and investment banking in New York before attending law school. She graduated from the University of Chicago Law School in 1991 and practiced law at LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene and MacRae (an international law firm headquartered in New York City, now defunct) before transitioning into higher education.

Associate Dean Cosgrove currently is a trustee at the Practicing Law Institute, Inc., a nonprofit continuing legal education organization and serves on the Board of the National Association for Law Student Affairs Professionals. She previously served as a trustee of Mount Holyoke College, a director at Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers, Inc. (Massachusetts’ lawyers’ assistance program), and a member of the Executive Committee of the Association of American Law Schools (Student Services Division). Dean Cosgrove has been honored by the students at Chicago (2001), Harvard (2006, 2009, and 2011) and Yale (2017) with awards recognizing her contributions to the law school community. Dean Cosgrove is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College and the University of Chicago Law School.

Beth D. Griffin, Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers. Rocky Hill

Beth D. Griffin has been the Executive Director of Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers-Connecticut, Inc., the Connecticut lawyer assistance program, since February 2006.  She comes to the position with many years’ experience as a practicing attorney in Connecticut state and federal courts and as a person in recovery since May 1990.   Beth holds B.S. and J.D. degrees from the University of Connecticut and University of Connecticut School of Law. 

Patrick R. Krill, Krill Strategies, Minneapolis

Recognized globally as a leading authority on addiction and mental health issues in the legal profession, Patrick R. Krill is an attorney, licensed and board-certified alcohol and drug counselor, author, advocate, and thought leader.  His groundbreaking work in the area of attorney behavioral health includes initiating and serving as lead author of the first and only national study on the prevalence of attorney addiction and mental health concerns, a joint undertaking of the American Bar Association Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs and the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation. Patrick’s highly specialized background and unique breadth of knowledge relating to the substance use and mental health of lawyers make him a widely sought after expert and trusted resource for solving one of the legal profession’s most difficult problems.

2.0 CLE Credits (CT: 2.0 Ethics; NY: 2.0 Ethics)