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McNees Joins ABA Campaign Aimed at Improving the Mental Health and Well-Being of Lawyers

October 2, 2019
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HARRISBURG, Pa. – (October 2, 2019) McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC joins the American Bar Association Well-Being Pledge and Campaign, which targets substance-use disorders and mental health issues among lawyers.

Recent studies show lawyers struggle with alcohol and other substance-use disorders, as well as mental health issues at levels substantially above both the general population and other highly educated professionals.  ABA’s campaign, organized by the ABA Working Group to Advance Well-Being in the Legal Profession, is designed to address the troubling rates by raising awareness, facilitating a reduction in the incidence of problematic substance-use and mental health distress and improving lawyer well-being.

“As a society and a profession, it is time to recognize that seeking help for a health issue is a sign of strength, not a sign of weakness, regardless of whether the particular concern relates to physical health, substance abuse or mental health,” said Pamela Polacek, Chair of the McNees Professional Development and Education Committee.

McNees has studied substance-use disorders and mental health issues among lawyers since it came to light and has implemented several initiatives prior to joining the ABA campaign, including the involvement in Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers of Pennsylvania programs, the addition of confidential assessment tools and information on the McNees intranet, and the supporting of crisis intervention by its HR professionals. 

“One of our Firm Core Values is to encourage our colleagues to find balance in their professional and personal lives.  The ABA’s Campaign recognizes that this balance can be disrupted by factors that impact our entire society, and attorneys with greater frequency.  Joining the Campaign is consistent with our long-standing Core value and our practice of supporting those of us who need assistance in returning to the desired balance,” said McNees Chair Brian Jackson.  “This is the right thing to do on a personal level, and it is essential for our outstanding people to serve as trusted advisors to our clients.”

McNees looks forward to continuing to foster well-being, professionalism and collegiality in the workplace and community.


McNees is a full-service law firm based in central Pennsylvania with more than 130 attorneys representing corporations, associations, institutions and individuals. The firm serves clients worldwide from offices in Harrisburg, Lancaster, York, State College and Scranton, PA; Columbus, OH; Frederick, MD; and Washington, D.C. McNees is also a member of the ALFA International Global Legal Network.


Pamela Polacek

Brian F. Jackson