We act as a bridge to Alcoholics Anonymous for reluctant lawyers, judges, law students, and other legal professionals.
Our own experiences and 12 step work have demonstrated that lawyers and judges are concerned about their anonymity if they attend A.A. Once denial of the substance abuse problem is overcome, there still remains the reluctance to “go public” by attending A.A. meetings.
By sharing our own experiences, I.L.A.A. members demonstrate that “going A.A. public” is not so bad and in fact is necessary for continued (one-day-at-a-time) sobriety.
Call it group therapy–call it what you will– IT WORKS!!
ILAA was founded in September 1975 at a meeting in Niagara Falls, Ontario, at which twenty lawyers were present; sixteen from Canada and four from the United States. This was the first opportunity for members of the legal profession to share their A.A. experience.
“The second annual convention was in Buffalo in September of 1976 and again there were about twenty. The convention started on Friday evening with a real down-to-earth sharing session. We talked about a lot of things: ourselves, our drinking, and what we were looking for in such a group. Insofar as our drinking stories were concerned, there was a lot of good, solid, relevant identification. We were not alone. All kinds of difficulties experienced in the practice of law, as a result of booze, we shared.”
“On Saturday morning, we focused on problems encountered in our practice when A.A. principles or policies were involved. When and under what circumstances should we divulge our affiliation with A.A.? What can or should we do if we see another lawyer colleague in difficulty as a result of booze? One central thread was the many opportunities for service that lawyers have in carrying the message of A.A. The conclusion was that with caution, sensitivity and a keen eye on A.A. principles, we could do much to carry the message, without risking our professional reputations or practices.” — I.S., Hartford, Connecticut
(Excerpted from an article in the A.A. Grapevine, September, 1977.)