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Minds Over Matters: An Examination of Mental Health in the Legal Profession

Law.com has embarked on a yearlong investigation into mental health across every sector of the legal profession. Over the course of 12 months, we will aim to shine a light on mental health, addiction, stress and well-being; destigmatize the issue; and identify methods to effectuate change.

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Attorney Matthew Dietz and law student Capt. Julius Hobbs. Courtesy photos. Attorney Matthew Dietz and law student Capt. Julius Hobbs. Courtesy photos.
A law student and U.S. Army veteran—who settled a lawsuit alleging the Florida Board of Bar Examiners discriminated against him for having previously sought help for an alcohol disorder—has claimed the board is trying to rehash the issue with an investigative hearing now that he’s passed the bar.

Julius Hobbs, who sued while he was a second-year student, claimed he faced extra screening from the board because of a prior diagnosis of mild alcohol-use disorder and adjustment disorder. He was arrested for drunken driving in 2006 and 2012 but never convicted. After reaching out to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Hobbs received five months of psychotherapy.

The case against the examiners settled, and Hobbs passed the bar. But he claimed the board summoned him to an investigative hearing to explain alleged inconsistencies in his deposition testimony. The board noted Hobbs answered “no” to a new question on the application about whether he’d been treated for or had a recurrence of substance abuse, within the past five years, which could impair his ability to practice law.

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Raychel Lean

Raychel Lean is ALM's Florida bureau chief, overseeing the Daily Business Review. Email her at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter via @raychellean.

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