Special Report

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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Henry M. Greenberg, president of the New York State Bar Association Henry M. Greenberg, president of the New York State Bar Association. (Photo: David Handschuh/ALM)
The new president of the New York State Bar Association is announcing today that he’s launching a blue-ribbon committee to determine if the state should remove questions about mental health disorders from applications for the bar.

The move mirrors efforts underway nationwide. In February, the Conference of Chief Justices urged all states to remove mental health inquiries from its applications. Several states, including Connecticut, have already done so. Other states are studying the issue; a moral character working group convened by California’s bar association held its first meeting Friday in San Francisco.

“In view of this clear and unequivocal stand, the New York State Bar Association should promptly review questions on the New York bar application’s character and fitness questionnaire that address an applicant’s mental health issues, to determine if they comport with the nationally endorsed recommendations found in the Conference of Chief Justices’ resolution,”  New York State Bar Association President Henry Greenberg said in a call to action he’s issuing today.

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Susan DeSantis

Susan DeSantis is the deputy editor-in-chief of the New York Law Journal. She can be reached at [email protected] Twitter: @sndesantis

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