The legal profession contains many factors—high stress levels, perfectionist standards, pressure from clients and partners—that lead to higher rates of substance abuse compared to other professions, as well as a heightened stigma against those seeking help.

“Attorneys are not allowed to make mistakes,” said retired administrative law judge Mary Beth O’Connor, who serves as a director for She Recovers Foundation and LifeRing Secular Recovery, at a program held Wednesday in suburban Philadelphia. “Clients expect you to be perfect, partners expect you to be perfect and judges expect you to be perfect. That can lead to compulsion to drink and it can add to the stigma to be perfect and not seek treatment.”