ICLR Conference 2019 – Scotland

ICLR Conference 2019

Law Society of Scotland | Edinburgh

4-6 September 2019

ICLR is pleased to announce that the host organisation for the ICLR conference in 2019 will be the Law Society of Scotland and the conference will take place in Edinburgh between 4-6 September 2019.  Please hold these dates. We were also grateful to the Kenyan Council for Legal Education and Law Society of Kenya for submitting a well-supported bid and we hope that the conference will be in Nairobi soon.  

Alison Atack, President of the Law Society of Scotland, said:  

“We are delighted and honoured to be hosting the 8th International Conference of Legal Regulators in 2019 – the year we celebrate our 70th anniversary. 

Regulation of the legal profession is an issue at the top of our agenda following a recent review of regulation of legal services in Scotland. We are keen to share our experiences and learn from our fellow regulators in other jurisdictions as we examine the importance of having a regulatory framework which can support growth in the legal services sector, while also placing consumer interests firmly at its heart.   

We will work closely with the conference organisers to develop an interesting, forward-thinking programme for ICLR members – highlighting some of our most recent initiatives such as LawscotTech which aims to drive innovation in legal technology through collaboration between the legal, academic and tech sectors, Lawscot Wellbeing which offers support for busy legal professionals and of course we will be looking at the impact of Brexit on the profession – both at home and overseas – after we leave the EU on 29 March next year.  

I am very much looking forward to welcoming our colleagues from the ICLR community to our wonderful capital city next year.”

ICLR 2017 – Panel: “Overcoming Stigma”

A synopsis of panel session 4, which takes place on 5 October at ICLR Singapore, kindly provided by the session’s moderator, Tracy Kepler. Conference materials will be made available to members after the conference.

Moderator: Tracy L. Kepler, Director, ABA Center for Professional Responsibility

Kuah Boon Theng – Vice-President of the Law Society of Singapore
Dr. Munidasa Winslow, MBBS, M.Med. (Psych), CMAC, CCS, FAMS – Executive Director of Promise Heathcare Pte, Ltd. Singapore
James C. Coyle, Attorney Regulation Counsel of the Colorado Supreme Court
Marian DeSouza, Executive Director of the Alberta Lawyers’ Assistance Society

Substance abuse and mental illness can affect any attorney regardless of gender, culture, ethnicity, age or socioeconomic status. But no matter what their background, attorneys dealing with these issues seem to suffer in silence. Why? Stigma – cultural prejudice and discrimination that labels an individual suffering from such illnesses as defective, or weak, oft-times have more damaging consequences than the illness itself and create a barrier to treatment. Through our discussion, the panelists will define the stigma, explain the reasons why stigma is so pervasive in the legal profession, and why it is critical to overcome these beliefs and identify effective means to ameliorate stigma and replace its effects with affirming attitudes for recovery. The discussion will focus on several different “life stages” of an attorney – law students, practicing attorneys, and judges, as well as unique challenges faced by under-represented minorities, and how stigma affects each group. The panelists will also identify practical and applicable ways to conquer stigma in the legal community as well as during the regulatory process, and discuss various regulatory efforts and objectives centered on increasing the wellbeing of our profession.

Why is this session of particular interest and to whom?

Everyone is effected by this issue – whether they recognize it openly or not.  One challenge for this session (and others) will be how to ensure the session resonates with both western and non-western regulators who have different cultural and societal backgrounds.  Attorney wellness cuts across all countries, but the nature and intensity of the problems likely differ, and stigma is an even larger issue in more traditional cultures.  We hope to engage all participants in the dialogue to learn the different and cultural differences in the way mental illness and substance abuse is perceived in the legal community.

One reason this is a hot topic at the moment is that globally, organizations are realizing that attorneys are suffering in silence, statistics reflect higher rates of alcohol/substance abuse/mental health problems among the attorney population, and these high rates are not sustainable or conducive to a spirit of wellbeing.  Research has shown that the two most common barriers to seeking treatment that lawyers reported were not wanting others to find out they needed help and concerns regarding privacy or confidentiality.

What particularly do you hope to explore in this session?

We hope to start at the beginning with a definition – The Oxford English dictionary defines stigma as “a mark of disgrace associated with a particular circumstance, quality, or person”.  But it is really more pervasive and goes deeper – it sets a person apart, makes them part of “the other.”
When people are labelled by their illness, they then are seen by others as part of a stereotyped group.

  • Stigma is about beliefs and attitudes – often derived from the media or those around us.
  • Stigma is based on negative views of people simply because they are seen as belonging to a particular group.
  • Stigma often results in fear of members of the stigmatised group (often based on ignorance and lack of understanding).

Negative attitudes also create prejudice which then leads to negative actions and often discrimination.  We hope to explore the various components of stigma such as Labelling, Discriminating, Prejudice, Ignorance, Stereotyping, and Devaluing.  And stigma brings with it experiences and feelings of shame, blame, hopelessness, distress, and most importantly for our purpose at this conference – reluctance to seek and/or accept necessary help.

What do you hope to achieve with this session?

  • To discuss and provide concrete examples of ways of combatting stigma that are nuanced, will be geographically and culturally sensitive so that they are effective.
  • To discuss and determine the effectiveness of certain resources, such as support groups, education, sharing stories, amelioration not reduction, a focus on wellness, outreach, finding ways to combat stigma by creating opportunities for open dialogue
  • To share and educate that language/semantics matter – substance use disorder v. substance abuse, i.e., when someone has bulimia, we speak about an “eating disorder,” not a “food abuse” problem – and start to dispel the lingering belief that addiction is a moral failure rather than an illness.

Useful documents/background reading for context

Online articles:

‘A culture of fear’: Legal Futures

‘JLD resilience and wellbeing report’: Law Society of England and Wales

‘Solving the Stigma of Lawyer Mental Health’: 2Civility

‘A Lawyer Breaks the Silence About Depression Among Lawyers’: Everyday Health

‘What We Can Learn About The Stigma Of Mental Illness From Susan Hawk’: Texas Monthly

‘Some Law Firms Try To ‘Eliminate Stigma’ From Attorneys Struggling With Mental-Health Issues’: Above the Law

Further reading:

  1. W. Britt, T. M. Greene-Shortridge, S. Brink, Q. B. Nguyen, J. Rath, A. L. Cox, C. W. Hoge, C. A. Castro, Perceived Stigma and Barriers to Care for Psychological Treatment: Implications for Reactions to Stressors in Different Contexts, 27 J. Soc. & Clinical Psychol. 317 (2008);
  2. Ey, K. R. Henning, & D. L. Shaw, Attitudes and Factors Related to Seeking Mental Health Treatment among Medical and Dental Students, 14 J. C. Student Psychotherapy 23 (2000);
  3. S. E. Hanisch, C. D. Twomey, A. H. Szeto, U. W. Birner, D. Nowak, & C. Sabariego, The Effectiveness of Interventions Targeting the Stigma of Mental Illness at the Workplace: A Systematic Review, 16 BMC Psychiatry 1 (2016);
  4. K. S. Jennings, J. H. Cheung, T. W. Britt, K. N. Goguen, S. M. Jeffirs, A. L. Peasley, & A. C. Lee, How Are Perceived Stigma, Self-Stigma, and Self-Reliance Related to Treatment-Seeking? A Three-Path Model, 38 Psychiatric Rehabilitation J. 109 (2015);
  5. N. G. Wade, D. L. Vogel, P. Armistead-Jehle, S. S. Meit, P. J. Heath, H. A. Strass, Modeling Stigma, Help-Seeking Attitudes, and Intentions to Seek Behavioral Healthcare in a Clinical Military Sample, 38 Psychiatric Rehabilitation J. 135 (2015).
  6. P. W. Corrigan, S. B. Morris, P. J. Michaels, J. D. Rafacz, & N. Rüsch, Challenging the Public Stigma of Mental Illness: a Meta-Analysis of Outcome Studies, 63 Psychiatric Serv. 963 (2012).


International Conference of Legal Regulators 2016

Washington, DC, United States of America | 14-17 September 2016 | A World of Regulation

Hosted by the Office of Disciplinary Counsel in Washington, DC, the 2016 conference focused on the core functions performed by legal regulators, and issues on the horizon.


Thursday 15 September 2016
09:00 | Welcome | Keynote address | Around the room
10:30 | Demonstration of the ICLR website: Watch intro video
10:45 | Attorney discipline system intake procedures from around the globe: comparative analyses and best practices

Materials: (1) Intake materials overview; (2) California; (3) Canada, national; (4) Colorado; (5) England and Wales; (6) Manitoba; (7) South Carolina; (8) Virginia; (9) Zimbabwe;

13:30 | Admission to the practice of law

Materials: (1) Adoption of the Uniform Bar Examination in the US; (2) Alberta admissions; (3) Canada admissions; (4) IBA Legal Regulators Directory; (5) Intro to US admissions, Laurel Terry; (6) Ireland admissions; (7) Summary of relevant sessions at ICLR conferences; (8) US guide to bar admission requirements, 2016

14:45 | Diversion: dos and don’ts

Materials: (1) Diversion materials summary; (2) New Mexico paper; (3) Arizona diversion; (4) Texas diversion.

To get the most from this session, please respond to the diversion survey

16:00 | I always feel like somebody’s watching me: reinstatement and supervision of lawyers on probation

Materials: (1) Illinois statistical review; (2) Connecticut reinstatement application; (3) Louisiana readmission; (4) California materials; (5) Missouri reinstatement questionnaire; (6) Singapore reinstatement; (7) Delaware reinstatement questionnaire; (8) New Mexico materials; (9) Netherlands materials; (10) England and Wales reinstatement; (11) Canada reinstatement survey.

17:00 | A question of trust – an exploration of professional values and standards and what they mean in practice.
Friday 16 September 2016
09:00 | Rethinking the application of technology to regulatory work

Materials: (1) Trends in Global and Canadian Lawyer Regulation, Laurel Terry; (2) Updated slides: Rethinking Technology; (3) Guide to going lean.

To get the most from this session, please respond to the technology survey

10:45 | Challenges facing emerging regulatory systems
13:30  | Reimagining the future: how proactive measures can reshape a “lawyer discipline system” into a “lawyer integrity system”

Materials: (1) PMBR materials; (2) PMBR roadmap graphic; (3) Article on improving PMBR, Susan Fortney; (4) Article advocating PMBR to US regulators, Laurel Terry; (5) Infographic; (6) PMBR in Australia

14:45 | Cooperative efforts and agreement between international jurisdictions

Materials: (1) Draft IBA Information Exchange Guidelines; (2) Cooperation Among American and European Disciplinary Bodies; (3) Establishment of lawyers directive 98-5-EC

16:00 | The take away – what have we learned, what do we take home, and what is the future of lawyers and regulation?
17:00 | ICLR in Singapore – a preview | Closing remarks

Full ICLR conference program and biographies


The JW Marriott hotel, in the heart of DC’s tourist district at 1331 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW.

International Conference of Legal Regulators 2013

San Francisco, USA | 5–7 August 2013


Topics included:

  • What powers do I need to be an effective regulator of legal services?
  • Risk based regulation
  • The role of intelligence and investigation in legal regulation
  • Fitness to practice, regulatory responses and cooperating with representative bodies
  • Keeping lawyers equipped for practice
  • The challenges of dual qualification
  • The changing purpose and goals of attorney regulation – experience from outside the USA


International Conference of Legal Regulators 2012

London, UK | 27–28 September 2012


Topics included:

  • Regulating the Changing Legal Market
  • The Regulator’s Identity Crisis
  • Proactive Regulation
  • Competence on Admission
  • Tools for setting and monitoring standards
  • Raising the standard of individuals practitioners
  • Regulating law firms
  • When Things Go Wrong
  • Non-Lawyer Involvement in the Delivery of Legal Services
  • Information Sharing – What Can Regulators Tell Each Other?
  • Hot Topics – What Trends and Issues Worry Regulators?
  • Other Influences on Regulatory Policy and Practice
  • Where next? Future Collaboration

Read the ICLR programme 2012

Members of the ICLR can log in for more conference materials