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Emily-Hartz.jpgTOPEKA—Lawrence attorney Emily Hartz has been named executive director of the Kansas Lawyers Assistance Program
She succeeds Danielle Hall, who has taken a new role in the Office of Judicial Administration.
The Kansas Lawyers Assistance Program provides for identification, peer intervention, counseling, and rehabilitation of Kansas lawyers and law students who are facing personal challenges that affect their ability to practice law. It was created in 2001 and operates under the direction of the Kansas Supreme Court.
Justice Eric Rosen, the Supreme Court's liaison to the Kansas Lawyers Assistance Program, said he looks forward to working with Hartz as she fulfills her duties as director.
"Emily has been a program volunteer for more than 15 years and she’s also served on the board of directors," Rosen said. "She has a deep understanding of how the program operates, and she’s shown both passion and commitment toward reaching its goals. She easily stepped into this leadership role, and we’re thrilled to work with her in this new capacity."
Hartz began volunteering for the program in 2008 and later served on its board of directors from 2019 to 2023. As a volunteer, Hartz served as a peer mentor to law students and practicing attorneys involved with the Kansas Lawyer Assistance Program.
As executive director, she plans to build on existing services to address needs in the legal profession.
“Giving back to my community has always been extremely important to me,” Hartz said. “A friend told me about the Kansas Lawyers Assistance Program, and I was really impressed with what they do, so I wanted to be part of it. Now I’m honored to serve my professional colleagues in my new role.”
Hartz said it helps that some strategies promoted through the program have gained mainstream acceptance.
“The legal community, in general, is behind other professions when it comes to talking about issues that make us feel vulnerable,” Hartz said. “Now we have medical professionals discussing the health benefits of mindfulness practices like meditation. We’ve shifted as a society, not just as a profession.”
Prior to her appointment, Hartz worked for 14 years as an attorney with the Sloan Law Firm in Lawrence. Before that, she worked for a national litigation firm and in solo practice in Topeka. She began her career as a domestic violence prosecutor in the Shawnee County District Attorney’s Office.  
Hartz graduated from Washburn University School of Law with dean’s honors. She is a member of the Kansas Bar Association, the Kansas Women’s Attorney’s Association, the American Bar Association, and the National Association of Counsel for Children.
About the Kansas Lawyers Assistance Program
The legal profession is considered one of the more stressful occupations, and statistics show attorneys are two to three times more likely to exhibit anxiety, suffer from depression, or become addicted to alcohol or drugs than the general population.
The Kansas Lawyers Assistance Program provides many services designed to fit the needs of lawyers and bar associations, including: 

  • referrals for assessments, evaluations, therapy, or treatment; short-term counseling sessions with a licensed counselor; 

  • peer mentoring and support, modified interventions, and resiliency groups; 

  • help with diversion and probation plans required by the disciplinary administrator or with monitoring contracts required by the Supreme Court's attorney admissions office; 

  • guidance in managing and closing a law office; and 

  • legal education programs for local and specialty bar associations or law firms. 

The program's services are confidential and free. Funding comes from annual registration fees attorneys pay to practice law in Kansas.
The Supreme Court appoints at least 11 lawyers to serve on the Kansas Lawyers Assistance Board. The board recommends candidates for appointment to the board and makes reports to the Supreme Court.
The heart of the program is a statewide network of more than 130 peer volunteers who help lawyers in need; many are in recovery themselves.

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