As the new academic year is about to begin, it’s a perfect time to address a very uncomfortable topic: lawyer addicts. Lawyers, like doctors, are especially vulnerable because the are licensed. If they lose those licences they can’t work in those positions—which makes it very difficult to seek help. Many addictions start before they get their tickets. And law school and medical school are challenging.
Brian Cuban‘s new book, “The Addicted Lawyer: Tales of the Bar, Booze, Blow, and Redemption” is a fascinating, cringing and powerful story. And yes, Brian is the brother of Mark Cuban, the entrepreneur, Shark Tank TV guru, and owner of the Dallas Mavericks.
Brian Cuban’s story should be a must-read for all law and med students. In July, Cuban joined me for the Law Technology Now podcast (Legal Talk Network). It was a compelling discussion. One of his observations was how law schools and bar associations made it easy to get addicted to alcohol. “There is a culture of drinking that starts in law school,” he said. It “goes through the legal profession.” Lawyers learn to mask their problems, he said. “The bars need to stop catering to that and pandering to that. We need to change the culture of drinking.”
Cuban also kindly agreed to do a “5 Question” conversation for Thomson Reuters’ Legal Executive Institute. He candidly discussed what law students need to know about addiction; how his family helped him; and why he decided to stop practicing, among other topics. Cuban’s experience is dramatic, scary, thoughtful and brave. It’s a roller-coaster that every student should read — and not just students. Then talk. Let’s bring it out to the light.
Post Hill Press
While we’re on the topic, a shout out to Professor Robin Feldman, Director of the Institute for Innovation Law, University of California Hastings College of the Law. (She got her bachelor’s degree and J.D. at Stanford.)
Feldman’s story, “How Big Pharma is hindering treatment of the opioid addiction epidemic,” was published in The Conversation” today.
Feldman’s and Evan Frondorf’s new book is Drug Wars: How Big Pharma Raises Prices and Keeps Generics off the Market. Cambridge University Press 2017
Monica Bay is a Fellow at CodeX and a freelance journalist. She is a member of the California bar. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @MonicaBay.