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Addressing the Perceived Stigma - A Discussion About Attorney Mental Health

Speaker(s): Andrea L. Colby, Joseph Milowic III, Lisa Smith
Recorded on: Jun. 20, 2019
PLI Program #: 281086

Joe is a leader in the attorney mental health and well-being movement. He created a non-profit called the Lawyers Depression Project (LDP)  which provides online support group meetings and a confidential web forum for legal professionals (not just lawyers). If you know anyone who could use support, please share the link above. Our services are all free.

He serves on the Advisory Board of the American Lawyer’s Minds over Matters initiative, and was appointed to the New York Court’s Advisory Committee on Access for People with Disabilities.

As a trial lawyer at Quinn Emanuel, Joe’s focus is identifying creative solutions to resolve disputes involving intellectual property - trade secrets and patents - for companies as big as Google and Samsung and as small as start-ups and individuals, so that they can focus on their missions and not litigation.

Andrea Colby is a certified professional coach and an intellectual property attorney with over 30 years of experience in the legal profession in New York and New Jersey. Throughout her career, Andrea has worked for notable firms including: Johnson & Johnson, Morgan and Finnegan and Union Carbide and has provided a full range of substantive intellectual property legal support for clients including patent preparation and prosecution, patent litigation strategy, trademark and copyright litigation, patent interferences and client counseling. 

In addition to her work as an attorney, Andrea provides deep expertise to her coaching clients helping them work through key areas of transition both personally and professionally and develop a strategic plan to maximize their development and achieve their goals. Andrea is particularly versed in the legal profession and understands firsthand what it takes to be successful in the legal field. 

Andrea lectures extensively on topics related to professional practice (specializing in communication), patent and intellectual property law for the New Jersey Institute of Continuing Legal Education, the annual “Joint Patent Practice Seminar” sponsored by New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania IP Law Associations and at the Practicing Law Institute in New York. Andrea also serves on the Board of Trustees of Albany Law School of Union University, chairing the Board’s Career Services Committee.

Andrea is also very active in her community and plays a key leadership role in support of non-profit organizations including Young Audiences of New Jersey and Congregation Neve Shalom. She has also served on the Boards of the New Brunswick Chamber Orchestra and TADA! Children’s Theatre in Manhattan.

Andrea obtained her B.S. in Environmental Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, her J.D. from Albany Law School of Union University and her M.A. in Organizational Management from the Fielding Graduate Institute. Andrea is also a graduate of the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching program where she obtained her coaching credentials. She is an International Coaching Federation accredited Associate Certified Coach and a Myers-Briggs Type Indicator certified practitioner.

Lisa is the Deputy Executive Director and Director of Client Relations at Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP, an approximately 200-lawyer firm in New York City.  Prior to moving to the administrative side of the profession, Lisa practiced law in the Capital Markets Group of a major international firm.  She is a graduate of Northwestern University (B.A., 1988) and Rutgers School of Law (J.D., 1991), where she served on the Editorial Board of the Rutgers Law Review. 

Lisa is also a recovery advocate, writer, and podcast host. She is the author of the award-winning memoir, Girl Walks Out of a Bar, which recounts her “high-functioning” addiction and recovery in the world of New York City corporate law.  She also cohosts the podcast, Recovery Rocks, an inclusive discussion of issues affecting people in all kinds of recovery, with fellow recovery advocate Tawny Lara. 

She is passionate about breaking the stigma surrounding addiction and mental health issues and is a frequent speaker at law firms, law schools, bar associations, and other organizations.  She has appeared on TODAY and BBC World News.  Her writing has been published in The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Women’s Health, and Refinery29, among others. She also is a contributor to, an online publication dedicated to dismantling the mainstream assumption that drinking alcohol is a necessary part of life. 

Lisa serves on the Board of Directors of The Writers Room in New York City.  More on Lisa’s writing can be found at She can be reached at, on Twitter and Instagram @girlwalksout, and on Facebook.