Counseling the Addicted Client: A Responsible and Restorative Practice

A client’s arrest on DUI charges could be the client’s “rock bottom” in the journey to overcome addiction. This is a delicate and crucial time for clients, and it is important that defense lawyers are just as skillful at guiding clients toward sobriety as they are when litigating in the courtroom. Attorneys who limit their practice solely to representing the client on the criminal charges are missing an opportunity to develop a deeper lawyer-client relationship and to help their client avoid future issues with the law. Counsel should take the time to really speak to the client and find out more about his relationship with drugs or alcohol. Learning about new substance abuse treatments is as important as reading new case law. Doing so provides an invaluable service and assists in obtaining the best possible result for clients.