Alabama State Bar Hires Robert B. Thornhill to Direct Its Lawyer Assistance Program
Montgomery, Alabama, September 6, 2012 – Robert B. Thornhill of Montgomery has been named director of the Alabama State Bar Lawyer Assistance Program (ALAP), according to Executive Director Keith B. Norman.
Created in 1985, ALAP provides legal professionals with assistance for problems associated with drug, alcohol, gambling, suicide prevention, difficulties resulting from depression and other mental health issues.
State Bar President Phillip W. McCallum of Birmingham (McCallum Methvin & Terrell PC) said, “The practice of law imposes a great deal of stress on practicing attorneys. Lawyers carry the burdens of our society on their shoulders and sometimes are reluctant to seek help for themselves. The Lawyers Assistance program continues to be a point of need and emphasis for the State Bar and Robert brings skills and professionalism which will enable us to continue our work for addiction treatment assistance and other mental health issues within the legal community.”
Thornhill graduated from Troy University at Montgomery with an undergraduate degree in psychology and a graduate degree in counseling and human development. He is a licensed professional counselor, certified alcohol and drug abuse professional, and a master’s level addiction professional. He is also credentialed as an internationally-certified alcohol and drug counselor.
With ALAP, his responsibilities will include educational outreach and confidential assistance to impaired lawyers, judges and law students, as well as to their families. He will maintain relationships within the legal community and with treatment providers to develop educational programs, recruit and train volunteer lawyers to assist with program services and work with other local bar associations in the state that have similar programs.
As a member of the State Bar staff, he will serve as liaison to the Lawyer Assistance Committee and will be the primary contact for the American Bar Association’s Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs.
Before joining the State Bar, Thornhill was a clinical coordinator of the Alabama Physician Health Program, which serves doctors and veterinarians facing substance abuse or other mental health issues. He was also employed in the Montgomery office of Bradford Health Services as a primary and adolescent counselor.
His professional activities include two terms on the board of the Alabama Alcohol and Drug Abuse Association and one term as secretary, plus memberships in both the Alabama Counseling Association and the Alabama Mental Health Counselors Association.
A well-known local musician, he has performed in Montgomery for many years, at times accompanied by his sons John T. and Robert W.
The 17,000-member Alabama State Bar Association is dedicated to promoting the professional responsibility, competence and satisfaction of its members; improving the administration of justice, and increasing public understanding and respect for the law.