American Bar Association Awards the South Carolina Bar with its Prestigious E. Smythe Gambrell Professional Award.

July 21, 2016

For Immediate Release

Contact: Pamela Graham Anderson

South Carolina Bar Wins National Award

The South Carolina Bar is receiving national recognition for making Attorney Wellness a priority. The American Bar Association is awarding the South Carolina Bar with its prestigious E. Smythe Gambrell Professional Award. The E. Smythe Gambrell Award is given every year to an organization that distinguishes itself through the development and implementation of programs demonstrating the highest level of dedication to lawyer professionalism.

Carlock, Copeland & Stair partner Mike Ethridge is the driving force behind South Carolina’s Attorney Wellness Initiative. Ethridge, who lives in Charleston, South Carolina, was the founding chair of the committee. He credits the hard work of his committee to make attorney wellness not only a South Carolina priority, but a national conversation in the hopes of addressing what studies show is a debilitating problem in the legal profession.

A landmark study released in February of 2016 by the ABA and The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation found there is a substantial level of behavioral health problems in the U.S. legal profession, specifically with alcohol abuse, anxiety and depression.

“Our Attorney Wellness Committee has done an excellent job of creating opportunities to talk honestly and openly about the challenges facing the legal profession and exploring ways lawyers can begin to live lives that are more balanced, more joyful and much less stressful,” said founding Wellness Committee Chair Mike Ethridge.        

The Gambrell Award Judges and the Committee were “highly impressed by the multi­faceted, extremely innovative initiative of the South Carolina Bar to recognize, proactively address, and offer solutions to the health challenges facing so many in our profession.”

The South Carolina Bar’s Attorney Wellness Committee is one of three recipients of the award this year and will receive a cash prize of $3,500.00.

The E. Smythe Gambrell Professional Award will be presented at this year’s American Bar Association’s annual meeting in San Francisco August 6th.