THE ADVOCATE 403
VOL. 78 PART 3 MAY 2020
By Sandra Kovacs*
LAP IS FOR EVERYONE—EVEN ME
When I was an officer of the Vancouver Bar Association ten or so years
ago, I was not in support of another member’s motion that we switch our
AGM silent auction beneficiary from the Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation to the
Lawyers Assistance Program. I pushed back at the meeting table, questioning
whether donors from the public would be keen to support such a
In my own head, I also thought the Lawyers Assistance Program was not
a worthy beneficiary at all. How much help do some lawyers really need? I
believed at that time, naively and arrogantly, that those who needed LAP’s
services must surely be “weak” and they were probably just not cut out for
the practice of law. I was confident I was different—better—and that I was
not the kind of lawyer who needed LAP’s help.
I was wrong.
Over the past ten years, I have been fortunate to encounter a few different
crises in my life. I needed help with each of them. I was able to get that
help from LAP.
Starting in late 2012 and into 2013, I experienced sudden exits from both
a firm I truly loved being a part of and a relationship I thought I knew. I felt
that both my professional and personal worlds had completely fallen apart.
I wasn’t sleeping. I was drinking too much. I was tearful, every day.
Thankfully, I knew Derek LaCroix, Q.C., Executive Director of LAP,
from my earlier work on the VBA. I felt comfortable enough to call him up,
in tears, to ask for his help. I don’t really remember what we talked about
* Sandra Kovacs is a personal injury lawyer with KazLaw and co-adjunct professor of the personal injury course at Allard
Law. She is a past president of the Vancouver Bar Association (2010–2011) and a past president of the Lawyers’ Inn Society
operating as the Law Courts Inn (2014–2017).