Buffalo attorney Daniel T. Lukasick, who runs the site LawyersWithDepression.com has just produced an original documentary film called “A Terrible Melancholy: Depression in the Legal Profession.” He’s done a wonderful job of capturing the history of depression and law, using the life of Abraham Lincoln, interviewing my friend and colleague, Joshua Wolf Shenk, author of “Lincoln’s Melancholy,” as well as interviewing a sampling of lawyers today.

The documentary is the first of its kind in the nation and is now being widely distributed, beginning in Erie County. The film is currently being sent to area law firms and attorneys can receive .5 CLE credits in “Ethics and Professionalism” for viewing it.

Depression has long been a serious concern for the legal profession. The documentary’s title is based on Shenk’s book about the life of President Lincoln. A renowned trial lawyer before becoming president, Lincoln suffered from depression his entire life. The film features four lawyers and a former judge discussing their personal experiences with the illness, along with several national experts on the subject. It is intended to provide hope and resources to those who may be suffering in silence.

The 30-minute documentary was made possible by generous grants from the Erie County Bar Foundation, the New York Lawyer Assistance Trust and the Margaret B. Wendt Foundation. Lukasik served as executive producer and the BAEC Committee to Assist Lawyers with Depression that he chairs assisted in the planning and production. Martin McGee was the filmmaker and Michael Bean was the editor. The film’s original score was composed by David Kane.

Here’s the documentary’s trailer: