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“I Don’t Belong”: Imposter Syndrome in the Legal Profession

Imposter syndrome, also called perceived fraudulence, involves feelings of self-doubt and personal incompetence that persist despite your education, experience, and accomplishments. While early studies focused on highly successful women, it is now clear that it can affect anyone in the legal profession – from law students to Big Law executives. 

Living in constant fear of discovery, you strive for perfection in everything you do. You might feel guilty or worthless when you can’t achieve it, not to mention burned out and overwhelmed by your continued efforts. The results can be devastating.

True imposter feelings involve self-doubt, uncertainty about your talents and abilities. But what if you find yourself in an environment where your peers fail to make room for you or imply you don’t deserve your success? Along with the more traditional factors, gender bias and institutionalized racism can also play a significant part in imposter feelings. Even if only perceived, they can surely reinforce the feeling you don’t belong.

Brian S. Quinn, Education and Outreach Coordinator for Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers (LCL) of Pennsylvania, will discuss the impact of the untimely death of his mentor and how trying to “fill his shoes” became more than a job, it took over his life. The consequences were a decades long effort to cope with and then conceal those feelings with alcohol and drugs.

Mr. Quinn will discuss:

  1. Imposter Syndrome: What Is It?
  2. Impacts of Imposter Syndrome on Attorneys and Our Ability to Uphold the Rules of Professional Conduct
  3. The Role of Gender and Racial Bias in Creating Imposter Syndrome
  4. Practical Guidance for Overcoming Imposter Syndrome
  5. How to Support Attorneys Battling Imposter Syndrome
  6. The Confidential, Safe, Free and Supportive Resources Available through Lawyers Assistance Programs
  7. His Personal Experience of Struggling with Imposter Syndrome

Speaker: Brian S. Quinn, Education and Outreach Coordinator, Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers of Pennsylvania, Havertown, PA

NOTE: This free webinar is not accredited for Continuing Legal Education.