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April 25, 2019

New ABA book addresses fear in the legal profession and strategies to work through it

CHICAGO, April 25, 2019 — Just published by the ABA, Untangling Fear in Lawyering: A Four-Step Journey Toward Powerful Advocacy” acknowledges feelings of self-doubt in a field often known for confidence and presents grounded, authentic solutions to manage them. Author Heidi K. Brown moves past outdated mantras by encouraging lawyers and law students to confront and understand their fear, so they can harness its useful properties and break down its manifestations as anxiety and depression.

For law students, junior lawyers and even established attorneys, a perceived fear of failure and other threats can override assurance in their earned abilities and expertise. “Untangling Fear in Lawyering” helps legal professionals ensure that anxieties do not block learning or performance by discussing:

  • the reality, causes and consequences of fear and the ability to handle mistakes
  • cognitive and emotional roots of fear that fester when unacknowledged
  • guidance, education and training from various professional fields that can transfer to the legal arena
  • the four-step program that will reframe attitudes and approaches to controlling fear

This guidebook aims to make the practice of law accessible, meaningful and fulfilling by easing stress for those striving intellectually but struggling emotionally in the profession. It includes helpful checklists, appendices and recommendations for educators, managers, discussion groups and workshops.

Brown is a law professor at Brooklyn Law School and a former litigator in the construction industry. Having struggled with anxiety and fear through law school and nearly 20 years of law practice, she now champions the power of law students and lawyers to be impactful advocates. Brown is also the author of “The Introverted Lawyer: A Seven-Step Journey Toward Authentically Empowered Advocacy” and “The Mindful Legal Writer.”


Untangling Fear in Lawyering: A Four-Step Journey Toward Powerful Advocacy


ABA Publishing



Product Code:            





6 x 9, Paperback and eBook




800-285-2221 or

Editor’s note: Author interviews and review copies of this book are available by emailing Dean Pappas at [email protected]. If you publish a review of this book, please send tear sheets or a copy for our files to Dean Pappas, ABA Book Publishing, 321 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60654.

With more than 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is one of the largest voluntary professional membership organizations in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement online. Follow the latest ABA news at and on Twitter