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Imposter Syndrome in the Legal Profession


Learn ways to manage anxiety and keep imposter syndrome at bay in your practice and within your firm.

Many, if not most, attorneys suffer at one time or another from a form of anxiety known as imposter syndrome. This crippling self-doubt can cause young attorneys to self-sabotage their careers and put unnecessary limits on their potential. While some anxiety and self-doubt can drive us to be better lawyers, if unmanaged, it can also lead to more severe issues ranging from sleep disorders to eating disorders to substance use disorders. Attorneys suffering from imposter syndrome are also at greater risk of engaging in risky behavior and misconduct resulting from their insecurities. This presentation will discuss how the concept of imposter syndrome has evolved over the years and why attorneys seem so prone to suffering from it. This material will also outline the potential professional harm that can occur when attorneys are suffering from anxiety disorders. Finally, this presentation will suggest several ways to manage anxiety and keep imposter syndrome at bay in your practice and within your firm.



Meredith S. Heller

Meredith S. Heller

Law Office of Meredith S. Heller PLLC

  • Principal, the Law Office of Meredith S. Heller PLLC
  • Practice emphasizes criminal defense and professional responsibility
  • Frequent speaker at CLEs on substance abuse and the profession, as well as professional ethics, generally
  • Member of NYS Bar Association’s Task Force on Lawyer Wellbeing (chair, Emotional Wellbeing Subcommittee)
  • Member of the New York City Bar Association (former chair, Professional Responsibility Committee; former chair, Lawyers Assistance Program Committee), New York State Bar Association (member of Professional Discipline Committee), New York Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers, and Federal Bar Council
  • J.D. degree, Cardozo Law School; M.A. and B.A. degrees, Case Western Reserve University

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