Imposter syndrome in the legal profession and how it impacts your career

What is imposter syndrome?

To put it simply, imposter syndrome is the experience of feeling like a phony—you feel as though at any moment you are going to be found out as a fraud—like you don’t belong where you are, and you only got there through dumb luck. It can affect anyone no matter their social status, work background, skill level, or degree of expertise. See here for more details.

I recently spoke with an aspiring solicitor and within minutes of speaking it was obvious to me that she was going to pursue a successful career as a solicitor. Similarly, her supervising partner had also seen these qualities, offering to support her progression within Moore Barlow. However, she could not shake this feeling of, as she described it, not being up to the standard expected of that of a NQ solicitor.

Over the course of our conversation, she soon realised that this feeling that she had was nothing more than imposter syndrome. After she acknowledged this, we were able to put an action plan into place to help her achieve her goals and take steps towards qualifying as a solicitor.

Whilst solicitors will experience imposter syndrome at every stage of their careers, it is never rifer than when you are first starting out in the industry; applying for open days, training contracts, vacation schemes often whilst studying and working full-time. Many will receive countless rejections and that is if they receive responses at all.

This rejection often leads to a feeling of not being good enough and in creeps the imposter syndrome. But what can we, as an industry to do help?

There are countless examples of the benefits of mentoring and by taking the time to support aspiring solicitors fight back against that voice in their heads telling them that they are not good enough, we can beat it.

Moore Barlow – supporting our employees

As a firm, Moore Barlow is dedicated to supporting its employees through initiatives such as its Aspiring Lawyers Group, co-chaired by Trevor Sterling and the members of the group. The group was set-up to provide an open forum amongst aspiring and junior lawyers, with a view to building internal and external relationships, improving wellbeing, developing skills and knowledge, sharing and exchanging ideas, whilst supporting one another with career progression at Moore Barlow.

Through initiatives such as the Aspiring Lawyers Group, a network which provides an open forum amongst aspiring and junior lawyers, Moore Barlow is dedicated to supporting its employee’s wellbeing. The feeling of support is required throughout a solicitor’s career, but arguably never more so than during those early years.

Our culture is open, diverse and inclusive; it’s an environment of belonging, where people can thrive and be the best version of themselves. See our latest vacancies.