Imposter Syndrome: Advice to New Lawyers

Updated: Nov 20, 2020

As new lawyers or what some like to call “baby lawyers” beginning our career is downright frightening. All the accolades that came with law school and college have faded away and you’re back at square one. No one cares that you were in the top ten percent of your class or that you were a popular kid. This is Sparta. You’re starting to realize that legal theory and legal practice are two very different things and law school and the bar did not prepare you for the monstrosity that would be legal practice. As a new lawyer, you find that for the first time in life that the list of the things you don’t know is longer than the list of things you do know. You’ve asked your supervising attorney and assistant 10 questions in the last hour, and are still confused as to what to do next. You feel like everyone around you gets it, but you’re lost in an abyss that you feel that you can’t escape. You worry if anyone notices. Do they realize that I don’t know what I’m doing? Will they think I’m incompetent? I don’t want to get fired. Your thoughts swirl with all the possibilities of what could happen if you mess the case up or miss a deadline. Everyone has been there and this too shall pass. One day you’re lost and have no clue what’s going on, then the next day you’re out here killing it. Rome wasn’t built in a day & neither is legal acumen. You will learn the law. You will eventually relax and gain confidence within yourself and within your craft. We all had to start somewhere & this is just the beginning of a bright future.

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