Live ECBA Lunch-n-Learn Seminar: Imposter Syndrome in the Legal Profession

ECBA Seminars
Tuesday, August 9, 2022
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm


Registration: 11:45 a.m.
Seminar: 12:00 - 1:00 p.m.


$47 - ECBA Members (Judges & Attorneys) and their Paraprofessional Staff
$60 - Non-members

This course has been approved for 1 hour Ethics CLE credit


Brian S. Quinn, Esquire, is a licensed attorney in Pennsylvania who currently serves as the Education and Outreach Coordinator for Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers of Pennsylvania, Inc., a Lawyers Assistance Program established in 1988 for the purpose of helping lawyers, judges and law students recover from alcoholism, drug addiction and mental health disorders. Atty. Quinn obtained his undergraduate degree in 1970, his law degree in 1973 and a certificate in Drug and Alcohol counseling in 2012, from Villanova University. A member of the Pennsylvania and American Bar Associations, he has been a private practitioner for over 40 years, having litigated both civil and criminal matters during his career. Atty. Quinn also worked in the field of alcohol and drug counseling in suburban Philadelphia from 2011 to 2017, allowing him to gain both practical and clinical experience with individuals suffering from alcohol, substance use and mental health disorders. Atty. Quinn is a past member of the Board of Directors of Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers of Pennsylvania and served as a peer volunteer for over six years prior to accepting his current role as the organization’s Educator in 2017. He has written articles and made presentations on many lawyer wellness topics to law firms, Bar Associations, professional organizations and legal education providers on a state, national and international level.


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

“What am I doing here? I don’t belong.”

“I’m a total fraud and, sooner or later, everyone’s going to find out.”

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. Hear our experienced speaker 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:

  • Imposter Syndrome: What Is It?
  • Impacts of Imposter Syndrome on Attorneys and our ability to uphold the Rules of professional Conduct
  • The Role of Gender and Racial Bias in Creating Imposter Syndrome
  • Practical Guidance for Overcoming Imposter Syndrome
  • How to Support Attorneys Battling Imposter Syndrome
  • The confidential, safe, free, and supportive resources available through lawyers assistance programs
  • Personal Experience of Struggling with Imposter Syndrome

Reservations due to the ECBA office by Tuesday, August 2, 2022. 

Registration Cost: See registration form for details