Diverse Lives in the Law: The Impostor Syndrome

October 08, 2014

The Office of Diversity Education and Outreach at Northwestern Law will host a program on "Diverse Lives in the Law: The Impostor Syndrome" on Tuesday, October 14, at 4 p.m., at the Law School. Designed for practicing attorneys as well as law students, the program has been approved for 3 Professionalism CLE credits.

If you’ve ever thought to yourself, “One day people will realize I don’t know as much as they think,” then you are in excellent company. Dismissing success as luck, believing that success is undeserved, and living with a fear of being “found out” as not being as smart or talented or deserving or experienced as people think is a common occurrence; so common, in fact, that the term “Impostor Syndrome” was coined to describe it. But what matters most is not whether we occasionally fear failing, looking foolish or not being “whatever enough”; it’s whether we give those fears the power to keep us from taking the actions needed to achieve our goals and ambitions.

Lawyers are not immune. This program is intended to understand how common the impostor syndrome is and provide tools to overcome it.

Program Schedule

4 p.m.
Featured Speaker: Joyce Roché, author of The Empress Has No Clothes: Conquering Self-Doubt to Embrace Success. Ms. Roché has served as the CEO of Girls, Inc., as President and Chief Operating Officer of Carson Products Company, and Vice President of Global Marketing at Avon Products, Inc. In addition, she currently sits on the Board of Directors of AT&T Inc., Macy’s Inc., Tupperware Brands, Dr. Pepper Snapple Group Inc., and the Association of Governing Boards.

5 p.m.
Overcoming the Impostor Syndrome and Other Barriers, featuring Ritu Bhasin, LL.B., MBA, Principal, bhasin consulting, inc. Ms. Bhasin’s firm provides people management, leadership, and diversity/women’s advancement strategies to international organizations. Previously, Ms. Bhasin practiced law as a civil litigator and then served on the senior management team of a preeminent Canadian law firm focusing on legal talent management.

6 p.m.
The Impostor Syndrome in Practice: A Panel Discussion
Patricia Boone, 2L, Northwestern University School of Law
Jami de Lou, Manager of Talent Development, Diversity & Inclusion, Jenner & Block LLP
Stacie R. Hartman, Partner, Schiff Hardin LLP
Cary Martin, Assistant Professor of Law, DePaul University College of Law
Mary E. Zaug, Partner, Kirkland & Ellis LLP
Moderated by: Sally L. Olson, Chief Diversity Officer, Sidley Austin LLP

7 p.m.
Reception, sponsored by Jenner & Block LLP

The program will be held in Rubloff 140. A reception will follow in the Law School Atrium.
For questions, please contact Shannon P. Bartlett at or 312-503-4557.

This program is sponsored by the Office of Diversity Education and Outreach, The Women’s Center, Asian Pacific American Law Students Association, Black Law Students Association, Diversity Coalition, Latino Law Students Association, South Asian Law Students Association, and the Women’s Leadership Coalition.

Northwestern Law thanks Jenner & Block LLP & Kirkland & Ellis LLP for their generous financial support of this event.