Ever heard of imposter syndrome? In this episode of the Bottom Up podcast, produced by the State Bar of Wisconsin, co-host Emil Ovbiagele and guest host Joe Forward interview Samantha Huddleston Baker, a partner at OVB Law and Consulting S.C. in Milwaukee. They discuss impostor syndrome and carving out paths in the early years of a legal career.

Samantha shares her background and journey to law school, as well as her experience joining the law firm and overcoming impostor syndrome. She also talks about finding her path in business and real estate law. The conversation concludes with a discussion on the dynamic between partners and associates. In this episode, the hosts discuss the challenges faced by young attorneys in the early years of their careers. They advise navigating these challenges, including how to effectively use support staff, deal with imposter syndrome, cultivate trust with clients, and handle difficult feedback. They emphasize the importance of confidence, communication, and continuous learning in building a successful legal career.


  • Impostor syndrome is common among young lawyers and can make them feel inadequate or like they are pretending to be something they’re not.
  • Overcoming impostor syndrome requires preparation, hard work, and a willingness to ask for help and seek guidance from more experienced attorneys.
  • Finding a path in a specific area of law often comes through experience and working with clients who give opportunities to learn and grow.
  • The dynamic between partners and associates can sometimes create a fear of bothering the partner with questions, but it’s important for associates to ask for help and not spend unnecessary time on tasks that could be resolved quickly with guidance. Do initial work to understand the subject matter before asking questions.
  • Be persistent and confident in asking for help.
  • Don’t be afraid to challenge more experienced attorneys respectfully.
  • Build a network of mentors and peers for support and guidance.
  • Avoid comparing yourself to others and focus on your own progress


00:00 Introduction

02:24 Impostor Syndrome and Carving Out Paths in Early Years of a Legal Career

08:10 Background and Journey to Law School

13:17 Joining the Law Firm and Overcoming Impostor Syndrome

23:37 Dealing with Impostor Syndrome and Fear

30:09 Defining Impostor Syndrome and Overcoming It

33:32 Dynamic Between Partners and Associates

34:58 Navigating the Early Years as a Young Attorney

46:08 Challenges Faced as a New Attorney

55:55 Using Support Staff Effectively

58:08 Dealing with Imposter Syndrome

01:00:05 Cultivating Trust with Clients

01:02:37 Comparing Career Progress with Peers

01:05:52 Handling Difficult Feedback