You’ve made it to the Bar – spread your wings, trust in your abilities and be your authentic self; candid advice on how to beat imposter syndrome and enrich life and practice.

Natasha Shotunde and Alexandra Wilson share their experiences with Counsel Magazine of imposter syndrome whilst being at the Bar and how they try to overcome it. 

"Imposter syndrome: the feeling that you are not good enough, do not belong and will be found out as a fraud. It is indiscriminate but can be more acute for those who differ from their professional peers, for example by race, gender, age, disability, class or sexual orientation. Being a young black female from a single parent family who went to a state school and a non-Oxbridge university makes me the perfect candidate. Working on overcoming imposter syndrome is an ongoing process. Hopefully, my story, and that of others, will help provide some insight and support...."

This is an extract from Natasha Shotunde's article from Counsel, May 2019 edition, click here to read the article in full on Counsel Magazine's website.

Natasha is a barrister who accepts instructions in family, civil, regulatory/professional discipline and extradition. Her main practice is family law and she has a particular interest in international cases and cases involving a human rights element. She is a member of the Young Barristers’ Committee, a Social Mobility Advocate for the Bar Council and has brought barristers together to create the Black Barristers’ Network.

"Born in East London and raised in Essex, I am of mixed-race heritage; black Caribbean and white English. My paternal grandparents were part of the Windrush generation and worked incredibly hard to build a life in the UK. I attended local state schools and was encouraged by my family to aim high. However, I was discouraged from applying to Oxbridge by teachers who thought that it wasn’t for ‘people like me’. I persevered and was accepted to study Philosophy, Politics and Economics at the University of Oxford.

I loved the intellectual stimulation at Oxford, but found the environment difficult. I struggled with imposter syndrome; the feeling that I didn’t belong. In my year group (of over 100 students) I was the only one of black heritage, and none came from Essex...."

This is an extract from Alexandra Wilson's article from Counsel, May 2019 edition, click here to read the article in full on Counsel Magazine's website.

Alexandra Wilson is currently undertaking her pupillage with 5SAH. She tweets here: @EssexBarrister and blogs at: ‘Essex to Oxford’ in order to encourage students from non-traditional backgrounds to apply to Oxbridge and consider a career at the Bar.