When I felt like a fraud

 October 18, 2017

By  Casey Berman

I started keeping a journal ever since the big earthquake hit San Francisco in 1989. Watching the fires in the City on television, my grandmother said, You should write this stuff down. So I started writing stuff down. I’ve kept a journal ever since.

And especially throughout law school.

As a 2L struggling in CrimPro class, I wrote that “my confidence was running on fumes”. I understood Due Process in theory, but the rest of the class was really difficult for me: The Exclusionary Rule, the exceptions to it, Herrera, Miranda.

I was lost.

I felt like a fraud.

My confidence was running on fumes.

But I took comfort in the fact that while I wasn’t excelling at law school, people told me that being a lawyer was much different. That law school really didn’t teach you real life practices, and once I became a working lawyer, I’d find my groove.

That made me feel better. I was resting my future on that.

But when I became a lawyer, now doing in-house software licensing, this lack of confidence didn’t subside. It actually became more severe, as I was now being paid to do a job at which I didn’t feel wholly proficient.

I always felt I missed something important in my agreement review. I felt I was too much of a nice guy in negotiations. I felt I wasn’t up to date on the most recent legal trends.

It wasn’t until I transitioned to a non-law, alternative job that I was able to align my skills with roles that called for them, and I began to shine.

I have never fully aligned with the study or practice of the law. While I have lamented the time I felt I “wasted” in law school, I do now celebrate my courage to re-create myself as something better. It’s not fun consistently feeling like a fraud.

If this sounds like you, I’ve created free and paid-for services that can help you transition out of the law. Schedule a free time to speak directly with me here and I can suggest some actionable next steps for you.

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