Will my new legal employers realize I'm a total fraud?

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Anonymous User
Posts: 273166
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Will my new legal employers realize I'm a total fraud?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 20, 2015 12:03 pm

I was in a great job but really needed to move locations for personal reasons. Class of 2009, been working for my fed agency field office since graduation. Think: SEC-type where I deal with securities. Initially over the first 1-2 years I learned a few things, but pretty quickly my job devolved into essentially cutting and pasting documents for relevant securities and sitting on conference calls all day. It's a very easy job, I don't do much, but totally mind numbing and this city is expensive and awful. Cut and paste, cut and paste, all day, every day. Great pay and QOL though. But I haven't progressed in my legal knowledge in years.

After looking around a while I found a job in my dream location. Think: West coast outdoorsy style. Pay is the same (low-$100s), cost of living and state/city taxes are much less, benefits are similar. It's like getting a nice raise.

The problem is that I'm a giant fraud. I've been doing what I mentioned above for years, which is par for the course for attorneys I work with as well, and got hired at the much more interesting in-house job on the strength of older work from when I started at my agency. Happy to be leaving this terribly-expensive city to which I have no ties, but feel like when I start in-house they're going to realize I have zero legal skills. The new job will have a variety of problems where I will write legal memos, write/review policy for the company, read new regs that will affect the company, advise outside counsel, etc.

I've already worked to manage expectations and tell them that the jobs are different and there will be a learning curve, but I don't know how long I can last before they realize I know nothing and am a terrible writer. They seem very excited to have someone "of my caliber" join the team. Luckily there are a number of attorneys in my group so it's not like I'm starting by myself with nothing. I start on Monday, have already made the move to the new city, and am freaking out.

Anyone been in this situation? Advice?

dixiecupdrinking
Posts: 3139
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2008 2:39 pm

Re: Will my new legal employers realize I'm a total fraud?

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Fri Mar 20, 2015 12:12 pm

You don't sound like any more of a fraud than anyone else. Don't sweat it.

legends159
Posts: 1090
Joined: Thu Jul 12, 2007 4:12 pm

Re: Will my new legal employers realize I'm a total fraud?

Postby legends159 » Fri Mar 20, 2015 12:13 pm

You'll be surprised how many people in upper management positions feel this way about themselves. You'll subconsciously step your game up when expectations change and it's OK to ask questions. Just ask for some precedents and try to piece things together from there.

victortsoi
Posts: 448
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 7:51 pm

Re: Will my new legal employers realize I'm a total fraud?

Postby victortsoi » Fri Mar 20, 2015 12:38 pm

there is a mental condition in the DSM that actually afflicts relatively intelligent people : impostor syndrome. Look it up. I think a lot of us have it, youre a smart guy, just blow the cobwebs off what you picked up in school/before and you'll be fine. smile a lot too and be a bro and nobody will dislike you.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273166
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Will my new legal employers realize I'm a total fraud?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 20, 2015 12:53 pm

You're suffering from imposter syndrome. Is there any junior lawyer on here whose job is more than copy and pasting and proofreading except on rare occasions? Congrats on the job! You'll be fine...remember to fake it til you make it in terms of your attitude and the image you project. Step one would be to never call yourself a "huge fraud" ever again, because it's obviously not true. Step 2 is to trust that the company, which understandably seems thrilled to have scored someone from a federal financial regulator, knows what they're doing in hiring you.

smallfirmassociate
Posts: 386
Joined: Mon Jan 13, 2014 5:47 pm

Re: Will my new legal employers realize I'm a total fraud?

Postby smallfirmassociate » Fri Mar 20, 2015 3:00 pm

Can you write? Are you kinda smart? You'll be just fine if you can answer at least one out of two with a yes.

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rpupkin
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Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:32 pm

Re: Will my new legal employers realize I'm a total fraud?

Postby rpupkin » Fri Mar 20, 2015 3:16 pm

Your writing looks fine. I realize that a TLS post isn't a legal memo, but bad writing shines through in almost any context. Your OP reads better than 90% of the crap I see produced by lawyers, most of whom graduated from T14 schools.

Your new job will be stressful at first (new jobs almost always are), but I bet you'll get the hang of it soon enough.

HobbitCat
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Apr 30, 2010 3:45 am

Re: Will my new legal employers realize I'm a total fraud?

Postby HobbitCat » Mon Mar 23, 2015 3:59 pm

Oh please. If you were a fraud, they wouldn't have hired you. And if you were a fraud and they hired you nonetheless, then you will be working for a bunch of fools and have nothing to worry about.

...My point is, you will be fine! Take a stroll around the neighborhood after work and enjoy your new life :)

lapolicia
Posts: 114
Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2009 1:23 pm

Re: Will my new legal employers realize I'm a total fraud?

Postby lapolicia » Mon Mar 23, 2015 4:10 pm

OP, how was your first day?

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baal hadad
Posts: 3168
Joined: Sun Jul 20, 2014 2:57 pm

Re: Will my new legal employers realize I'm a total fraud?

Postby baal hadad » Mon Mar 23, 2015 4:34 pm

Fake it til u make it my dude




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