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“Catch Me If You Can” Conman Says Faking Being a Lawyer was the Easiest of All
Frank Abagnale, the man who beginning in his teenage years faked being an airplane pilot, medical doctor, and college professor told The Minneapolis Business Journal that the easiest of all cons to fake was being a lawyer.
“Of all the things I did, the easiest profession [to fake] was the lawyer,” said Abagnale. “As a lawyer, I found most of it was a matter of research, which I was great at – that’s what I did to death – and then basically persuading people that you’re right and they’re wrong. … I found that the easiest of all the professions to impersonate.”
Perhaps it isn’t surprising that being a lawyer closely resembles con-work compared to flying a jet or doing medical work, and after all he wasn’t trying cases, but working as a legal assistant.
In a memorable line from the movie based on Abagnale’s life, Tom Hanks, who plays the FBI agent Carl Hanratty, who is after Leonardo DiCaprio, playing Abagnale, asks him how he passed the Bar exam. He replied that he didn’t cheat; he just studied hard for a couple weeks and passed.
In reality, he took the bar three times, failing the first two. The Louisiana bar is also reputedly not the most difficult of bars in the States.