I hesitate to write this because I suspect most of us aren’t overly sympathetic to lawyers’ problems, but there’s an interesting article by Cheryl Hall in today’s Morning News about the demise of Jenkens & Gilchrist, a law firm known by everyone in business around here. The article talks about the fall of that firm because a few Chicago partners apparently ruined the firm’s culture while devising an illegal tax shelter scheme that the IRS later uncovered, but it also talks about some of the little-discussed business risks associated with being a lawyer. It turns out that lawyers are just as likely to lose their money in a failed business (or in this case law firm) as the rest of us are. Now, I suppose the landing is cushioned somewhat by the ability to charge someone $250 per hour to recoup the losses, but the column still makes for interesting reading, particularly since I know a number of neighborhood residents once were Jenkens lawyers.
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