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Beware of Lawyers During Economic Slump

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If you’re normally wary of lawyers, then a downturn in the economy ought to make you more so.

When the economy gets tough, lawyers, like everyone else, have to hustle to get work.

GROGAN: Some lawyers that take a case and they find themselves way over their heads.

Jim Grogan is with the regulatory commission that disciplines lawyers in Illinois. He says complaints jumped nearly 50 percent in the wake of the recession in the early 1980s. He thinks it’s because lawyers needed more work so they started taking on jobs they really weren’t qualified for. For example, a real estate attorney takes on an immigration case and soon an unhappy client is on a plane back to their native land. If you’re an attorney, listen up. Grogan’s got some advice for you.

GROGAN: As difficult as it may seem, if when times were good you wouldn’t take a client, don’t take that same client when times are bad.

And Grogan says, if you’re a client, make sure your attorney has relevant experience.

I’m Robert Wildeboer, Chicago Public Radio.

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