In Tangled Loyalties, Susan P. Shapiro charts a journey across the state of Illinois. To explore the role of conflict-of-interest in the private practice of law she looks at a wide variety of law firms, including those located near lakes, rivers, and corn fields; in strip malls, storefronts, and historic landmarks; in town squares, residential neighborhoods, deteriorating downtown areas, and glittering high rises.
This unique, empirical study examines the actual attitudes and perceptions of legal practitioners. The author discusses the realities of the profession--what lawyers face day to day, how they deal with conflicts of interest, and how those experiences vary from LaSalle Street to Wall Street to Main Street, from megafirms to solo practices. In describing how conflicts arise in their daily work, Shapiro sheds light on the nature of legal work--on clients, colleagues, law firm power and politics, economics, markets, malpractice insurance, careers, ethics, values, business judgments, and lawyers' most anguishing moments. In short, we learn what it means to be a lawyer at the end of the twentieth century.
Tangled Loyalties also looks at how these conflicts in law affect other fiduciaries--accountants, doctors, psychotherapists, journalists, and academics--and the way in which they respond to competing interests and the honoring of those interests.
Tangled Loyalties will appeal to readers interested in the legal and other professions, social institutions and relations, and issues of trust, ethics, social control and regulation.
Susan P. Shapiro is Senior Research Fellow, American Bar Foundation.