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The Death of Corporate Reputation: How Integrity Has Been Destroyed on Wall Street by Jonathan R. Macey

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7. The New, Post-Reputation Wall Street: Law Firms

The legal profession differs in fundamentally significant ways from the accounting profession, though the two share some common characteristics. Lawyers are hired to argue for, protect, and defend the interests of clients. The best lawyers develop new strategies to advance their clients’ interests, while the best accountants strictly interpret accounting rules. Lawyers, unlike auditors, are not meant to be independent of their clients. Lawyers display much greater lateral mobility than accountants, with lawyers switching firms frequently. Furthermore, unlike among the top accounting firms, intense competition for clients exists at big law firms, leading lawyers to take increased risks. Lawyers, ...

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