Herb Franks grew up on a dairy farm in Marengo, Illinois. Even as a young man, as he worked early and long hours, he knew he wanted more out of life.
“I want to tell you, when you're milking cows twice a day 7 days a week you figure there’s got to be a another way to make a buck when you’re a young kid,” Franks said. “My old man didn’t care if I came in at 3:30 in the morning, but at 5:30 I’d better be in the barn.”
Franks did find a “another way to make a buck.” He became a lawyer. But he didn’t forget his roots. His firm, FGM Law, which celebrates its 50th year this year, is located on that same farmland where Franks milked his father’s cows.
Franks began his law career in 1961 and hung up his own shingle on his first office in 1975 after winning his first million-dollar case. Now FGM Law employs 9 lawyers and 13 support staff.
After more than half a century the law is in Franks’ blood. In fact, all three of his sons earned law degrees.
“My middle son Jack’s middle name is Darrow, in honor of Clarence Darrow,” Franks said proudly.
On Aug. 8, in honor of the 50th anniversary of his firm, Franks will be “roasted” by a bevy of legal heavy hitters, including First Judicial District Supreme Court Justice Anne Burke, former Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Tom Kilbride, McHenry County Circuit Court Judge Michael Caldwell, Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White, Cook County Sheriff Thomas Dart and others.
“I’m afraid of what they’re going to say, because as you can tell, I’m very thin-skinned,” Franks said, tongue-in-cheek. “I’m going to deny it all.”
Franks, Gerkin & McKenna | (815) 923-2107 | 19333 East Grant Highway Marengo, Illinois 60152