Jordan Furlong is a strategic consultant and analyst who forecasts the impact of the changing legal market on lawyers, law firms and legal organizations.

The Brink

BigLaw levels up

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Filed under: Big Firms, Innovation

My older brother used to give my teenaged self (with some justification) a hard time about playing Dungeons & Dragons. I eventually grew tired of the cracks about wasting time in a fantasy world, though, and I assembled what I considered a strong defence of the game. “D&D helps you build a lot of skills,” I said. “You… Read more »

Why law firms need R&D investment

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Filed under: Innovation, Management, Research

Lawyers hardly ever talk about research and development. We might be the only major industry or professional sector that fails to do so. Last year, total spending on R&D by the world’s 1,000 largest companies was about $638 billion, according to the Strategy& 2013 Global Innovation 1000 Study. The 10 companies that spent the most on R&D (from Volkswagen… Read more »

Watershed: The CBA Futures Report

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Filed under: Governance, Innovation

This morning, the Canadian Bar Association released the widely anticipated Final Report of its CBA Legal Futures Initiative, “Futures: Transforming The Delivery Of Legal Services In Canada.” I had the benefit of receiving an advance copy a few days ago, so I’ve had time to review the report and prepare some thoughts. My primary thought is this: The… Read more »

Who’s your biggest competitor?

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Filed under: Clients, Competition, Uncategorized

That’s a question I sometimes like to ask when visiting a law firm or speaking to an audience of lawyers: “Who is your biggest competitor?” I usually let the respondent decide what “biggest” means — sometimes they interpret it to mean the competitor who poses the greatest threat to their book of business, or who… Read more »

A word in Spanish

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Filed under: Careers, New Lawyers, Technology

Earlier this summer, I was asked by Mario Ferrer of Responsea, an online lawyer platform in Spain,  if I could answer a few questions for their readers, especially those who are just starting off in the law or grappling with the onslaught of technology. My brief replies sound much better and more elegant when translated into Spanish, as the resulting… Read more »

The failure of legal innovation

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Filed under: Innovation, Technology

Okay, I admit: that was a pure linkbait headline. Not quite as bad as 17 Heartwarming Photos That Will Restore Your Faith In Humanity, but still, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to draw in people who might be thinking (hoping?) that I’d given up on innovation in the legal market. But the headline isn’t a complete fraud…. Read more »

An incomplete inventory of NewLaw

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Filed under: Innovation, Technology

So I was asked to give a presentation about “NewLaw.” No problem at all — aside from the minor, niggling detail of figuring out what “NewLaw” is supposed to be. Like other terms in vogue within the legal profession (cf. “non-lawyer”), we seem to understand better what “NewLaw” isn’t than what it is. George Beaton of Australia, who has written more… Read more »

The incidental lawyer

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Filed under: Access, Clients, Competition

The South Carolina Supreme Court ruled this week that LegalZoom’s services do not constitute the unauthorized practice of law. As reported by Greg Lambert at 3 Geeks, LegalZoom’s press release celebrates the news, while also taking pains to note that the company’s documents have been reviewed by the state Supreme Court and that it frequently refers its customers… Read more »

Me again

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Filed under: Law21

So I thought you might be interested in reading about what I’ve been up to lately outside of Law21 (seeing as how I sure haven’t been up to much here). I have a couple of new posts percolating for this month and next, and by mid-summer, I hope to announce what I think will be… Read more »

You say you want a revolution?

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Filed under: Innovation, Purpose

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ll know that I’m convinced of a couple of things: (1) Fundamental shifts in the legal services environment will spawn a  diverse population of new providers that will expand access to those services while destroying lawyers’ market exclusivity; and, (2) This is, on balance, a good… Read more »

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