Posts By: Jordan Furlong

The purpose-driven lawyer

Posted by & filed under Law School, Purpose.

The myth of the rich lawyer is remarkably widespread. That’s odd, considering the fact that while some lawyers are very well off, many others simply make a decent living, and some sacrifice potential income for a greater purpose. These days, only the independently wealthy emerge from three years of legal education debt-free. Tuition is higher… Read more »

Moving targets

Posted by & filed under Globalization, Technology.

Mobile lawyering, international trade mechanisms, and Asian outsourcing all revolve around twin forces — technology and globalization — that have reduced the significance of physical distance and national borders for legal practice. The four walls of a lawyer’s office no longer contain a practitioner, and the borders and coastlines of our nation no longer impede… Read more »

A to Z: 26 trends for the legal profession

Posted by & filed under Billing, Clients, Competition, Generations, Globalization, Innovation, Law School, Leadership, New Lawyers, Satisfaction, Technology.

This article was co-authored with Mélanie Raymond, then-Senior Editor of National, and appeared as the cover story in the April/May 2006 edition of the magazine. The legal profession is turning upside down, and many of the familiar landmarks are disappearing or bring replaced by brand-new structures. There are so many changes afoot that National’s editorial… Read more »

We mean business

Posted by & filed under Clients, Competition, Law School.

I’ve been in legal journalism for more than ten years now, so I’ve heard pretty much all the clichés about the law (I’m guilty of having used more than a few myself). My current favourite is the lament, “Law isn’t a profession anymore; it’s a business.” Lawyering is at least 400 years old, and I’m… Read more »

China syndrome

Posted by & filed under Competition, Globalization, Innovation, Technology.

China is shaping the world we live in — along with India, Wal-Mart, Google, RSS, Wikipedia, wireless, and the World Wide Web 2.0. It’s not just manufacturing jobs moving to Asia, it’s white-collar professional work, too. And that’s just the start of it. From what I can tell, we’re poised on the edge of great… Read more »

Speed kills

Posted by & filed under Billing, Satisfaction.

In every survey the Canadian Bar Association conducts, we hear lawyers talking about “work-life balance.” I’ve always found this an odd term, actually, because work and life aren’t two sides of the same coin — life is the coin, and work is one side of it. Or better yet, life is a pyramid or a… Read more »

Looking for leaders

Posted by & filed under Generations, Leadership, New Lawyers.

These days, young lawyers are often said to be joining firms and immediately expecting exciting work, handsome paycheques, flexible hours and endless compliments. Their attitude, apparently, is that they can bypass all the hard work put in by their elders and head straight for the reward, while bolting to a higher bidder on a moment’s… Read more »

Try anything once

Posted by & filed under Law School.

One of my more vivid law school memories is a first-year public law class with Sheila McIntyre at Queen’s in 1990. Prof. McIntyre, while teaching the core subject matter with her usual brilliance, was also giving many of us our first exposure to feminist legal criticisms and status-quo-challenging legal theory. The discomfort among many students… Read more »

Change, competition and clients

Posted by & filed under Clients, Competition.

The pace of change in and around the legal profession these days can’t really be overstated. The external marketplace of legal services is transforming itself daily — vast numbers of non-lawyers are now supplying legal services to clients, who have more knowledge and leverage than ever before. Simultaneously, young lawyers are redrawing the internal map… Read more »

Culture wars

Posted by & filed under Generations, Satisfaction.

Every year, thousands of lawyers in their 20s enter the legal profession, while thousands more in their 60s leave it. In the result, we’re seeing a mass-scale infusion of new value systems into the legal profession — and the old and new systems usually mix like oil and water. The clearest value clash is revolving… Read more »

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