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

The future of lawyer associations

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Filed under: Governance, Innovation

Thomas Wolfe says you can’t go home again; nevertheless, I’m returning to my alma mater Queen’s Law School tomorrow to give a presentation on the future of the legal marketplace. While preparing slides for my section on networking, I noticed that examples of old-line bar associations (the volunteer kind, not mandatory or regulatory bodies like… Read more »

Lawyers and the red balloon

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Filed under: Access, Competition, Innovation

Like many parents of small children, I’ve gotten to know Thomas The Tank Engine, and the peculiar universe he inhabits, far too well. As an example, I’ve now read the story James and the Red Balloon so often that I’ve begun to draw lessons for the legal profession from it. To summarize: among the trains… Read more »

So what happens next?

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Filed under: Innovation

As the year winds down and alternative fee arrangements become more widespread among lawyers, I’m finding myself doing something curious: I’m being nice to the billable hour. Not defending it, exactly — others are happy to do that — but being more nuanced in my criticism and even citing examples of billing relationships where it… Read more »

Solving the wrong problem

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Filed under: Access, Finance

The New York Times caused quite a stir last week when it published an article that looked at a third-party litigation funding company focused on the family law market. Balance Point Divorce Funding covers the cost of a party’s divorce proceeding in exchange for a share of what it calls the “winnings.” The article describes… Read more »

The new battlefield: convenience

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Filed under: Clients, Competition, Innovation

Whatever happened to Napster? Depending on your age, you might remember it either as a piracy-enabling nuisance, a groundbreaking music-swapping service, or the dusty antecedent of iTunes. Time magazine caught up with Napster’s founder, Shawn Fanning, and three other pioneering hackers in a recent article that describes them as “The Men Who Changed The World.”… Read more »

That’s me all over

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Filed under: Law21

In addition to keeping busy with client work, I’ve had the opportunity to write a number of articles recently and to be interviewed for a few others. I thought you’d be interested in checking some of them out. As part of the newest edition of the Edge International Review – a journal of Edge partners’… Read more »

Canada’s Big Bang

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Filed under: Big Firms, Globalization

Earlier this fall, I gave a presentation to a Canadian law society that described the key trends in the current legal marketplace and forecast where they’re likely to lead in future. As part of the presentation, we discussed a series of hypothetical future developments that would require the profession’s regulators to respond. One of them… Read more »

Destroying your own business

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Filed under: Big Firms, Competition, Innovation

Well before Blockbuster Video actually filed for bankruptcy protection earlier this fall, The Onion produced a prescient video about a museum tour based on the movie rental chain: Historic ‘Blockbuster’ Store Offers Glimpse Of How Movies Were Rented In The Past. One dazzled visitor remarks: “It’s like stepping into a time machine … it’s hard… Read more »

What’s your sports department?

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Filed under: Innovation

As both a former journalist and a recovering professional sports fan, I was intrigued by this entry at Mark Coddington’s blog about innovation in newspapers. He reports on a study that found the department within most news organizations most amenable to innovation is actually Sports. The two journalism professors who prepared the report, along with… Read more »

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