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 apprenticeship marketplace

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Filed under: Innovation, Law School, New Lawyers

Critical mass, like the famous definition of obscenity, is one of those things you can’t necessarily define but that you know when you see. We’re approaching a critical mass of discourse on the necessity of change within the American law school system, and when we reach that point, the focus will switch overnight from necessity… Read more »

Why change is so hard

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Filed under: Innovation

Last week’s New Yorker column by James Surowiecki talked about health care reform in the United States, but it has something important to say about change in the legal profession too. Surowiecki noted the sudden remarkable rise in the number of Americans who say they’re satisfied with their current health coverage. Among other factors, he… Read more »

The real impact of private equity

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Filed under: Finance, Innovation

It’s coming to the attention of many North American lawyers that our overseas colleagues are or soon will be selling equity interests in their law firms. Earlier this summer, American Lawyer profiled the progress of pioneering publicly traded law firm Slater & Gordon in Australia. More recently, Bloomberg News announced that at least three UK… Read more »

The recession, so far

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Filed under: Recession

Surely by now you’ve heard the great news that that the recession is over. That’s a relief, huh? It’s good to know things can now start getting back to normal, especially in the legal marketplace — all this talk of major change was making us nervous. I don’t know about you, but the relentless good… Read more »

Just in case

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Filed under: Innovation, Outsourcing

“Stuff expands to fill the space available.” If you’ve ever owned a closet, basement or garage at some point in your life, you know how true that is. The corollary, of course, is that the less space you have, the less stuff you find you really need. I once moved six times in the space… Read more »

Tr.im and the risks of social media

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Filed under: Technology

Shortly after starting this blog in January 2008, I copied-and-pasted my first ten posts and emailed them to my parents, who were not blog-friendly but who were very interested to see what I was writing. (Are parents great, or what?) The next month, I emailed another bunch of posts, and from then on, it became… Read more »

The firms of the future

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Filed under: Big Firms, Innovation, Solo & Small Firm

“Does the future belong to virtual law firms?” That question was posed by an American Lawyer article earlier this week that focused on Virtual Law Partners, a growing firm nominally based in Silicon Valley but in fact operating, well, wherever its lawyers are. Virtual firms — two others, FSB Legal Counsel and Rimon Law Group,… Read more »

Three hotspots for change

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Filed under: Innovation

I thought I’d bring your attention to three upcoming conferences that crystallize the enormous changes taking place in the legal services marketplace these days. I aim to attend all three, but if you can get to even one of them, you’ll be exposed to some tremendous insights into what’s happening in the legal profession right… Read more »

All good things…

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Filed under: Clients, Purpose

My newest column is up and running at Slaw, where I’m always honoured it has a place. You can also find it directly below: ============================================ “Eighty percent of the poor in the United States are unable to afford a lawyer or find pro bono help for their civil legal problems, according to the American Bar… Read more »

Free and the GP

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Filed under: Competition, Innovation, Solo & Small Firm

Like Thomas Friedman and Malcolm Gladwell before him, Chris Anderson is becoming known for books that identify and name an evolving trend that connects business and society. You’ve probably read or head about his newest book Free: the Future of a Radical Price. It’s generating a tremendous amount of heat around the idea that the… Read more »

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