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

Death to “Profit Per Partner”

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Filed under: Big Firms, Finance, Management, Purpose

It’s time for law firms to junk “average Profit Per Partner” (PPP) as a measure of profitability and success. Past time, actually: our continued adherence to this shallow and self-centred metric is a prime contributor to the BigLaw existential crisis we’ve been reading so much about lately. By using PPP as the primary (if not… Read more »

Transforming Bar associations

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Filed under: Collaboration, Innovation

So I’ve been busy writing again, this time about what the changing legal marketplace is doing to two longstanding members of that market: law librarians (for Thomson Reuters’ Legal Solutions column) and bar associations (for the ABA’s Bar Leader e-magazine). The latter article, co-authored with the great Fred Ury, prompted a post by Sam Glover at Lawyerist: How Can Bar… Read more »

The secretarial canary in the law firm coal mine

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Filed under: Big Firms, Management, Purpose

“A really far-sighted law firm would give its secretaries the chance to ‘skill up’ and take on more responsibility, accomplishing more advanced tasks. … Change ‘secretary’ to ‘workflow manager’ or ‘logistics director,’ and you’ve accomplished three great things at once: increased the role of software in handling clerical and financial duties, reassigned your valuable secretarial help… Read more »

Book No. 2: Evolutionary Road

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Filed under: Books, Innovation, Law21

And now, presenting …. my second book! I’m the sole author of this one, but it’s not a solo effort by any means — it’s a co-production with my great friends at Attorney At Work: Merrilyn Astin Tarlton, Joan Feldman and Mark Feldman. I’m very proud to announce the publication today of Evolutionary Road: A… Read more »

What do lawyers sell?

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Filed under: Clients, Purpose

The first time I heard Richard Susskind speak was at a Canadian Bar Association conference in Montreal in 2007. That was also the first time I heard one of the best parables about professional services ever told. I’ll try to paraphrase Richard’s delivery from memory: “Black & Decker, the power tool company, had just hired… Read more »

So you designed a law firm: Your survey results

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Filed under: Leadership, Management, Purpose

Previously on Law21 … after discussing the apparent disconnect between what lawyers seem to believe they can accomplish within law firms and what they’re actually empowered to do, I set up a brief survey inviting lawyers to distribute 100 points among 10 features of a hypothetical law firm to create an ideal working environment. First,… Read more »

What disruption really means

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Filed under: Innovation

“You keep using that word,” said Inigo Montoya. “I don’t think it means what you think it means.” “That word,” in the current legal marketplace, is “disruption,” a terrific word that’s instrumental in understanding what this market is going through, but one whose overuse is generating a growing backlash. The tipping point might have been… Read more »

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