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

Why lawyers don’t innovate

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Filed under: Innovation

“How can I get my lawyers to change?” This might be the question I hear most frequently from managing partners and law firm CEOs who are trying to help their organizations innovate and adapt to the new marketplace, but who are frustrated by the fierce resistance they encounter. The conventional culprit is lawyers’ bullheaded refusal… Read more »

Ready for the future? Your survival kit survey results

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Filed under: Careers, Purpose

Previously on Law21 … last month, to be exact, I designed another survey for your consideration. This one was a good deal more complex than my first Law21 questionnaire, which simply asked you to prioritize 10 characteristics of a modern law firm. This time around, we postulated a “future legal survival kit,” giving you 15 features… Read more »

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 »

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