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

ABS in Canada? Closer than you might think

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Filed under: Competition, Innovation

This post was originally published as two articles in the October 25 and November 1, 2013 issues of Canada’s The Lawyers Weekly newspaper. Reproduced here with thanks. Unless you’ve been making a special effort not to notice them, you’re probably aware of Alternative Business Structures (ABS), the most radical of several developments introduced in England… Read more »

Reinventing the associate

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Filed under: Big Firms, New Lawyers, Talent

Last week’s post, “The decline of the associate and the rise of the law firm employee,” wasn’t just my longest Law21 title on record. It also triggered a detailed response from Toby Brown of 3 Geeks, to which I left a lengthy comment and which in turn inspired a further comment from Susan Hackett of… Read more »

The decline of the associate and the rise of the law firm employee

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Filed under: Big Firms, Careers, New Lawyers, Talent

Earlier this month, Greenberg Traurig became the latest large US firm to take a new approach to its legal talent. Rather than firing secretaries or de-equitizing partners, however, as is all the rage elsewhere, Greenberg proposed something different and potentially groundbreaking: the introduction of a “residency” program for new associates. Here’s how the Am Law… Read more »

Law firm innovation: From idea to implementation

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Filed under: Innovation

I was honoured to deliver a 20-minute TED-style presentation last week at the 2013 Futures Conference, produced by the College of Law Practice Management and hosted by the University of Chicago-Kent Law School. I was hardly the main attraction — Ann Lee Gibson and Bill Henderson gave tremendous presentations, and people are still talking about Stephen… Read more »

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 »

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