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

Watch for falling dominoes

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Filed under: Big Firms, Law School, Publishing

I don’t think Detroit’s automakers scored a $17 billion care package from the White House because anyone seriously thinks the cash will staunch the gaping holes in their business models and turn them into American Toyotas. More likely, the US government feared a massive ripple effect throughout the faltering wider economy if even Chrysler went… Read more »

The failure of billable-hour compensation

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Filed under: Billing, Compensation

Two ugly stories from the mainstream legal media at least give us the opportunity to consider an under-publicized way in which the billable hour poisons the profession. First is this National Law Journal article about how law firms are responding to the recession (short answer: myopically). Among other things, firms are laying off staff and… Read more »

The new leverage

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Filed under: Big Firms, Clients, Solo & Small Firm, Talent

Bad news on the economic front continues to pile up — you don’t need the links from me — and the legal profession is finding its ride increasingly bumpy as a result. Wachovia’s legal specialty group reports that partners in large law firms are bringing in less revenue for the first time since approximately the… Read more »

Re-engineering law schools

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Filed under: Law School

My newest column for Slaw is up and running at the must-read site and ABA Journal Blawg 100 finalist. Even though I’ll also reproduce the article here, I recommend you read it there, in order to get a close-up look at the tremendous content, links and insights available to its readers every day. As law… Read more »

Law21 makes ABA Journal’s Blawg 100 list

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Filed under: Law21

I’m delighted and honoured to report that the editors of the ABA Journal have included Law21 in their 2008 listing of the 100 best law blogs. It totally caught me off guard — I didn’t even know they were handing these things out this month — and I’m not exaggerating when I say it’s an… Read more »

The market doesn’t care

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Filed under: Clients, Innovation

Two of the smartest people writing on the web these days are Seth Godin and Scott Karp. They have an important message that everybody in the legal services marketplace, especially lawyers, needs to hear. First, this is what Seth had to say in the course of a short but eye-opening interview about the book publishing… Read more »

Decoupling price from cost in legal services

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Filed under: Billing, Competition, Technology

Virtually all the talk these days in client circles is about the cost of legal services. It’s well established that institutional purchasers of these services are under great pressure to reduce costs by, for example, “taking bids, asking for discounts, shopping around for lower-cost options.” Patrick J. Lamb points out that many in-house lawyers don’t… Read more »

A high-calibre crystal ball

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Filed under: Law21

When Dennis Kennedy contacted me a few weeks ago, to ask if I’d like to participate in an online roundtable on the impact of the economic crisis on lawyers to be published in the ABA’s Law Practice Today e-zine, I of course said yes on the spot. But when I logged into the site and… Read more »

Smart investing vs. law firm layoffs

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Filed under: Talent

I’m very satisfied with the status of my investments. The reason I’m very satisfied is that I haven’t opened a single RRSP update from my bank since mid-summer. I already have a pretty good sense of how ugly things are inside that envelope, and I don’t feel up to having it confirmed just yet. But… Read more »

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