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

Capped fees, limited innovation

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Filed under: Billing, Innovation

To the well-known list of companies that have consolidated their roster of outside counsel to one firm (DuPont, Tyco, and Linde, most prominently), you can now add Pfizer, which Corporate Counsel magazine reports has given all its employment litigation work to Jackson Lewis and its 500 lawyers across the US. But this one comes with… Read more »

Podcast on conflicts of interest

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Filed under: Clients, Governance

Law21 was quiet for a week while I worked the Canadian Bar Association’s Canadian Legal Conference in Quebec City. Among the highlights for me was moderating a podcast on the CBA’s just-released Final Report of its Task Force on Conflicts of Interest. You can access the podcast by clicking the third link in the right-hand… Read more »

The Web is bigger than you think

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Filed under: Clients, Technology

A watershed moment is occurring at the Beijing Olympics — or more accurately, in the head offices of the broadcasters covering it. Online viewing of Olympic events has shot into the stratosphere — this Globe & Mail article on the subject uses terms like “shattering” and “unbelievable” to communicate the enormity of what’s happening. Here… Read more »

The next small thing

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Filed under: Careers

This article in The Recorder is mostly about the free-fall that the real estate legal marketplace in California is experiencing. But my attention was caught by Mark Greene, a real estate lawyer there who diversified his practice at the height of the boom and has seen his foresight pay off: Wise to the cyclical nature… Read more »

A few good lawsuits

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Filed under: Marketing

I’ve glimpsed the future of legal marketing, but WhoCanISue.com isn’t it. A new website that has generated a remarkable amount of publicity for a concept that’s not exactly groundbreaking, WhoCanISue.com allows would-be litigants to share the basic outlines of their potential legal claim with an online system, without divulging confidential information. The site will then… Read more »

Take the Blue-Sky Challenge

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Filed under: Big Firms, Innovation, Law School, Publishing

My latest column has been posted at Slaw. You should go read it there, because it’s a special interactive edition and I’d like to produce as many entries for this contest as possible — and because, as always, there’s tremendous content at Slaw just waiting for your perusal. Go check it out.

Associates and the bad table

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Filed under: Big Firms, Management, Talent

The opening words to a sporty 60-second video montage at Cadwalader’s US student recruitment site are: “Make no mistake about it. A career at Cadwalader is not for the faint of heart.” So it would seem, following news that the firm cut 96 lawyers on Thursday, an astounding purge that surpasses Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal‘s… Read more »

Could clients drive firms to do more pro bono?

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Filed under: Clients, Purpose

Australia, the legal profession’s innovation laboratory, is busy delivering another dose of fresh thinking. The state of Victoria is requiring all law firms that take on legal work for the government to perform pro bono work as a condition of the retainer — specifically, to the tune of 5% to 15% of the total value… Read more »

Results, not résumés

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Filed under: Innovation, Law School, New Lawyers

Professor William Henderson, who teaches at the University of Indiana Faculty of Law and blogs at Empirical Legal Studies, has written a watershed treatise on how large law firms recruit and use associates. The ELS blog summarizes it, the ABA Journal reports on it, and Bruce MacEwen and Gerry Riskin have already flagged it as… Read more »

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