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

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 »

The MCLE question no one wants to ask

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Filed under: CLE, Governance

Here’s a conversation I sometimes like to imagine, between an elected official in the government and a representative of a state bar or law society. “So, I understand that law is a self-governing profession, and that you’re the governors.” “That’s right.” “I assume you know that self-regulation is a privilege, and that the government allows you… Read more »

Reinventing the right things

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Filed under: Purpose, Technology

Warning: Lengthy Moral Philosophy Discussion Ahead. Worse luck for you, it’s from an English major who took exactly two Philosophy courses in undergrad and was entirely unsuccessful in trying to penetrate Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason, so govern yourselves accordingly. But it’ll take us a few paragraphs before we get there. First, we talk technology…. Read more »

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