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

Ban the law school lecture

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Filed under: Generations, Law School

The simmering debate over whether to allow laptops into the law school classroom came to a head in March, with the decision by the University of Chicago Faculty of Law to ban wireless access in class. Follow those links, as well as this one from Paul Caron’s TaxProf Blog (HT: Dennis Kennedy), and you’ll be… Read more »

Twittering your clients

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Filed under: Clients, Marketing, Technology

Every so often, a topic explodes into the legal blogosphere and gets everyone talking. We’re seeing one of those explosions right now, thanks to Twitter. If you haven’t heard of Twitter, or if you have but you’re not sure just what it is, you can read the Wikipedia entry for a general backgrounder. If you’re… Read more »

Enter the Innovaction Awards

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Filed under: Innovation

I’ve been remiss in not mentioning this before now: the June 2 deadline for the College of Law Practice Management‘s annual Innovaction Awards is approaching fast. These awards recognize valuable and innovative projects undertaken by law firms in marketing, client service, recruitment, retention and other areas of law practice management. Previous winners of this prestigious… Read more »

Here come the orderlies

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Filed under: Governance

This Law Times article, about changes made in 2006 to Ontario’s Law Society Act that have suddenly galvanized lawyers in the province, makes for an interesting read. Those amendments brought paralegals (non-lawyers providing limited legal services) under the regulatory authority of the law society, which now refers to both lawyers and paralegals as its “licensees”… Read more »

Burn your newsletters

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Filed under: Clients, Innovation, Marketing, Publishing

Ah, the law firm newsletter. The simplest and humblest of law firm communication vehicles – a collection of lawyer-written articles on new statutory or case law developments, bundled together into a stiff, saddle-stitched document that’s mailed out to clients on a regular basis (or more recently, placed online and e-mailed). What could be a safer… Read more »

Professionalism reloaded

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Filed under: Purpose

The Law Society of Upper Canada has just published the papers submitted as part of the Chief Justice’s Tenth Colloquium on the Legal Profession, which was held here in Ottawa last month and at which I appeared as the keynote commentary speaker. If you’re battling insomnia and would like to read the full, 6,700-word version… Read more »

Life after lawyers

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Filed under: Clients, Competition, Purpose

We need to start thinking about what the post-lawyer justice system is going to look like. I can see how this might be an absurd or even heretical notion to some people. But there’s reason to believe that lawyers won’t be an essential part of the legal system in the future — and if so,… Read more »

Why your client’s generation matters

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Filed under: Big Firms, Clients, Generations

In one of last week’s posts, I talked about inter-generational tension within some law firms and how it can undermine these firms’ succession planning efforts. But as important as it is not to alienate good young talent through something as silly as generational resentment, law firms that are clueless about demographic differences risk an even… Read more »

The legal talent matrix

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Filed under: Innovation

Ron Friedmann at the Strategic Legal Technology blog has a terrific new post that should shift a few paradigms about how in-house counsel deploy legal talent to tackle various tasks. Ron crossed an x-axis that plotted the complexity of work with a y-axis that plotted the volume of work, and ended up with what he… Read more »

Surviving a succession crisis

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Filed under: Big Firms, Generations, Management

Law.com’s Small Firm Business features an article today about succession planning for law firms. I’ve seen a lot of these articles lately, talking about the importance of transitioning clients from one generation of lawyers to the next, encouraging leadership development among younger lawyers, and motivating more senior practitioners to mentor the younger ones and share… Read more »

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