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

Moneyball, women and law

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Filed under: Big Firms, Innovation, Management

Google my name and you’ll find I’ve written a few things about baseball, mostly during my time as a co-founder of and contributor to Batter’s Box, a top-notch Canadian baseball blog. As it happens, one of my favourite baseball books (outside of Thomas Boswell’s and Bill James’s works) isn’t really, I don’t think, about the… Read more »

Professional collaboration networks

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Filed under: Innovation, Technology

The January 2008 edition of the ABA’s Law Practice magazine contains an intriguing article by Tom Mighell about a social network for Texas lawyers. (Hat tip to Larry Bodine.) Tom describes the Texas Bar Circle, which is less than a year old but already has 2,200 members who build profiles, link to colleagues’ or friends’… Read more »

Leading by asking

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Filed under: Collaboration, Leadership

“There go my people,” said 19th-century radical French politician Alexandre Auguste Ledru-Rollin, supposedly on seeing a mob pass by the café where he was seated. “I must find out where they are going, so I can lead them.” You won’t find a more succinct summary of the paradoxical nature of leadership than that: how can… Read more »

Lawyer blogs vs. law firm brands

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Filed under: Big Firms, Marketing

There’s an interesting discussion in the legal blogosphere these days about, well, legal blogs. James Beck and Mark Herrmann at the Drug & Device Law blog wonder why law firms undervalue blogs, and provide four plausible explanations, three of which relate to demonstrable financial benefit for the firm. Ron Friedmann at Strategic Legal Technology furthers… Read more »

The last days of e-mail

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Filed under: Technology

E-mail has peaked and is in decline. That’s the clear message coming through in a wave of recent articles (in both the mainstream and business press) about e-mail bombardment and overload. If spam (and spam filters) don’t finish off e-mail’s usefulness, legitimate users’ misuse of e-mail will. We’re approaching the 15th anniversary of e-mail’s widespread… Read more »

Crowdsourcing legal research

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Filed under: Collaboration, Innovation, Research

A terrific discussion is underway at SLAW, prompted by news of a new Canadian online research service, about the future of commercial legal databases. Ever since the LII system (Legal Information Institute) got rolling, the writing has been on the wall for fee-based online caselaw databases — how much longer can you charge a price… Read more »

No matter what, manage expectations

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Filed under: Clients

Nothing is more critical to the success of your relationship with clients than managing expectations,  because expectations are enormously important to how people feel and behave. Among other things, as three recent articles explain, they relate closely to: Price: Robert Ambrogi at Legal Blog Watch reports on a study that shows people enjoy wine more… Read more »

The why of law school

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Filed under: Law School

I took piano lessons as a kid. I didn’t hugely enjoy them, not least because of the timing — 10:00 to 11:00 Saturday morning was primo cartoon time — but the instructor was my aunt and it was kind of expected that all the nephews and nieces had to do their time. Anyway, I didn’t… Read more »

Seeing justice through clients’ eyes

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Filed under: Clients, Purpose

At the moment, I’m working on a paper about professionalism in the law, tying it closely to lawyers’ mandate to serve the best interests of others, including clients and the public. I thought you might be interested in this brief excerpt; I’d certainly be interested in your thoughts about it in return: There is a… Read more »

Ten years from now

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Filed under: Clients

Eversheds, one of a small handful of really innovative large law firms out there (most of them in London), has released a report predicting the future of the legal profession in 2018. (Hat tip to Legal Blog Watch.) The linked press release provides the highlight: more commoditization of legal work, more fee pressures from clients,… Read more »

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