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

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 »

Why women leave law firms, and when they’ll return

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Filed under: Diversity

Visiting my alma mater Queen’s Law School recently, I paused, as I often do, before the framed graduation picture of the Class of 1973. It was startling for this member of the Class of 1993 when I saw it 20 years ago, and it’s downright unbelievable seeing it 40 years on in 2013. Among the Law… Read more »

Vulture culture

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Filed under: Big Firms, Management

Tackling this subject, I admit, may simply be an excuse to achieve a long-held goal of using an Alan Parsons Project album as a post title. (Next up: finding a way to smuggle in a Supertramp reference.) But in truth, I was pointed in this direction by a couple of recent developments that revisited the… Read more »

The lawyer vs. the law firm

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Filed under: Big Firms, Globalization, Management

So I’ve been thinking a lot about law firm mergers lately (especially between large Canadian firms and their much larger international counterparts). That in turn has led me to think about cross-selling, why it’s so important to the success of these newly merged firms (and others), and about the relative failure of firms to make… Read more »

How to kill (or save) a law school

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Filed under: Law School

Back in August 2010, I wrote a post called “How to kill a law firm” that continues to receive a steady stream of traffic and responses. Recently, John P. Mayer on Twitter suggested it was time for a law school version of that article. I agree. My interest in applying a legal education focus to this topic… Read more »

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