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

Back when we used lawyers

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Filed under: Innovation, Technology

My father was born in 1922. When he was 7, and the stock market crash triggered the Great Depression, cars were still an unusual sight in his hometown. Forty years later, he watched a live broadcast of Neil Armstrong walking on the surface of the moon. Less than 40 years after that, he used Skype… Read more »

The “non-lawyer” gap in law firms: narrowing or widening?

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Filed under: Big Firms, Management

I’ve had the opportunity to speak with several groups of law firm professionals this summer, principally in presentations to the Private Law Libraries Summit at the American Association of Law Libraries and the International Legal Technology Association’s annual conference. In these venues, I’ve spoken to and heard from law librarians, knowledge managers, IT professionals, training… Read more »

The confidence of the dinosaurs

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Filed under: Innovation

“When the platform changes, the leaders change.” — Seth Godin You’ve seen the same signs I have. The volume of pro se litigation continues to set new records every year, most notably in family law. Do-it-yourself websites for contracts, wills and divorces keep flourishing, with non-lawyer providers like LegalZoom and Rocket Lawyer boasting millions of… Read more »

The high price of poor pricing

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Filed under: Billing

The cynic knows the price of everything and the value of nothing. The average lawyer, by contrast, knows the value of everything but the price of nothing. You’ve got to admit there’s something to that. We lawyers go on at great length about the value we deliver to our clients, the signal importance of having… Read more »

Generation eXit

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Filed under: Generations, New Lawyers

This, I’m reasonably certain, is the first Law21 post to start with: Spoiler Warning. It’s only fair to advise that if you haven’t seen the Joss Whedon horror thriller The Cabin In The Woods, and you plan to do so, then you should skip the rest of this post, because I’m about to give away… Read more »

Too big to succeed

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Filed under: Big Firms

(Note: This article is reprinted with permission from the July 10, 2012 issue of The Legal Intelligencer. © 2012 ALM Media Properties, LLC. Further duplication without permission is prohibited.  All rights reserved.) What do we talk about when we talk about “BigLaw”? Let’s be honest: we’re not actually discussing specific law firms at all. We’re… Read more »

The dying cult of the corner partner

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Filed under: Big Firms, Management

Let’s start with an odd fact: the self-interest of a law firm is fundamentally opposed to the self-interest of its most powerful partners. Here’s how I see it. The more influence a lawyer wields over a given client, the more stature, leverage and tactical advantage that lawyer gains within his or her firm; these benefits… Read more »

Law school revolution

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Filed under: Law School

One of my favourite bumper stickers, back when such things were popular, read as follows: “Where are we going? And what’s with this handbasket?” If you’re involved in any aspect of legal education these days, or if you have even a passing interest in how law schools are doing their job, you might feel that… Read more »

The future of legal employment

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Filed under: New Lawyers

The American legal profession is on the verge of a full-blown jobs crisis. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that over the course of this decade, 440,000 new law graduates will be competing for 212,000 jobs, a 48% employment level. The BLS’s projection does assume law school graduation rates will remain steady during that time,… Read more »

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