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

Who should have the right to own a law firm?

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Filed under: Governance

And so the floodgates have opened, and here come the “non-lawyers” surging into the law firm ownership stream. The Legal Services Act‘s long-awaited authorization of Alternative Business Structures in the UK took effect in January. Within the first two weeks of February, here’s what followed (all transactions unofficial until approved by the Solicitors Regulation Authority,… Read more »

The imaginary normal

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Filed under: Clients

The joke goes like this: “The optimist says the glass is half-full. The pessimist says it’s half-empty. The engineer says it’s twice the required capacity.” So what does the lawyer say when looking at the glass? In many cases, it’s: “Why hasn’t anyone refilled my drink yet?” I speak to more lawyers and legal professionals… Read more »

What mergers can’t achieve

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Filed under: Big Firms, Innovation, Outsourcing

Back in my university days, I remember walking past the Graduate Students Office and seeing a photocopied diagram taped to the door. It was called “The Doctoral Candidate Flowchart,” and it provided a series of turns and directions for graduates struggling to get their thesis finally completed. My favourite entry on the flowchart was in… Read more »

The stewardship crisis

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Filed under: Leadership

Over the legal news wire this week came a report of the closure of a US law firm. The full report of the firm’s demise was restricted to those with a premium account that I have no interest in acquiring, and in any event, the details of what happened weren’t relevant to what caught my… Read more »

Too many partners

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Filed under: Big Firms, Management

Law firms, facing a formidable array of external trends and pressures, are simultaneously experiencing a series of internal shocks and shakeups. The most prominent of these is an ongoing reconsideration of the role played by each member of the firm — a process of asking, “What function do you play in this enterprise, and could… Read more »

Learning to run

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Filed under: CLE, Law School, Talent

There’s an old expression among professional sports coaches: “You can’t teach speed.” It’s usually meant to indicate that there are things you can train athletes to do well (skills) and things that are simply God-given (raw talent), and it encourages the traditional view that talent is more valuable. I’ve come to believe differently. In most… Read more »

Seen and (on one occasion) heard

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Filed under: Law21

Before launching into a roundup of what I’ve written elsewhere, I wanted to let you know that I’ll be in Chicago next week for a series of meetings, in particular the College of Law Practice Management‘s 2011 Futures Conference at the University of Chicago-Kent College of Law. In addition to presiding over the 2011 InnovAction… Read more »

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