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

Why do law firms exist?

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Filed under: Big Firms

What is the point of a law firm? This is neither a rhetorical nor a snarky question. I’m interested in nailing down the economic rationale for a law firm’s existence. What benefits flow to both clients and lawyers from law firms? In what ways are the buyers and sellers of legal services better off because… Read more »

A changing of the guard

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Filed under: Big Firms, Innovation

Legal historians might look back at the spring of 2011 and judge it the time when the old law firm model began to pass away and a new one began to take its place. Specifically, they might contrast last month’s dissolution of Washington-based global firm Howrey LLP with today’s announcement by 300-lawyer Irwin Mitchell LLP… Read more »

Solo innovation

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Filed under: Solo & Small Firm

Conventional wisdom has it that when the meteor struck the earth millions of years ago, the small early mammals survived because they could slip into underground holes and caves, while the larger dinosaurs, with nowhere to go, were struck down. Not to do overdo the analogy, but a series of innovations in solo and small-firm… Read more »

Not wanted on the voyage

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Filed under: Big Firms, Competition

From the incumbent’s point of view, the only thing worse than a revolution that topples you is one that renders you irrelevant. You can mount a comeback from exile; you can’t mount a comeback from Nobody Cares. Law firms, pay close attention. We’re now less than six months away from the implementation of the Alternative… Read more »

I get around

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Filed under: Law21

Time for another roundup of articles I’ve recently published elsewhere — a bit more extensive than usual — with the thought that you might find some of them interesting. I’d like to start with a link to the newest edition of the Edge International Review, a semi-annual collection of articles from my partners in Edge…. Read more »

The stratified legal market and its implications

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Filed under: Big Firms, Clients, Innovation

An extraordinary conversation has emerged among multiple authors in the blawgosphere over the past few days. It revolves around a pressing question: in light of the huge changes in the marketplace, what will become of law firms? More specifically, given the increasing segmentation and stratification of the universe of legal work, how can law firms… Read more »

Mergers or acquisitions?

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Filed under: Big Firms

When Ogilvy Renault announced last fall that it was joining the Norton Rose Group, I went on record as saying I thought this was a watershed moment for the legal profession in Canada — that the world had finally arrived on our doorstep, more global firms were surely coming, and the law firm marketplace would… Read more »

The 21st-century solo

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Filed under: Innovation, Solo & Small Firm

(Author’s note: Read to the end to learn about a scholarship contest for sole practitioners.) During my recent webinar on legal marketplace trends with Susan Cartier Liebel of Solo Practice University, I raised a point about solo law practice that’s been bothering me for a while. Almost every lawyers’ association in North America, I noted,… Read more »

Are you selling the lawyer or the firm?

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Filed under: Big Firms, Marketing, Solo & Small Firm, Talent

From England and Wales, the newest hotbed of innovation in the current legal marketplace, comes word that the first nationwide solicitor franchise is on its way. Legal Futures reports that Face2Face Solicitors “is initially aimed at small private client law firms and will provide franchisee solicitors with centralized back-office systems – including accounts, IT and… Read more »

Follow Friday

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Filed under: Publishing

I’ve been on Twitter for nearly two and a half years now, but I’ve yet to take advantage of one of its better features, Follow Friday. If you’re not familiar with it, #FF is an opportunity to recommend one (preferably) Twitter stream to your followers, along with a brief explanation why. The main reason I… Read more »

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