This book, to be precise:
This is Law Is A Buyer’s Market: Building a Client-First Law Firm. It’s 224 pages in paperback format, runs 15 chapters, and clocks in at about 75,000 words. It explains why the balance of power in the legal market has shifted from lawyers to clients, forecasts the future success of law firms that recognize and respond to this fact, and recommends courses of action by which today’s firms can reconfigure their purpose, markets, clients, strategies (plural), operations, and personnel to be among those successful responders. I’m really proud of this book, I’m kind of worn out from writing it, and I’m still a little astonished that I’ve managed to pull this off.
I’ve been wanting to author a book for years now, almost since I first set out on this speaking and consulting stage of my career back in 2010. Two years ago, I decided to move from wishing to commitment: I stepped away from posting to this blog, I cut down on my speaking engagements, and I cleared the deck in order to give myself time and space to produce a book about the legal services marketplace. The delays and misadventures I encountered while trying to do that are set out in the book’s introduction. Suffice to say I have enough material to someday produce a blog post titled “How not to write a book.”
But I can also now tell you how to write a book: Identify and maintain a clear vision of what you want a specific audience to know and what you want them to do about it. My specific audience is the people (lawyers and otherwise) who lead, influence, or care about the sustainability of midsize and large law firms over the course of the next five to fifteen years. What I wanted them to know was not just that legal market conditions were changing — their Accounts Receivable reports had already told them that — but why it was changing and how it would change further. And most importantly, I wanted them to have my practical advice about what they should and could do, right now, to change what their firms do and how they do it.
I sent advance copies of Law Is A Buyer’s Market to some people in the legal industry whose work I really respected, asking them whether, if they thought the book merited it, they might supply a testimonial. I was deeply gratified to receive, among others, the following responses:
“This is an exceptionally clear book, brimming with practical help, and humorous into the bargain. Jordan’s assessment of the legal market should be read carefully by clients and lawyers everywhere.” – Prof. Richard Susskind, author, Tomorrow’s Lawyers.
“Law firm leaders who adopt Jordan’s suggestions for managing the law firm of the future – focusing on clients, competitiveness, and culture – will more effectively serve the real business needs of their clients and will be better able to face the disruptive forces that are irrevocably changing the legal market.” – Scott Rechtschaffen, Chief Knowledge Officer, Littler Mendelson P.C.
“This book is a must-read for every law firm leader. It informs strategic planning from the client’s perspective, helping law firms improve the legal delivery service model and deliver greater value to clients.” – Jill Weber, Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer, Stinson Leonard Street; 2017 President, Legal Marketing Association
“Jordan’s provocative book is a challenge to all law firms and lawyers — to listen attentively to our clients and see the world through their eyes, to build our businesses on rapidly changing client needs and markets, and to embrace technology-enabled innovation.” – Peter Lukasiewicz, Chief Executive Officer, Gowling WLG
“Jordan Furlong has written a book for the first generation of law firm leaders to face the existential threat of a true buyer’s market.”– Prof. William Henderson, University of Indiana Maurer School of Law
“If you are a law firm partner or leader, you must read this book and suspend the natural but dangerous desire to believe it doesn’t apply to you – because it applies to everyone in our industry.” – Susan Manch, Chief of People & Development, Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP
For a whole bunch of reasons, I decided not only to self-publish this book, but also to sell it exclusively here at Law21. So if you go looking for Law Is A Buyer’s Market at Amazon, you won’t find the print version there.
What you will find, at Amazon US and Amazon Canada, is the downloadable Kindle version of the book. You’ll also find it at Amazon Mexico, United Kingdom, France, Spain, Germany, Netherlands, Brazil, India, Australia, and Japan — and folks in those jurisdictions might be especially interested because, I’m sorry to say, the shipping costs of the printed book outside North America are more than half the price of the book itself.
That price, by the way, is US$34.95, plus a US$5.00 flat fee to help offset shipping and handling costs for the US and Canada ($25.00 for shipping outside North America). There are also discounts available for bulk orders, should your law firm or law school be interested.
You can find ordering information for Law Is A Buyer’s Market on Law21’s Books page — and while you’re there, you might also want to check out Creating an Online Publishing Strategy for Law Firms, a book I’ve co-authored with my friend Steve Matthews of Stem Legal Web Enterprises that’s been published by the ABA’s Law Practice Division. (I didn’t actually intend to have two books available at the same time — that was just a happy coincidence.)
And if you happen to be in or around Toronto on Thursday, March 23, the official launch event for Law Is A Buyer’s Market takes place at Ryerson University’s Legal Innovation Zone from 5:00 to 7:00 pm (please RSVP through the link if you’d like to attend). I’ll be saying a few words about the book, talking about the latest developments in the legal world, and trying to figure out how to use Shopify’s point-of-sale platform in real time, which should be amusing for all concerned.
Anyway, there you have it. I’m happy to answer any questions you might have about the book — just leave them in the Comments section below and I’ll get to them as soon as I can. If you do pick up a copy of the book, I trust and hope that it will reward your investment. And as always, I tremendously appreciate your continued interest in this small corner of the legal world.