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Jordan Furlong
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Legal Market Analyst and Forecaster
Legal Market Analyst and Forecaster

978 followers
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"If you’re looking for a solution to your law firm’s challenges that doesn’t involve fundamental behavioural shifts among your lawyers, then you might as well be looking for the end of the rainbow. The road to the transformation of your law firm into a modern, sustainable, client-first legal services business runs right through your lawyers’ comfort zone, right over their core belief that they know better than any “non-lawyer” how everything should be done." My newest post at Law21.
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The State Bar of California is creating a task force to study whether the rule that only lawyers may own law firms should be reformed. Is this America's Clementi moment? Or just another opportunity for the legal profession to stifle regulatory change? I don't know. But I wrote about it anyway.
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"Many law firms are owned by lawyers who neither understand, nor desire, nor have any intention to fulfil the ownership role they’ve taken on. They view their equity share not as an opportunity (and responsibility) to guide a legal services business, but as (a) a profit stake, similar to a share in a publicly traded company, and (b) a safeguard against interference with their own autonomy. They are partners because the role bestows several rewards (money, power, prestige). They have little if any interest in the role’s corresponding responsibilities."

My newest post at Law21 challenges law firm partners to do their whole job, not just the parts they enjoy. Who really owns your law firm?
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When we talk about standardization in legal services, we assume that what we're currently doing is good enough to be made a standard. When we talk about ensuring client value, we assume that the best legal services today deliver maximum value. What if those assumptions are wrong? My newest post at Law21 looks at legal services in 2018 and asks: Is this as good as it can get?
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Where does power reside in your law firm? Who can exercise real power -- and what would happen to those people, and to the firm, if they really tried to wield it? My newest post at Law21 is a reflection on power in law firms: its theoretical source, its potential exercise, and its practical reality. Plus the requisite Blue Oyster Cult reference.
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The supply side of the legal services market has broken into two distinct segments: routine legal work, capably performed by a growing array of alternative legal services providers, and complex legal work, defaulting to law firms that have lost much of their inventory to disintermediation and are not really set up to handle the challenge of profitably performing high-value work. That's my theory of the end of the beginning of legal market change, now at Law21.
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Everyone's talking about succession planning and partner exit strategies at law firms. Not enough people are talking about whether succession is what the firm really wants. Is your firm one-generational or multi-generational? Plus: 1970s CanCon!
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My final Law21 post of the year is short and to the point: Very little long-term innovation will take place inside a law firm until the firm breaks the connection between the time and effort its lawyers expend and the money that the firm receives from its clients and pays to its lawyers. Merry Christmas.
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As 2017 comes to a close, I've decided to publish six of the best items from my "Law21 Dispatch" newsletter over the past year. Difficult conversations with partners, client-driven assessment criteria, low-budget R&D initiatives, and more.
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There's widespread agreement that law firms should choose more and better criteria for assessing and valuing their lawyers. But how do they pull that off? Some suggestions from me on that score in my latest Law21 post.
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