Our podcast Is Law Really A Buyer’s Market? And If So, Now What? is quite exceptional if I do say so myself. Of course exceptional is much easier to accomplish when your podcast guest is an esteemed expert like Jordan Furlong discussing an important topic that is near and near to his heart.
And it certainly adds to his enthusiasm when he has just released a new book about the legal marketplace.
For those of you who prefer to read rather than listen, the fine folks at Legal Talk Network have provided a transcript of this podcast.
The legal marketplace is certainly changing and the term "buyer's market" is very accurate. As Jordan says, "the short answer is that it means that the balance of power between lawyers and clients in the legal market has shifted and it has shifted in favor of clients, and it couldn’t shift any further towards lawyers … because we have always been the ones who are in control of the market."
This impacts lawyers who serve all types of clients. Corporate America is more careful with its legal spend and consumers can explore other alternatives as well. Furlong discusses how many law firms should examine their basic business model and structure to prepare for the changes ahead.
"There are these new ways of delivering legal services," he notes. "You can adopt these legal services in some way, I mean, to your own practice, you can augment them to some degree, add your own particular unique bells and whistles, or you can say, you know what? I can’t compete in this practice area anymore and I need to go do something else. Higher value, something the machines can’t imitate." Some lawyers may decide to reshape their practices, and use a standardized process-driven approach to delivering some types of the legal services they have always delivered more cheaply and efficiently.
A law firm needs to have a strategy in three dimensions, Furlong says. These dimensions are the user experience, a competitive strategy for differentiation and improving law firm culture. To learn more, you will need to listen to the podcast — and perhaps buy the book.