News from U.S.A.
At the eighth annual Clio Cloud Conference, Jack Newton, CEO and Co-founder of Clio, unveiled findings confirming a rapid and compressed transformation of the legal industry brought on by the pandemic. To better support these permanent changes, Clio is expanding its mission to transform the practice of law, for good, to include how society engages with, delivers, and experiences legal services.
“The notion of returning back to normal is altogether shortsighted,” said Jack Newton, CEO and Co-founder, Clio. “Instead, we should be thinking about how we can build a better normal. With this, we are looking beyond merely making the practice of law easier for lawyers. We are looking at redesigning our product roadmap to better serve the legal professional, and ultimately, the clients that depend on them.”
At the outset of the pandemic, Clio undertook in-depth research to understand the challenges US legal professionals face due to the global pandemic. Clio discovered that firms using a variety of cloud-based and client-centered technologies such as practice management software, online payments, client portals, and client intake and legal CRM software were able to better adapt to the new environment brought about by COVID-19, serve more individuals, while seeing better revenue than firms conducting the same amount of work without these tools.
“The future of legal is already here, it’s just not evenly distributed yet,” said Newton. “Firms that move to hybrid or cloud-first practices and reexamine the packaging and delivery of their services will be the ones who succeed and will be in a position to serve a wider clientele. Our role is to ensure they have the tools to do that successfully.”
In his keynote, Jack Newton revealed a number of new solutions and integrations that take the place of fixed and outdated models. These virtual by design releases focus on key stages of the client journey from discoverability to retention, and close the gap between what drives law firm success and hireability.
Connecting clients with lawyers online
The findings from Clio’s 2020 Legal Trends Report show that the need for physical law firms is becoming irrelevant in the wake of affordable and technology-based solutions. Both legal professionals and their potential clients agree that a physical office space ranks at the very bottom as a driver of a firm’s success and hireability. Additionally, when looking for legal services, 57% of consumers search on their own, and 86% start with Google when searching for a lawyer online, as identified in a study by iLawyerMarketing.
- Google My Business integration: To ensure lawyers are marketing and engaging with potential clients where they are searching for legal help, Clio announced an integration with Google My Business. With a free Google Business Profile, prospective clients can review, email, and call a firm directly within their initial Google search. Clio customers will be able to manage how their business appears on Google Search and Maps, and create, publish, and manage their Google Business Profile directly from Clio. With this development, Clio is ensuring businesses are showing up to prospective clients in the right way.
- Paid consultations: Although Clio has offered Clio Payments, an e-payment solution powered by LawPay, for years, the organization recently launched an easy and flexible way for clients to schedule paid consultations with Clio lawyers online, reducing client intake costs and no shows.
Supporting clients digitally
The majority of consumers (69%) prefer working with a lawyer that can share documents electronically through a web page, app, or online portal.
- Clio for Clients: To ensure clients can stay connected with their lawyer, get updates from anywhere, and expedited case documentation, Clio announced a brand new app designed for legal clients specifically called Clio for Clients. This is their first foray in legal client technology and was met with resounding excitement at the conference. With Clio for Clients, clients of Clio lawyers can receive updates, documents, and communicate with their lawyer via one singular secure app designed for them.
- E-signatures: Clio Manage users can now save time by preparing, sending, and electronically signing documents directly from Clio Manage. Reviewed and signed documents are saved automatically in Clio. This removes the hassle of downloading, printing, or scanning documents to get them signed.
Collaborating and communicating remotely
84% of legal professionals say they could serve their clients even better if more parts of their practice were automated with technology. Additionally, a significant minority of consumers (37%) prefer to meet virtually with a lawyer for a consultation or first meeting, and 50% would rather conduct any further meetings through video conference.
- Microsoft Teams integration: While some law firms have transitioned back to the office, the need to collaborate remotely remains permanent. With Clio for Microsoft Teams, Clio customers can automatically create new teams when they create a new matter in Clio and access them at any time from the Matter Dashboard.
- Zoom integration: In one click, Clio customers can add a unique Zoom link to their Clio Manage calendar invites. Any meeting can be made a Zoom meeting, and event invites include all the details needed to join the video call, including a password.
- Dialpad: Clio Manage’s integration with Dialpad enables firms to take advantage of having a dedicated business phone line, without having to be tied down to a fixed landline. With Dialpad, customers can work remotely and rapidly scale the communication needs of their practice, capture billable and non-billable hours spent with clients, streamline and keep logs of their communications.
Automating and improving collections
In June, 71% of legal professionals were concerned about their clients’ ability to pay legal fees than before the pandemic. However, as uncovered in this year’s Legal Trends Report, firms that adopt more than one technology, such as online payments and billing, see a compounding positive effect in business performance, including revenue collection.
- Automatic bill reminders: New to Clio Manage, customers will have the ability to automatically send out gentle reminders to their clients about their account balances. This feature eliminates time consuming administrative tasks and allows customers to spend their efforts on doing billable work, procuring clients, and spending time growing their firm.
Building the operating system for legal
76% of legal professionals believe that legal services can be streamlined when conducted virtually, while 68% say technology has helped their firms deliver better client experiences during the pandemic.
- Secure legal identity: Clio is doubling down on creating a singular operating system for legal by streamlining the process of logging into all the key solutions legal professionals have come to rely on. Launching with Fastcase, Legalboards, and myFirmData, Clio customers will now be able to login using the same credentials they use for Clio Manage and Clio Grow. By eliminating the need to create separate emails and passwords for each integration partner, Clio is creating more secure and streamlined workflows for its customers, and plans to launch a single sign on with its over 200 integrations.
During the initial impact of the pandemic, 83% of legal professionals viewed cloud technology as necessary to the survival of their law firms, and as many as 82% said that technology had become more relevant. Now, the vast majority (85%) of law firms are using digital technologies to manage their practice. With no end in sight of the need for better cloud-based and client-centered solutions, Clio will continue to roll out client-centered and cloud-based solutions that better meet the needs of all involved in the legal system.