The 2020 Clio Cloud Conference was without a doubt our biggest and most unique event yet. As lawyer, writer, and media consultant Bob Ambrogi wrote, “The 2020 Clio Cloud Conference [moved] to a venue apropos of its name—the cloud.” With 4,500+ attendees from over 45 countries joining remotely, the eighth annual Clio Cloud Conference—and the first virtual one—was as immersive, eye-opening, and thought-provoking as ever.
This year’s conference centered around rethinking and redefining how we deliver legal services, and around creating a VUCA Prime environment—one of vision, understanding, clarity, and agility—out of a period of extreme uncertainty. To that end, the conference featured insightful, inspiring, and educational talks, access to data-driven insights from the 2020 Legal Trends Report, and as always, plenty of exciting announcements from Clio. As a reimagined virtual conference, attendees this year also engaged with each other by bringing their thoughts and perspectives to every session via moderated chat boxes.
Read on for a high-level recap of our 2020 conference.
Jack Newton’s Opening Keynote
To kick off the conference, Clio CEO and Co-Founder Jack Newton delivered a powerful keynote that covered Clio’s vision for the future of legal services, recent additions to Clio’s product offering, and key findings from the newly released 2020 Legal Trends Report. Starting his keynote by acknowledging the current economic, political, and humanitarian landscapes, Jack invited lawyers and law firms to use this key moment in history to pivot as a society and legal profession. He encouraged law firms to rethink the future of legal services, to experiment and innovate, and figure out a way to navigate and thrive against the uncertainty.
To thrive against the enormous uncertainty of 2020 and beyond, lawyers need to use a VUCA Prime mindset to take advantage of the uncertainty. VUCA Prime is where law firms face an uncertain world by turning volatility to vision, uncertainty to understanding, complexity to clarity, and ambiguity to agility.
Jack was also proud to announce this year’s Reisman Award winners in his opening remarks (more on this below). Additionally, he spoke about new features and updates to Clio Manage and Clio Grow, finding the fit between product and market to help narrow the access to justice gap, the concept of marginal gains, highlights from the 2020 Legal Trends Report, and the blueprint for law firms of the future.
New to Clio
We were excited to highlight a number of recent additions to Clio Grow and Clio Manage to help lawyers connect with consumers and help them succeed as cloud-based, client-centered practices. Our big product update announcements include some early access features available exclusively to 2020 Clio Cloud Conference attendees—like the upcoming Clio for Clients app, the first-of-its-kind for legal clients, and Automated Bill Reminders, where lawyers can save time and get paid faster by automatically sending Outstanding Balances to their clients. Other major product updates include our new integrations—like Google My Business, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and Dialpad.
The 2020 Legal Trends Report: The digital era of legal has changed consumer expectations forever
The 2020 Clio Cloud Conference marked the release of the fifth annual Legal Trends Report. As the legal industry’s most in-depth analysis of the state of legal, the 2020 Legal Trends Report uncovers what successful firms are doing to overcome the challenges of the pandemic, and how the move to a digital era of legal has changed consumer expectations.
One of the main findings was that consumers expect lawyers to provide more remote legal services. The 2020 Legal Trends Report brings to light that 56% of consumers believe that most legal matters can be dealt with remotely, and would prefer to do it over a video call. The full report is available now, for more insight into these findings.
Celebrating our incredible Clio customers and the 2020 Reisman Award winners
Every year, we’re proud to honor our customers and the amazing work they do in the legal community. This year, The Reisman Awards was delivered a little differently—Jack was proud to announce this year’s winners in his opening remarks. Also, throughout the Conference, The Reisman Award winners were highlighted in featured spotlight sessions. A big virtual round of applause for this year’s winners:
- Best Growth Story: Donato Law
- Excellence in Client Service: Ceiba Fôrte Law Firm
- Community Champion: Osborn Gambale Beckley & Budd PLLC
- Legal Innovation: Roche Legal
- Best New Law Firm: Law Offices of Kristen A Schneck, LLC
$100,000 Launch//Code Contest Winner: Documate
Our $100,000 Launch//Code contest focuses on the future of legal technology and brings together outstanding companies from across North America to celebrate innovation, impact, and customer-centric design as we seek to crown the best new integration with Clio. A huge congratulations to Documate, the winner of Clio’s $100,000 Launch//Code Contest, and Novara Search, winner of our Viewer’s Choice Award.
We are pleased to share that the 2020 finalists are:
- Documate, which makes legal document automation easy by allowing users to create powerful document automation for custom Word documents or PDF court forms.
- Novara Search, the first and only tool in the legal market that ingests social media posts from a custodians data export file for FaceBook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Slack, Twitter, Snapchat, and TikTok.
- Discovery Genie, a tool that eliminates the burden and expense of manual document production without the prohibitive cost and complication of eDiscovery
- Firmscribe, which makes it easy to sync your work texts with Clio by letting you text from your favorite app, like Messages on iOS or your default Android SMS app.
- Kenect, an easy-to-use business texting platform built for law firms throughout North America.
Inspiring keynote speakers
Ben Crump: Leading the Journey to Justice
Benjamin Crump has established himself as one of the nation’s foremost lawyers and advocates for social justice, earning the nickname “Black America’s Attorney General”. His legal acumen has ensured that those marginalized in American society are protected by their nation’s contract with its constituency. He is the founder and principal owner of Ben Crump Law.
Crump’s tireless advocacy has led to legislation preventing excessive force and developing implicit bias training and policies. He has been nationally recognized as the 2014 NNPA Newsmaker of the Year, The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Lawyers, and Ebony Magazine Power 100 Most Influential African Americans.
Angela Duckworth is the Founder and CEO of Character Lab, a nonprofit whose mission is to advance the science and practice of character development. She is also the Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, faculty co-director of the Penn-Wharton Behavior Change For Good initiative, and faculty co-director of Wharton People Analytics. A 2013 MacArthur Fellow, Angela has advised the White House, the World Bank, NBA and NFL teams, and Fortune 500 CEOs.
Duckworth has studied groups like the West Point cadets, National Spelling Bee competitors, rookie teachers, students from the Chicago Public Schools—all people performing in high-stress environments—to look at the correlation between grit and achievement. Drawing from these examples, and others, Duckworth explained what makes gritty individuals different from others, and shared her belief that grit “can be instilled and cultivated by anyone, anywhere, and at any time in life.”
Seth Godin is the author of 19 books that have been bestsellers around the world and have been translated into more than 35 languages. He’s also the founder of the altMBA and The Marketing Seminar, online workshops that have transformed the work of thousands of people.
He writes about the post-industrial revolution, the way ideas spread, marketing, quitting, leadership, and most of all, changing everything. You might be familiar with his books Linchpin, Tribes, The Dip, and Purple Cow. His latest book, This Is Marketing, was an instant bestseller around the world.
Valuable educational sessions
In addition to our incredible keynotes, several other legal industry leaders took the virtual 2020 Clio Cloud Conference stage to give thought-provoking educational talks. Each gave conference attendees practical insights to take back and set in motion at their firms. Here are a few highlights:
- Lawyer Forward: Filtering Ideas to Design Your Firm’s New Normal. In this session, Founder and CEO of Lawyer Forward Mike Whelan explored a method for brainstorming and filtering ideas. With these skills in hand, lawyers learned to design their own new normal. (Learn more in this e-book on Designing Your Law Firm’s New Normal)
- Inclusive Thinking: Neurodiversity for Lawyers. In this session, attorney, author, artist, and autism advocate Haley Moss shared firsthand the personal and the professional of what it is like to be part of a neurodiverse team, and how neurodiversity can benefit us and the folks we serve.
- The Addicted Lawyer. Attorney, author, and addiction recovery advocate Brian Cuban discussed his experiences with mental health issues, both as a law student at the University Of Pittsburgh and a practicing attorney in Dallas, Texas for over twenty years. Brian also discussed his recovery, redefining his career as well as restoring family and passion for life.
- Turning Volatility into Vision. In this panel discussion, lawyers Arleesha Wilson, Owner and Attorney of The Law Office of Arleesha Wilson, and Matthew Matechik, Owner and Attorney at Matechik Law Firm shared how they have managed their practices in the face of uncertainty and used 2020 to get clear on their business vision.
- Through Difficulties to the Stars: Putting the Client Experience First. Managing Partner Katy Young of Ad Astra Law Group shared essential advice to help others lead with empathy, recognize the importance of first impressions, as well as offering transparency to build trust with clients.
Exhibitors: Innovative companies partnering with Clio to bring you an exceptional conference experience
Here is just a small selection of some of the incredible solutions for law firms featured at the Clio Cloud Conference, where attendees were able to visit digital booths to learn more:
LawPay’s easy-to-use payment solution was specifically designed with the legal industry in mind, giving legal professionals the ability to accept client payments online both securely and ethically. LawPay is the technology behind Clio Payments, allowing Clio users to get paid faster without the need to run multiple applications.
WiseTime is for attorneys with more important things to do than timekeeping. WiseTime and Clio work together to make billing more efficient, so attorneys can focus on their clients, not on admin. WiseTime passively captures your activity while you work and collates it in a private timeline. No manual tracking or start-stop timers, and importantly no compromise on user privacy. Using patented algorithms and AI technology, it recognises your Clio case IDs within your activity and automatically assigns the correct matter to the activity. Once you’ve reviewed your activity, you can send it seamlessly to Clio for billing. Magic.
Ruby has provided personalized live, virtual receptionist services to small businesses throughout North America since 2003. Their delightful receptionists paired with smart technology has made Ruby a platform by which small businesses can deliver exceptional customer experiences and grow their businesses.
Lawyaw provides affordable, end-to-end document automation for solo, small, and mid-size practices. Convert your existing Microsoft Word Documents into reusable templates. Save time and avoid mistakes with documents that you draft over and over again. Lawyaw is excited for Clio users to see the new and updated product which will roll out after The Clio Cloud Conference. Lawyaw’s app updates include questionnaires that will allow users to perfect remote intake and information gathering processes.
Additions designed to help lawyers thrive
As always, the Clio Cloud Conference was far from just a legal conference. The event featured plenty of wellness opportunities to help attendees unwind, and meaningful additions to make the event live up to its reputation as a whole-person conference—even virtually. This year’s event included several lively, thoughtful, and enjoyable additions that made it one for the books. Highlights included Restorative Wellness Break with Barry’s Bootcamp, as well as rousing Clio After Hours sessions with Chef Stephanie Izard, singer and songwriter Ben Harper, singer and songwriter Nathaniel Rateliff, and DJ Questlove.
Join the Clio Customer Community
Don’t want the conference to be over? Still want to connect with amazing customers? Sign up to receive early access to the official Clio Customer Community!
Last but not least, as Jack mentioned in his final remarks for the conference, “If there’s one takeaway, take away this idea that you need to break down giant transformation into incremental smaller goals.” Little by little, we can work together to transform the legal industry and create a better normal.
This has been an interesting year so far, but we hope this year’s conference gave you a burst of inspiration and positivity to help carry you through.