2020 was a difficult but transformative year for all of us. In our increasingly volatile and uncertain world, we saw incredible resilience from the legal profession. It made us so proud to serve the lawyers and legal professionals who use Clio as we work together to transform the practice of law for good.
Here’s a look back at the past year at Clio, from the first virtual Clio Cloud Conference, to new product updates to support lawyers working remotely, and much, much more.
COVID-19 Legal Relief Initiative
As the situation surrounding COVID-19 continued to evolve, it became clear that clients needed their lawyers—some more this year than ever. Accordingly, Clio committed $1 million to help law firms navigate the challenges of COVID-19 in an initiative that included direct financial support as well as free education and support resources, like weekly workshops and a hotline for questions around how to apply for government aid through the CARES Act and the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The program also supported work-from-home resources to help lawyers adapt to our rapidly changing environment.
Through this initiative, over 1,000 law firms received financial assistance, and many more received access to additional resources.
Partnering with the ABA to support lawyers
This summer, the American Bar Association (ABA) and Clio partnered to assist legal professionals in navigating the significant and unique challenges posed by the COVID-19 crisis.
For annual Clio customers, this partnership included:
- A complimentary one-year ABA Membership for new or renewing ABA Members for each Clio license, which includes access to their Law Practice and Solo, Small Firm, and General Practice Divisions.
- A 10% discount on Clio’s annual plans for ABA Members.
- Access to the ABA’s exclusive library of content that includes enough CLE to meet all U.S. State and Territory MCLE requirements as well as a vast archive of ethics CLE that can be tailored to your practice area and interests.
Increasing access to justice with pro bono legal portals
To further increase access to justice during this difficult year, Clio partnered with the American Bar Association (ABA), Paladin, and LegalZoom to launch the ABA’s pro bono portal. This portal connects attorneys with pro bono opportunities, including unemployment benefits, housing, and domestic violence issues. Additionally, Clio partnered with the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) to launch an unemployment insurance relief program to assist New Yorkers with unemployment benefits and appeal denials.
Keeping a pulse on the legal industry with the Daily Matters podcast
To keep a pulse on the state of the legal industry as the situation surrounding COVID-19 evolved, we launched Clio’s Daily Matters podcast, hosted by Clio CEO Jack Newton. Together, the podcast team produced 101 episodes exploring how lawyers could find success in a remote-first world, best serve clients amidst an unprecedented situation, and build a better normal for the legal industry.
Tracking the impact of COVID on the legal industry in real time
In a volatile and rapidly changing environment, lawyers and legal professionals needed the right information to make decisions about how to adapt their businesses. To help the industry better understand changing demands and the barriers consumers faced in accessing legal services, Clio released ongoing research into the impact of COVID-19 on the legal industry, including regular research briefings and real-time industry data.
This research featured valuable findings regarding consumer demand for legal services, perception of the legal industry, and more.
Our most in-depth Legal Trends Report yet
Building on our COVID-19 impact research, Clio released its most in-depth annual Legal Trends Report yet. The 2020 Legal Trends Report covers 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. Some highlights from the report:
- More consumers expect to need a lawyer soon. 23% of consumers say they expect to need a lawyer in the near future, compared to just 16% at the beginning of the pandemic. And 23% of consumers say they expect to need a lawyer for a COVID-19-related issue compared to just 13% at the beginning of the pandemic.
- Consumers are putting off legal problems. 67% of consumers say they would put off a legal problem during the pandemic, creating a huge backlog of legal issues.
- Consumers are using more and more technology in their everyday lives. 50% of consumers say they’re more comfortable with technology than they were before the pandemic.
- Consumers expect lawyers to provide more remote legal services. 56% of consumers believe that most legal matters can be dealt with remotely, and would prefer to do it over a video call.
Updates and additions to Clio to help law firms succeed
As lawyers moved their practices increasingly online to better support and serve their clients, the need for a cloud-based, client-centered approach clearly became key to law firm success. Accordingly, we launched updates to Clio and new partnerships to help legal professionals succeed and build a better normal. There were too many new additions to cover here, but we’ve included a few customer favorites:
- Zoom integration. Improve client satisfaction by staying connected with clients safely and efficiently through Zoom. Make any meeting a Zoom meeting with one click and launch Zoom meetings from your web or mobile calendar apps.
- Microsoft Teams integration. With a Matter Dashboard in Teams, it’s easy to collaborate with firm members by syncing your Clio Manage matters into Microsoft Teams. When discussing ongoing work or planning for events, key details of the matter are on hand and easily accessible–without needing to leave Teams. And, with Teams Creator, you can create and access Teams from Clio Manage where you can collaborate effectively in a distributed team—by discussing updates, action items, questions, or blockers efficiently and securely.
- Notifications in Clio Manage. Stay on top of updates and changes to matters easily with in-app notifications. The in-app notification panel in the web and mobile apps give you visibility into work being completed.
Getting more business
- Google My Business. Stand out on Google with a free Business Profile and engage with clients where they’re searching for firms like yours–on Google Search and Maps–directly from Clio. With a quick setup experience built directly into your Clio Manage account and instant verification of your location, you can now create your Google Business Profile and connect with clients for free when they’re searching online. Plus, clients can book appointments right from your profile in Google via Clio Scheduler. When you make it easy to do business, your business grows.
- Clio Scheduler + Payments. Schedule paid consultations in the cloud and attract new clients while working remotely. Offer a booking process that’s convenient for everyone—you, your firm, and your clients. Reduce the risk of no-shows, collect payments, organize your client intake process, and save time and costly overhead.
Delivering a better client experience
- Clio for Clients (coming soon). Clio for Clients is a mobile app designed for legal clients to securely communicate and share information with their lawyers. Clients can receive updates, documents, and communicate with their lawyer via a secure app.
- E-Signatures in Clio Manage. Save time by preparing, sending, and electronically signing documents directly from Clio Manage. Reviewed and signed documents are saved automatically in Clio.
Over 40 new integration partners, and the launch of Clio’s App Partner Program
To further support lawyers in building out their tech stack in a distributed world, we were proud to add over 40 new partners to Clio’s app directory. Additionally, we launched the Clio App Partner Program to help app developers build new experiences, launch their apps with impact, and reach more customers. Apps and services looking to help lawyers are encouraged to join our community of high-growth partners, including Google, Microsoft, Intuit, Ruby, and more.
The first-ever virtual Clio Cloud Conference—and our biggest event yet
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.
Highlights included a rousing keynote from Jack Newton, who underscored the need for a cloud-based and client-centered approach and a VUCA Prime mindset to build a better normal for the legal profession, as well as impressive entrants to our Launch//Code contest, inspiring stories from our Reisman Award Winners, and much more.
Another impressive showing at this year’s Launch//Code
Each year, 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. This year, our finalists put on an impressive showing as they took to the virtual stage to pitch their solution at the Clio Cloud Conference.
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.
- 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 custodian’s 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 stories from this year’s 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 at the Clio Cloud Conference. 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
Empowering lawyers to design a better normal
In 2020, many solo and small firm lawyers needed to pivot, adapt, or add a new business area to get back on their feet. But for many, it was hard to know where to begin. One great idea can bring success—but a bad one can sink your firm.
To help, Clio partnered with legal industry expert Mike Whelan, Jr. to produce Designing Your Law Firm’s New Normal, a free e-book that includes a step-by-step guide on how to test your ideas before you invest in them. Whether you want to add a new practice area or a new service offering, this e-book has what you need to make the right choice.
534 Clions strong
This year Clio hit an important milestone: We passed the 500-employee mark and are now over 530 employees strong. While moving to a distributed environment across our global offices this year, we added over 100 new team members and worked to keep Clio’s internal culture strong so that every one of us could best support the legal community during this time.
We aren’t done growing, either! To help us transform the practice of law, for good, we’re on the lookout for more amazing people to join our teams as we transition to a workplace that is distributed by design.
Outstanding awards and recognitions
We’re proud of our people, our innovation, and our award-winning culture and leadership—and we’re honored to be recognized for it. Here are some of the awards and recognitions we received in 2020:
- Jack Newton Awarded Person of the Year at the 2020 Technology Impact Awards
- Jack Newton Named One of Canada’s Most Admired CEOs
- Clio Earns 2020 Stevie® Award for its Response to COVID-19
The Client-Centered Law Firm becomes a bestseller upon release
This January marked the release of Jack Newton’s The Client-Centered Law Firm. The book was a bestseller upon its release and was praised by industry leaders as the blueprint for success in a changing legal marketplace. By March, the book had become essential reading for lawyers looking to best serve clients and thrive in the midst of this volatile year, and we were pleased to further support legal professionals through our Course in Client-Centered Lawyering.
The Client-Centered Law Firm is now available in hardcover, paperback, e-book, and audiobook formats. Get your copy at clientcenteredlawfirm.com, where you can also read or listen to the first chapter for free.
That’s it for 2020! Stay tuned for more exciting updates from Clio in 2021.