The 2021 Clio Cloud Conference was undoubtedly our biggest and most exciting event to date. As lawyer, writer, and media consultant Bob Ambrogi wrote, “The Clio Cloud Conference is always the occasion for the law practice management company to announce new and enhanced products, and today’s kick-off of this year’s event was no different, with CEO Jack Newton unveiling what he described to me as the most important product release since Clio’s debut 13 years ago.”
With a record-breaking 4700+ attendees from over 40 countries joining remotely, the 9th annual Clio Cloud Conference was the place to be for anyone in legal.
This year’s conference drew attention to the rapid change and uncertainty in the legal industry, including shifting client expectations and the opportunity that the latent legal market poses for law firms. Most importantly, the 2021 Clio Cloud Conference gave attorneys essential tools and insights on meeting clients where they are (and where they expect you to be), and running a better client-centered law firm.
Specifically, the conference featured inspiring and thought-provoking keynotes, informational sessions, and access to data-driven insights from the 2021 Legal Trends Report, and as always, plenty of exciting announcements from Clio. The Clio Cloud Conference also featured Barry’s fitness and wellness sessions, and delightful after-hours entertainment from musicians Aloe Blacc, Big Boi, and LeAnn Rimes, and magician Justin Willman.
As an accessible, virtual conference, attendees this year also engaged with one another by bringing their thoughts and perspectives to every session via moderated chat boxes and one-on-one video networking opportunities, which included conversing with other attendees, and even Clio staff from various different departments.
Read on for a high-level recap of our 2021 conference.
Jack Newton’s opening keynote
To launch the conference, Clio CEO and Co-Founder Jack Newton delivered a compelling keynote that covered Clio’s vision for the future of legal services, brand-new additions to Clio’s product offering, and key findings from the highly-anticipated 2021 Legal Trends Report.
While the opening keynote was brimming with heart-stopping announcements, arguably, the most notable was the unveiling of Clio Payments. Jack explained that the payment process is in fact the most frequent point of friction for attorneys and their clients. This hindrance placed a heavy burden on a firm’s operations, time, and revenue in the past. With Clio Payments, old money-eating problems are now new cash-flow opportunities. Clio Payments makes it easy for attorneys to put bills on auto-pilot, collecting passively while customers quickly and intuitively view invoices, pay online, and see billing updates in real-time.
Allowing clients to pay with automated, flexible payment plans supports Clio’s goal to make legal services more accessible to those who need them most. Legal clients now have the flexibility to pay over a longer time.
New to Clio
Clio Cloud Conference attendees were given the first glimpse of brand new Clio features. Exciting innovations beyond the prominent launch of Clio Payments included Clio for Clients, Lawyaw Model Templates and more. Read on to learn more about the advancements made to Clio technology and how these innovations will help lawyers succeed at operating cloud-based, client-centered practices.
Clio Payments: A new and better way to get paid with Clio
The 2020 Legal Trends Report found that 72% of consumers would prefer to pay their legal fees via a payments plan. The 2021 Legal Trends Report found that 81% of consumers say a firm’s ability to offer payment plans influences their hireability.
With Clio’s all new payments suite built into Clio Manage, you can make it easy for clients to pay their bills online with debit, credit, or eCheck. Send trust payment requests and maintain evergreen retainers—all while maintaining compliance with trust accounting rules.
Clio for Clients
Make it easy for your clients to communicate and share information with you no matter where they are. With Clio for Clients, your clients can securely receive updates, share documents, and access their case information from their desktop or mobile phone. The best part? Everything is automatically stored to the appropriate matter in Clio Manage for you.
Learn more about Clio for Clients.
Clio Scheduler: Advanced booking settings
New Clio Scheduler advanced booking settings—including minimum advanced booking notice and buffer time between meetings—gives you more control over your calendar. Forget last-minute surprises, so you can show up prepared for every consultation, and find the right balance in your daily schedule.
Learn more about advanced booking settings with Clio Scheduler.
Text notifications (and reminders—coming soon)
Use text notifications and reminders to avoid the costly no-shows and unnecessary administrative overhead of organizing client meetings. Clients can confirm if they plan to attend a meeting, so you aren’t left guessing, and automated text reminders save you from having to call or email.
Learn more about text notifications in Clio Manage.
Access, edit, and collaborate on files from the familiarity of your desktop. Clio Drive syncs your documents between a virtual drive on your desktop and Clio Manage, making it easier to find and work with your files while keeping everything and everyone in sync.
Clio Drive is available now for Windows. Coming soon for iOS.
Learn more about Clio Drive.
New task enhancements
There’s a lot to love about the most recent refresh to Clio Tasks. This release aligns the look of the task lists page with the rest of Clio Manage and introduces new functionality. Easily assign task lists right inside of a matter, duplicate task lists in seconds and much more.
Learn more about the redesigned task experience.
A number of new billing features have been added to Clio, including Automated Billing Reminders, which automatically send outstanding balance reminders to your clients based on a customized cadence that you set. Bill Message Templates allow you to create, save, and pre-populate customized bill messages to be shared with your clients. Bill Timeline is where you can reference all of the activity and communications on a bill for more visibility.
Learn more about Automated Bill Reminders in Clio Manage.
The 2021 Legal Trends Report: How legal services have adapted to the challenging circumstances of the past two years
Now in its sixth year, the 2021 Legal Trends Report includes aggregated responses from 150,000 legal professionals using Clio over the last two years, as well as, survey responses from more than 1,000 legal professionals and 1,000 general consumers in the U.S. on what they deem most important to them today and in a post-COVID world.
This analysis builds on findings from the 2020 Legal Trends Report, which identified technology adoption as a key aspect of law firm survival and success during the height of the pandemic. In 2021, the most successful firms continue to adopt technological solutions for more flexible client-centered services.
Successful firms are redirecting spending away from physical office space and towards more client-centered, flexible solutions like practice management software. Data from the report shows that when it comes to financial spending, firms are focused less on investing into physical office spaces and more into enhancing their digital capabilities with practice management software. Feel confident about the business decisions you’re embarking on at your firm by staying up-to-date with emerging trends and data from firms across the country. You can download the 2021 Legal Trends Report.
Clio customers can attend the post-conference webinar which discusses key takeaways from the 2021 Legal Trends Report. Sign-up for this CLE-eligible webinar.
Celebrating our incredible Clio customers and the 2021 Reisman Award winners
Every year, we’re proud to honor our customers and the industry-leading work they complete in the legal community. Jack was thrilled to announce this year’s Reisman Award winners in his opening remarks. Since the awards’ inception five years ago, it has proven to be harder and harder each year to select the winners. We thank the 300+ applicants, all of which are impressive and inspiring.
And now, a big virtual round of applause for this year’s winners—firms that found opportunities to transform the legal experience for all by creating new and dynamic ways for firms and clients to work together:
- Best Growth Story – Laurie McLendon
- Excellence in Client Service – Rebecca Bell
- Community Champion – Amy Spencer
- Legal Innovation – Ariadna Godreau Aubert
- Best New Law Firm – Leonika Charging
Learn more about winners of The Reisman Awards.
$100,000 Launch//Code Contest Winner: Fidu
Our $100,000 Launch//Code contest focuses on the future of legal technology. It 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 Fidu, the winner of Clio’s $100,000 Launch//Code Contest and our Viewer’s Choice Award.
We’re pleased to share that the 2021 finalists are:
Candle: A personal injury suite that automates medical record retrieval, simplifies billing, and automates personal injury tasks and reminders.
Fidu: A client document platform that builds, systematizes, and delivers fixed-fee and subscription legal services to help law firms scale their business.
LawDroid Builder: An automation platform that allows law firms to easily intake clients, automate documents, and build scalable tools to support your law firm.
Levitate: Marketing software designed to help legal professionals drive relationship-based business by staying in touch with their clients.
TrustBooks: Legal accounting software that helps legal professionals easily manage accounting needs.
Clio Ventures: Investing in solutions
Launch//Code is just one way Clio is investing in the development work pioneering the future of legal technology. Clio Ventures was introduced in Jack Newton’s keynote. This portfolio allows Clio to make direct equity investments in promising early stage companies which are advancing legal technology. Look out for more exciting news regarding the technologies Clio will be backing.
Inspiring keynote speakers
As Founder and CEO of Thrive Global—a behaviour-change technology company on a mission to change the way we work and live—and one of TIME Magazine’s 100 most influential people, Arianna wants you to consider a different, more sustainable, approach to success.
Arianna’s keynote focused on how prioritizing mental health can improve your firm’s bottom line. Drawing on captivating personal anecdotes and mounting scientific evidence, Arianna shared:
- How prioritizing employees’ well-being can increase your firm’s productivity
- Why redefining “success” will help you rediscover joy in your work and your life
- Ways to establish boundaries to ensure a sustainable career in the legal industry
We’re honored to have Ian Manuel—a survivor of excessive child punishment, author, and criminal justice reform advocate—as one of our keynote speakers at the 2021 Clio Cloud Conference. Ian’s work focuses on advocating for change and reimagining the criminal justice system.
As a fierce advocate for criminal justice reform with a heavy emphasis on rehabilitation over retribution, Ian shared:
- The harrowing injustices of solitary confinement, especially for children.
- The disproportionate impact of the criminal justice system on young people of color.
- The need for added support for those reintegrating into society post-incarceration.
- Ian’s story will serve as a powerful reminder that we have the power—with our choices, our actions, and our words—to incite change.
You can listen to (or read about) Ian discussing his new memoir about his incarceration at a young age with NPR.
Best-selling author, award-winning speaker, and social media marketing expert—Scott Stratten‘s keynote taught our conference attendees proven tactics to market their firms like an expert.
The ability to build relationships and stand out in a saturated market is the key to growing your legal practice. But in reality, it’s a lot more challenging to successfully set your law firm apart from your competitors. As an expert in viral, social, and authentic marketing, Scott shared:
- Proven tactics to consistently attract more clients in a hybrid legal environment.
- Effective innovations to build trust and make you the logical choice to potential clients.
- Practical tools to help you amplify your services and stay in front of your desired audience.
Valuable educational sessions
In addition to the exhilarating keynotes, several other legal industry leaders took the virtual 2021 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. Below are a few highlights:
- Inbound Marketing Fireside Chat with Rand Fishkin. A discussion on inbound marketing with industry expert Rand Fishkin. As the Founder of SparkToro and Co-founder of Moz, Rand has dedicated his professional life to helping people do better marketing.
- The Wow Factor Trifecta: Brand, Marketing, & Driving Referrals. Attendees received practical tips to grow their businesses from attorney, founder of Lakhany Law, and instructor, Sonia Lakhany.
- The People’s Law: Regulatory Reform is an A2J Imperative. Clio’s Lawyer-in-Residence Joshua Lennon spoke to ABA’s Rebecca Sandefur about the legal services regulatory reform efforts underway, and reviewed evidence about the relationship between these changes and access to justice.
- Deregulating Legal Services. Attendees listened to Niamh Pollak, Corporate Counsel, Allen Rodriguez, Founder, ONE400, and Mary Juetten, Founder, Juetten Law discuss what re-regulation in the industry means for your practice.
- From System to Software: Mapping Your Law Firm Tech Stack. Attendees learned how to systematically evaluate their workflows to determine what technology they need, evaluate current software, and make a plan to cull and add on to their tech stack (only when needed). Presented by Melani Leonard, founder of streamlined.legal.
Exhibitors: Innovative companies partnering with Clio to bring you an exceptional conference experience
Below are a few of our exciting partners providing incredible solutions for law firms featured at the Clio Cloud Conference. Attendees will have unlimited access to their booths to learn more about how they complement the Clio client-centered experience.
Recently acquired by Clio, Lawyaw is the first cloud-based document automation solution to integrate with Clio. You can access a free version of Lawyaw from Clio’s App Store to get started today.
Lawyaw delivers easy-to-use automated document workflows, including assembly, eSign, information gathering, and knowledge management solutions for solo, small and mid-size legal practices in a web-based platform accessible from anywhere.
DivorceHelp123 provides feature-rich online solutions for your deep and complex practice-area-specific needs such as the Financial Statement, Child Support Calculations/Worksheets, and Asset Distribution reports.
Fastcase is the leading next-generation legal research service that puts a comprehensive national law library and powerful searching, sorting, and data visualization tools at your fingertips.
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.
Additions designed to help lawyers thrive
As always conference attendees had access to world-renowned entertainment, health and wellness sessions, and more. Legendary social events included evening live-streamed performances of Aloe Blacc, LeAnn Rimes, and Big Boi. Known for this blockbuster Netflix series, “Magic For Humans,” Justin Willman lit up the virtual conference stage with comedy and illusion.
To keep everyone invigorated throughout the day, Barry’s hosted various fitness sessions and Pilot Roasters showed us all how to make the perfect pour over. And if that wasn’t enough excitement, attendees could even sign up for deep-sea diving with a shark expert from Adventures & AfriOceans Travel.
Keep the conversation and learning going
Build on the positive momentum generated at the 2021 Clio Cloud Cloud Conference by discussing the event’s key takeaways and trends in The Law Community (TLC). Built by Clio for legal professionals such as yourself, TLC provides the supportive space for rewarding professional conversations to take place online.
Couldn’t make it to this year’s Clio Cloud Conference? Mark your 2022 calendars for next year’s in-person conference. Stay tuned for more information about the 2022 Clio Cloud Conference in Nashville.