The 2023 Clio Cloud Conference (ClioCon) marks our 11th annual event. Clio Founder and CEO Jack Newton kicked off the event with an energizing keynote covering everything from the state of the legal industry to Clio’s newest offerings. Read on for highlights from Jack Newton’s keynote presentation.
This is not Clio’s conference—it’s yours
Jack welcomed attendees, noting that, over the past ten years, it’s become clear that ClioCon is not Clio’s conference. Rather, Clio brings together attendees looking to experiment and embrace new ways of practicing, ushering in a new standard for what an impactful legal professional looks like.
The legal profession has taken note of ClioCon’s impact—ClioCon 2023 is our biggest ClioCon yet, with over 2,500 in-person attendees and over 2,000 virtual attendees. And, with attendees from over 20 countries, ClioCon has truly become an international event.
Going global with Clio…
2023 marks Clio’s 15th anniversary. Jack recognized that to continue Clio’s mission to transform the legal experience for all, Clio needed to expand its mission to a global audience. With that, Clio arrived in Australia and Clio Payments launched in the United Kingdom this past year.
…While continuing to support North American lawyers
Today, Clio is used in over 100 countries around the world, but we haven’t forgotten our roots in North America. Jack celebrated that Clio is now recognized by all 50 state bar associations in the United States, underscoring our commitment to legaltech innovation and supporting law firms across the United States.
To help drive innovation, Clio appointed its very first Chief Product Officer, Hemant Kashyap, who has over 20 years of experience developing products and expanding into new markets.
Amplifying your impact
Jack emphasized that the achievements outlined above underscore Clio’s commitment to supporting existing and prospective customers. ClioCon is our opportunity to help give back to our customers and show our appreciation for their support.
You got into the legal industry because you wanted to make a dent in the universe. In some way, you want to transform the legal experience. And amplification is about just that. Making a bigger difference, having a greater influence. We’re excited to amplify your impact, together.
Celebrating transformation with the Reisman Awards
15 years ago, our first customer, Catherine Merino Reisman, believed in the transformative power of the cloud. At the time, many saw risk. Catherine saw an opportunity. Clio continues to celebrate customers who share Catherine’s excitement in leading advancement in the legal sphere with the Reisman Awards.
See how this year’s winners are reshaping legal.
Lawyers have entered a new era of productivity
As Jack mentioned, one of his favorite parts of ClioCon is introducing the annual Legal Trends Report—and, with some exciting updates to our annual analysis for 2023, this year was no exception.
The 2023 Legal Trends Report, now in its eighth edition, is full of incredible insights into what makes law firms successful. And, with almost a decade’s worth of data to track and compare against, we have a lot to be excited about this year.
Notably, we’re able to look at the tremendous gains lawyers have made in the past 10 years. Since 2016, Clio users have logged 35% more hours. They have also increased their realization rates by 12%, billed 70% more, and increased collection rates by 72%. In other words, Clio users are in a new era of productivity.
Firms are leveraging cutting-edge technology and enhanced productivity like never before. And, as Jack noted, when lawyers embrace these tools, they can take on more work, provide better client experiences, and see increased demand for their services.
Learn more about Clio’s annual Legal Trends Report.
Introducing the lockup metric
While how a firm works, bills, and collects are all critical performance considerations, there’s another part of the story that we hadn’t previously covered—until now: how quickly and consistently lawyers get paid.
That’s why we introduced a new key performance indicator (KPI) to the Legal Trends Report: lockup. At its core, lockup refers to the number of days you wait to receive payment. We also looked at proven methods for reducing lockup—allowing firms to get paid faster and have more access to capital, ensuring a healthy cash flow.
For more insights, be sure to check out the 2023 Legal Trends Report.
Pulling the right levers
Jack discussed the importance of levers, and leveraging technology to amplify your efforts. He spoke to key KPI levers that will improve your realization and collection rates, unlocking more cash flow.
At Clio, we’re committed to providing products and services that pull those levers.
Jack spoke to four actionable takeaways legal professionals could implement today, using Clio, to pull those KPI levers: emailing bills, bulk billing, sending outstanding balance summaries, and sending trust requests.
Technology and the justice gap
Jack shared statistics on the needs of America’s legal system, noting that 55 million Americans experience 260 million legal problems annually and that the number of Americans dealing with legal issues is fifty-five times greater than the number of lawyers in the United States. In other words, the demand for legal services greatly exceeds the availability of services.
To adequately service these consumers and increase access to justice, harnessing technology to maximize productivity is non-negotiable.
Artificial intelligence and the latent market
Before delving into a number of new features Clio is releasing, Jack noted the elephant in the room—artificial intelligence (AI).
All eyes have been on AI in the legal industry, and for good reason. It has the potential to be the most transformative technology to hit the market since the smartphone, and we’re already seeing its impact on the legal industry.
Far from replacing us, these virtual collaborators will be alongside us every step of the way, maximizing our productivity and expanding our scope of achievement. Without embracing AI, we miss out on opportunities to truly transform the legal experience for all.
While many are hesitant to embrace AI, Jack reminded attendees that “we’ve seen this story before.” From smartphones to cloud computing, previous innovations that we feared have become indispensable parts of our lives.
Take accounting, for example. Electro-mechanical computing machines (a predecessor to modern computers) were the norm, and one accountant would do the equivalent of one cell in a physical spreadsheet. With the advent of the computer spreadsheet, Visicalc (a predecessor to Excel), there was fear that spreadsheets would simply replace accountants outright.
Since Visicalc came out in 1979, however, employment in the accounting space has almost doubled. They weren’t replaced by spreadsheets; rather, they moved up the value chain to become strategic partners to their business while delivering more with less. This gives us instructive lessons regarding how AI might work in the legal industry.
Following in the footsteps of technology before it, AI has the power to make services accessible to more people, unlocking the latent market.
What does AI for lawyers look like?
Jack was beyond excited to introduce the embodiment of Clio’s vision for AI—Clio Duo. This dynamic tool was purpose-built to amplify lawyers’ abilities within Clio.
Clio Duo will become a lawyer’s trusted ally, designed to take essential tasks off lawyers’ to-do lists, empowering you to spend more time on the work that only you can do. With Clio Duo, you’ll have tremendous capabilities to analyze data, predict outcomes with unparalleled accuracy, and deliver justice with unprecedented efficiency.
Jack reminded the audience that you—legal professionals—are indispensable. AI isn’t going to replace you, but legal professionals leveraging AI will replace those who don’t.
He left off on the note that “AI is going to give us the opportunity to be more human. Rather than turning lawyers into robots, it will take the robot out of the lawyer.”
Getting ahead of the curve
The excitement around AI represents an incredible opportunity for lawyers to get ahead of the curve—but it’s not the only tool in your toolkit that will amplify impact.
That’s why Clio recognizes the need to help invest in solutions that can drive the industry forward. As we look to the future, we recognize the need for greater investment in solutions for complex practice areas.
With that, Jack was thrilled to introduce Clio’s new features—and there was a lot to talk about! Jack noted that 2023 marked the most new features ever released by Clio.
Lawyers who offer legal aid services have gone largely unserved to date, yet the demand for legal aid services in the United States is on the rise. As a result, Clio is releasing new features for firms using Clio Manage that provide legal aid services.
Specifically, firms who operate with grants and sliding scale fees will be able to report on grants, automate grant spending, calculate eligibility, and more from within Clio.
The average time it takes to close a personal injury case is 11 months—during that time, you’re not just navigating a complex legal system but also emotionally supporting clients who have been injured due to another’s negligence.
The complexity of personal injury law, coupled with the weight it carries, underscores the need for advanced technology solutions that can support lawyers in this practice area. Jack then announced Clio’s new set of features tailored specifically for personal injury firms, including record management, settlement estimates, and expense tracking.
Amplifying your impact
After outlining these exciting new practice area-specific features, Jack reminded the audience that the focus for the next two days of ClioCon was amplifying their impact. This goes beyond a mere theme and is at the heart of how we design solutions at Clio.
He reflected on Clio’s many releases over the last year and how they help lawyers amplify their impact, including the following.
Firms who practice litigation—whether civil or criminal—have their own unique sets of challenges navigating filing and court procedures. These challenges informed Clio’s acquisition of CalendarRules and Lawyaw, two amazing offerings for litigation professionals.
Now, Clio is adding features—available in select states later this year—that will allow litigation firms to seamlessly file documents directly with the courts. Clio File—a first among legal practice management software providers—allows firms to file, serve, and deliver court documents electronically without leaving Clio Manage.
Google Local Service Ads
Before you follow up with prospects, Jack noted, you have to attract them first. Digital marketing is the key that unlocks your clients.
That’s why Clio teamed up with Google Local Service Ads. This partnership enables you to show up at the top of Google for highly relevant searches in your area. These ads appear alongside your Google rating and contact information, removing the need to create banner ads or write ad copy.
Unlike traditional pay-per-click advertising, you only pay for Google Local Service Ads when a completed lead form is submitted. Better yet, Google Local Service Ads is built right into Clio Grow, so you don’t need to navigate different accounts to follow up on potential leads.
Learn more about Google’s Local Services Ads for Clio.
Clio Grow is now outfitted with several new capabilities to help firms attract more prospects and convert them into paying clients.
With Clio Grow’s enhanced appointment functionality, clients can set up an initial meeting at the click of a button (along with text reminders to ensure they don’t miss their appointment). Firms can also create custom reminders based on appointment type, ensuring that different clients have the information they need for their appointment.
Clio Grow can now also automatically send messages on your behalf. When a new lead comes into your inbox, Clio Grow can send an automated email along with an appointment request button and intake form. And, of course, your Clio Grow records are kept up-to-date every step of the way.
Learn more about Clio Grow.
Connectivity and centralization
In our ongoing efforts to improve the connectivity between Clio Grow and Clio Manage, our new contact sharing feature automatically updates contact information between Clio Grow and Clio Manage, ensuring that contact information is always up-to-date between the platforms.
We’re also introducing new email capabilities within Clio Manage, and now you can send Gmail and Outlook emails directly from Clio Manage using the same email address you use with those providers.
For Clio Manage, we’ve strived to help you not just manage but optimize your time.
That’s why Clio introduced Matter Templates, allowing everyone in a firm to access a template and guiding them through exactly what they need to do to successfully create a new matter. Every new matter is consistent and accurate, with no surprises waiting to be discovered down the line.
We also introduced Matter Stages, visual kanban-style boards that clearly show your work in progress at a high level across your firm.
Learn more about Clio Manage.
Embracing a mobile mindset
Everyone—including lawyers and their clients—is spending more and more time on their phones. In response to this shift, Jack announced several exciting upgrades to Clio’s mobile experience, including the following.
Clio for Clients
Clio improved the Clio for Clients mobile app, replacing the need for clients and law firms to spend time drafting emails, setting up appointments, and sharing documents. We’ve added the capability for clients to bulk upload documents and for firms to populate upcoming events into the Clio for Clients calendar.
Enhanced language features
Clio for Clients is now available in Spanish on both desktop and mobile. Once selected, all text in the Clio for Clients portal will be switched to Spanish, providing an enhanced client experience for Spanish-speaking clients while delivering exceptional service.
Clio Mobile App improvements
Just like we’re working on clients’ mobile experiences, we’re doing the same for firms with the Clio Mobile App. Now, lawyers can do even more on the go, with capabilities allowing you to create new matters on the go, handheld document scanning, and improved bill viewing.
Learn more about the Clio Mobile App for Android and iOS.
Jack reflected on a concept from Jay Foonberg’s seminal book, “How to Start & Build a Law Practice.” In the book, Foonberg describes the “gratitude curve,” a powerful tool that firms can use to increase client satisfaction and loyalty. Appreciation and willingness to pay can change over the course of legal work. This emphasizes the need for firms to manage client expectations and maintain open communication throughout the engagement. Part of this process involves making it fast and easy for clients to pay at the right time in the gratitude curve.
Digital wallets are becoming increasingly common for paying for everything from coffee to legal bills. As a result, Clio Payments is now the only legal practice management payment provider to allow clients to pay their bills using Apple Pay or Google Pay.
You can also now use the Clio Mobile App as a point of sale (POS) solution. All you need to do is pull up the bill on your Clio Mobile App, click “Collect Payment,” and have your client hold their card or phone near your phone to complete the transaction—that’s it!
All of this provides firms with the opportunity to quickly and easily collect payments from clients at exactly the right time.
Learn more about Clio Payments, our credit card processing and e-payments software.
Document Productivity with Lawyaw
Outside of mobile enhancements, we’ve been heavily investing in our document productivity solution, Lawyaw.
Lawyers often rely on PDFs or Word documents to gather information from clients and have to manually enter this information. As Jack explained, this method often creates inconsistencies and uncertainty around data. We therefore introduced Lawyaw Questionnaires, which allows Lawyaw users to create and share fillable forms with clients. Their responses can be matched to the forms of your choice and auto-populate these documents, centralizing information and minimizing back and forth between team members and clients.
The New York State Bar Association currently provides over 1,000 forms and templates for legal professionals. As part of our mission to transform the legal experience for all, we have entered into an exclusive technology partnership for the NYSBA’s content library.
Learn more about Lawyaw’s legal document automation solutions.
Clio’s App Ecosystem
Outside of Clio’s products, Jack explained that we’ve also been investing heavily in our App Directory, ensuring that our platform complements and enhances the abilities of our entire ecosystem.
In support of this mission, Clio invested $50.5 million in EvenUp, a groundbreaking technology harnessing AI to create demand packages for personal injury lawyers.
Learn more about Clio Ventures.
To further support our integration partners, we introduced our new Integration Awards for Legaltech Excellence and Innovation, an evolution of our previous LaunchCode developer contest. These awards aim to celebrate and honor the cutting-edge advancements made by legaltech pioneers in our App Ecosystem. Last month, we hosted our virtual awards ceremony for the recipients of our first Integration Awards.
Learn more about Clio’s inaugural Integration Awards and our 2023 winners.
Amplify the impact of technology
Between Clio and our App Ecosystem, we’re building a future where we can leverage technology as a driving force in the legal profession. To help lawyers work the way they want, Clio has introduced two new resources to help firms make the most of their technology.
The Clio Benefits portal is a dedicated space for Clio customers to discover new products and services. They can also access exclusive discounts and offers from Clio’s app partners.
Furthermore, to ensure that lawyers are set up to use these products effectively, we introduced the Clio Academy. This new learning platform allows Clio customers and legal professionals to take quick and convenient certification courses (like “Get Paid” and “Get Organized”) on Clio products through knowledge-based tests. These courses are not only designed to help lawyers become better Clio customers. They also help lawyers to better achieve their goals of increasing revenue, optimizing time management, and delivering exceptional client experiences.
Learn more about customizing your Clio experience with our apps and integrations.
See you next year in Austin!
Closing out his keynote speech, Jack unveiled a final surprise. We’ll be welcoming ClioCon 2024 attendees to join us in Austin, Texas! We look forward to exploring our 2024 theme—“moving with momentum”—with all of you next year.
Get your 2024 ClioCon passes—and score big savings for a limited time!