7 Reasons Your Law Firm Should Consider Clio Manage

These days, you can’t throw a stick without hitting a dozen or more law practice management software products. You have a handful of long-running, premise-based case management applications, and no shortage of (relatively) new, cloud-based practice management platforms.

If your firm is looking for new case management software, the sheer number of options can be dauting. Making this challenge even more difficult is that, at least at 100,000 feet, so many of the practice management options look very similar, and offer little in the way of an actionable, stand-out differentiator.

At Uptime Legal, we work with hundreds of law firms across north America and have spent over a decade learning how law firms work, how software buying decisions are made (and all too often: re-made).In all this time, one software application has legitimately and objectively risen above the sea of “me too” practice management products.

That software is Clio Manage.

Introduction to Law Practice Management

Law Practice Management (LPM) software is a platform that, to varying degrees, manages each aspect of your law firm. The scope, features and capabilities of any given Law Practice Management application varies from product to product. Some products provide basic timekeeping and billing, others provide a broader array of functions, including matter management, form/document assembly, calendaring, trust accounting, and more.

Introduction to Clio Manage

If you own or manage a law firm, you’ve almost certainly heard of Clio. And you may have evaluated it at one point to run your law practice. Clio Manage may have the largest market share of cloud-based legal practice management products, and there’s a reason for that.

Clio Manage, in our view, has struck a near-perfect balance of simplicity, with modern design sensibilities that makes using their software approachable and useful, and robustness, with the tools and features that law firms need to effectively manage their practice.

Sidebar: Extend Clio Manage, Complete Your Law Office in the Cloud

Clio Manage lives at the center of your practice. But it’s one piece of an overarching technology platform for your law firm.

Uptime Practice™ Next

Practice Next is a suite of essential practice management and cloud services for your law firm, and includes:

  • Clio Manage Software & Support
  • Office 365 + Exchange Email
  • Secure Cloud Storage
  • Collaboration & Remote Meeting Tools
  • Data Security & Compliance Tools
  • Unlimited IT Help Desk

Learn More About Clio + Practice Next

Clio Manage – The Hub of Your Practice

Clio Manage aims to be the functional hub of your law practice. Yes, the practical core of the Clio Manage software is management of time, billing, clients, matters and appointments; but it’s fair to say that Clio Manage is more than just law practice management software.

Clio Manage does something that, candidly, I wish more software companies do: They do what they do really well, and let others (integration partners, which I’ll discuss shortly) handle the rest. It’s far better to have software that excels at its core purpose, but perhaps misses one or two features that law firm XYZ would really like… than to try to “do everything” (and do it poorly).

In their book Rework, Jason Fried and David Heinemeier (the founders of Basecamp) talk about the importance of starting and focusing on the epicenter, or “main course” of your product, and mastering that before moving on to “side dishes.” Clio has demonstrated real acumen with this philosophy, and (most importantly) that shows in the Clio Manage product.

Let’s get specific. Next, I’ll talk about 7 stand-out capabilities of Clio Manage.

1. Excelling at the Essentials

All of the many, many law practice management products competing for your business cover the basics.Things like:

  • Client and Contact Management
  • Time and Expense Tracking
  • Case / Matter Management
  • To-Do / Task Management
  • Billing / Invoicing
  • Calendar Management

But Clio Manage arguably does it better. Routine tasks ranging from creating a new client, generating an invoice, or scheduling a deadline are intuitive, easy, and robust when done in Clio Manage. These basic functions just work and are frictionless to accomplish. Other products, it seems, still have yet to really master these core operations within their software, and by comparison feel clunky or unintuitive.

2. App Directory – More than just Integrations

Clio Mange is probably most famous for its large network of integrations. But simply saying “Clio has a lot of integrations” is a bit reductive.

Clio Manage masters the core of running a law practice: Clients, matters, billing, calendaring, to-do’s, etc. But every law firm is unique:

  • Real Estate lawyers need specialized tools for generating real-estate documents.
  • Personal Injury attorneys need special tools for managing insurance carriers and the particulars of various kinds of accidents.
  • Estate Planning lawyers need tools and documents unique to generating wills, estate plans and more.
  • QuickBooks for accounting
  • DocuSign for digital signatures
  • LayPay for payment processing
  • Office 365 for productivity

And of course, many law firms rely on more general-purpose tools, all of which collectively make up the firm’s total technology toolkit. Things like:

Clio Manage integrates with hundreds of other applications, both general-purpose and specialized, effectively extending Clio Manage’s capabilities and allowing you to build a law practice management system that’s perfectly tailored to your law firm.

In this way, Clio becomes the hub of your firm’s technology, the Operating System for your law practice.

Learn more: The Clio App Directory

3. Clean, Intuitive User Interface

Clio Manage has a clean, easy-to-learn-and-use, almost minimalistic user interface. This is important, and here’s why.

Have you ever tried and failed to get your law firm to reliably use a new piece of software?(Only to have users fall back to their old home brew system of spreadsheets, documents and notes?)

If so, at least some of this can likely be blamed on the software itself. Too many pieces of software, both old and new, are over-saturated, cluttered, busy, and unapproachable.

Clio Manage, by contrast, is intuitive, easy to use, and (most importantly) easy to adopt in your law firm. Things are where you’d expect them to be. Individual screens present the information relevant to that screen, and nothing more. The user isn’t overwhelmed with irrelevant information.

Law practice management software isn’t a beauty pageant—but presenting end users with a slick, clean interface dramatically helps adoption, which helps your law firm become the well-oiled machine that you (hopefully) are working to build.

4. Work Anywhere

The past year (plus) has taught us all about the importance of having a flexible workforce.Members of your law firm travel, work from home, are temporarily displaced. And that’s only going to increase.Your law firm needs technology tools that embrace and support working from anywhere.

It’s obvious, but worth unpacking here: Clio Manage allows your firm to work anywhere, and delivers a perfectly consistent work experience whether you’re working form the office, at a client, site, or from home.

When you “extend” your Clio Manage with other cloud-based tools, such as Office 365 and QuickBooks Online, you’ll have a team and technology platform that is truly independent of any one physical location and office.That’s a level of flexibility and resilience that’s worth its weight in gold.

5. Eliminate Servers, Simplify Your IT

Let’s be honest: Owning servers sucks. Managing IT is no fun.

Servers are, at best: a means to an end, and at worst: a huge and expensive headache.

For small and midsize law firms, servers have always been a necessary evil: if you wanted to run a reasonably-well organized law firm and get bills out on time: you needed a server to host practice management software.

Clio Manage, along with a suite of other cloud-based tools, eliminates the needs for servers altogether, and thereby dramatically streamlines and simplifies your firm’s IT.

That server sitting in your firm’s coat closet or copy room, fundamentally serves about three purposes:

  1. Hosting of your Practice Management software -> which can be replaced by Clio Manage
  2. Hosting of your file system (ie:Your “S: Drive”) -> Which can be replaced by cloud storage such as Clio Manage, OneDrive or LexWorkplace
  3. Hosting of your email -> Which can be replaced by Office 365 and Exchange

All of the reasons to own a server are gone once you’ve moved to an all-cloud technology stack, including Clio Manage. Servers are quickly becoming, obsolete.

Which means your firm can finally be done with servers, upgrades, downtime and needless IT consultants.

Related:

6. Client Communication

Being a competent lawyer is, obviously, important. However, if you poll a random law firm customer, a key factor for their resounding positive or negative feedback is often rooted in communication.

Doing a great job is only as important as your client’s awareness of it. Clio clearly understands this and has built a number of capabilities into Clio Manage that hones in on and supports communication between attorneys and their clients.

On Clio’s near-term roadmap is a new feature, called Clio for Clients: A new client-attorney communication portal that enables clients to work and communicate with their lawyer from anywhere.

Clio for Clients will include easy client/attorney messaging, an easy way or client to send documents to their lawyer, and is accessible via web browser or a mobile app.

7. Reputation (Matters)

Lawyers are hard-wired to look to precedent when making decisions. Most law firms aren’t looking to be pioneers, but rather the security that comes with reputation and social proof.

Clio Manage is arguably the most recognized legal software today. Clio is recommended by over 66 bar associations and law societies across the world. What’s more, Clio has more raving fans—law firms large and small—than any other practice management platform we’ve looked at.

Collectively, this means that law firms looking for the “low-risk” option should seriously consider Clio.

When Law Firms Should Use Clio Manage

Clio Manage is a good fit for law firms that want a modern, natively-cloud practice management solution.

Clio Manage is well-suited for law firms that find alternative products “try to do too much,” and would prefer a focused, easy-to-use product that can be up-and-running quickly.

Clio Manage is especially well-suited for law firms that rely on other cloud-based tools (such as Office 365, DocuSign, OneDrive, Dropbox, QuickBooks and others).

A Clio Success Story

There are hundreds of law firms that have made the switch to Clio Manage and found their firms better for it. Here’s the story of just one firm.

Related:

Complete Your Law Office in the Cloud

Are you considering Clio Mange for your law firm (or already using Clio?)

Uptime Legal has helped hundreds of law firms transition to the cloud and streamline their technology.

More importantly, we’ve helped hundreds of law firms complete the picture when it comes to building a law office in the cloud.

Get in touch, and an Uptime legal technology expert will help you find the right case management software and other technology tools for your law firm.