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; though broadly speaking, LPM software performs the following functions.
Client & Contact Management
Time & Expense Tracking
Beyond these core features, some LPM applications provide additional functionality or focus on a particular element of law practice as a stand-out feature. These include:
In this way, LPM software sometimes overlaps with Document Management Software (DMS) and Law Firm Accounting Software.
Clio Manage, part of the Clio Suite, is law practice management software. It manages a firm’s client, contacts, time, billing, calendars, tasks and more.
Clio aims to be the Operating System for your law firm, both in terms of managing your clients and cases, but also by serving as the technology hub of your law firm via it’s network of integrations. (More on this later.)
The Clio Suite
Clio Manage, which used to be simply called “Clio,” is the company practice management software. Clio Grow is separate legal intake and CRM software for law firms. (Clio Grow was formerly known as Lexicata until it was acquired and integrated into Clio in 2018). Collectively the two products are known as the Clio Suite. For the purpose of this review, we’ll focus exclusively on Clio Manage.
A Good Fit for Firms That…
Clio Manage is a good fit for firms that need easy-to-use, flexible Practice Management for their law firms. In particular, Clio is often a great fit for small and midsize law firms that want an application that is natively web-based (no servers required), and works on Windows or Mac computers.
In addition, Clio Manage is a good fit for law firms that need integrations with other software, such as Office 365, The G Suite, Airtable, Asana and many other cloud-based tools.
Finally, Clio Mange is often a good fit for firm’s that need lightweight practice management, where user adoption will be easy and where the firm needs to get up-and-running quickly.
Clio Manage is based out of Canada, and serves law firms across North America. Clio Manage is approved or recognized by over 60 US State Bar associations.
See Clio in Use
Clio does a lot, but never overwhelms the user with options or buttons. The interface is minimalist and clean. Matters are intuitively organized into tabs for contacts, appointments, tasks and so forth.
Clio Stand-Out Features
Simplicity & Ease-of-Use Clio has grown to the largest cloud-based practice management product by market share, arguably, due to its ease of use and modern interface. Contrasted to the often overwhelming and unintuitive interfaces of legacy software, Clio Manage feels natural to use and easy to navigate.
Vast Network of Integrations Clio Manage has a large network of integrations, meaning it works with other products and services that your law firm uses (or may use in the future). Just to name a few, Clio integrates with Office 365, the G Suite, QuickBooks, Zapier, Slack and Zoom. Many law firms use these integrations to effectively extend the capabilities of Clio, and built a complete law practice management platform that fits their unique firm.
Flexible Billing & Payments Create professional, branded invoices in summary or detail form. Track the status of unpaid bills, apply discounts to early payments, or add automated interest to late payments. Categorize hard and soft costs with ease. Record reimbursable expenses to maintain accurate financial records.
Sophisticated Case Management Create custom data fields specific to your law firm’s processes or legal practice areas to collect, store, and search for case details efficiently. Attach custom categories, task lists, billing rates, payment profiles, budgets, and more to each of your legal cases.
Dashboard: Mission Control for Your Law Firm The Clio Manage dashboard gives you an at-a-glance view of the most important metrics for your law firm. See upcoming deadlines, how many hours your firm has captured, and more in one place.
More: Watch the 10-Minute Clio Manage Overview
Complete Feature List
Client & Contact Management A central database to store information for clients, courts, related parties and other contacts.
Matter Management A central database of matters, cases and projects. Stores the most relevant information pertaining to each matter.
Calendaring Individual calendars for each user, along with an aggregated, firm-wide view/calendar. Synchronization with Outlook calendar.
Task Management Create tasks and to-do items pertaining to specific matters or projects. Assign tasks and set deadlines.
Time & Expense Tracking Track billable hours and related expenses for a particular client or matter.
Billing Invoicing, including for billable hours, contingency work, and fixed-fee matters.
Conflict Checking Search the database for related names, document each conflict check.
Business Accounting Standard business accounting, including a Chart of Accounts, Bank/Operating Accounts, standard accounting reports (P&L, Balance Sheet).
Trust Accounting Trust/IOLTA accounting for management of trust funds, including trust account reporting.
Document Assembly/Automation Automatic preparation and population of specific court documents and forms.
Document Storage Built-in cloud storage for related documents and files.
Document Management Full-text search, check-out/in, document tagging & profiling, and version management. (Need full cloud-based Document Management? Clio goes great with LexWorkplace.)
Email Management The ability to save emails to specific matters, via Outlook integration.
Mobile App An Android or iPhone application for time entry and some subset of software functionality.
Client Portal A client-facing online portal to share documents and updates with clients and other third-parties.
Open API An open API (Application Program Interface), allowing you or third-parties to develop integrations with the software.
We’ve aggregated and curated feedback from Clio users. This feedback is made up of feedback from our clients, legal technology consultants and online user feedback.
“The perfect software for small law firms.”
Kellie from a Small Law Firm
“Everything about Clio has been so intuitive to the point that we really didn’t need much training for any of it. The ease of the program is great for logging time, document management, billing, and more. We’ve tried out a few different software and this one has been the most inclusive of all of our firms needs.”
“Clio makes my job much easier.”
Jacy from a Small Law Firm
“I love the task list/reminder function, as well as the communication log. Most importantly, access to the timer to bill my time is the most important feature (considering it is how I ensure I get paid). I also love that you can set billable goals, and it tells you for each day, week, month, and year whether you’re on track to meet those billables.”
“Good for your client billing.”
Roel from a Small Law Firm
“It is very easy and simple to bill all of your client matters. You can search and file by client name or by the matter number. The actual billing process is very simple compared to other client billing programs I’ve used in the past.
I also like how you can start a timer on the program to keep track of hours you are billing a client. The week by week billing screen is also helpful and allowed to catch some mistakes I made with dates.”
“Great option for a small practice.”
Jeffrey, Partner of a Small Law Firm
“Moving to a cloud based case management system has been fantastic. Having tried a few different programs, we found that Clio provides the most intuitive program for our staff. However, I don’t like the inability to bill for emails from Outlook, requiring two steps to do so from the Communications page in Clio, should be corrected.“
About the Author: Uptime Legal Systems Named an Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Private Company in 2014, 2015 and 2016, Uptime Legal is North America’s leading provider of cloud services to law firms. As a full service legal technology provider, Uptime’s offerings include Private Cloud for law firms, Document & Email Management and Web Design and Internet Marketing.
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