Law Firm Tech: Clio


As many of you know, I am somewhat known as "the LeanLaw girl,"--a title I wear with pride. And rightfully so. It is my favorite software for the legal industry. However, at our firm, we have two options, Clio or LeanLaw.

Now, I am by far not the Proper Trust expert in this tech. That lands with my business partner, Sarah Prevost, and my account manager, Nicole Lawrence. They love Clio.

Actually, Clio software is the grandfather software for cloud legal tech. It's been around a very long time. Per the Google:

"Clio was established in 2007 by Jack Newton and Rian Gauvreau, who felt that the software commonly in use by law firms at the time was too expensive and difficult to use. When the company launched its software in 2008, it was the first cloud-based practice management software developed for law firms."

First! And it has been around before most attorneys even knew about the cloud. 

Clio is different from LeanLaw in that is full-blown practice management software. It has bells and whistles that are not in LeanLaw. Per its advertisement, Clio features include:

  •  Case Management
  •  Document Management
  •  Billing
  •  Client Management
  •  Accounting
  •  Calendaring
  •  Task Management
  •  Online Payments

Let’s unpack these.

Case Management: As you can see depicted below, there is a dashboard per matter, and you can follow the case from start to finish:

There is a calendar that you can book for the important dates of the case. You can add your documents and communicate with your client. All the data for the matter is housed within this screen. You also have the ability to create custom fields. You can create tasks for your own purposes as the attorney and for your legal assistant or paralegal.

With just a click you can access the billing and any payments from the client, whether it is the retainer or any open accounts receivable.

I love the timeline. It shows the progress of the case or matter.

Now, what is crazy about all the bells and whistles is that most attorneys don’t use any of them.  I am not kidding. They don’t take the time to learn the tech, and they don’t use the product to its full potential.

Most of the clients I see use the program as time and billing software. And Clio is not inexpensive. Most attorneys are in the Grow plan. That is $99/per user. Which, in my opinion, is very affordable for the smallest of firms. Look what you get with the software! You can store documents and communicate with your clients; everything is neatly organized. Being organized will set you up for success. No date will be missed for your client. You can see on the timeline how far the job has to go.

And you can track your trust accounting to the penny. But this only works if you connect the software to QuickBooks. Most firms that are in Clio come to us without that connection. I think that is because the bookkeeper is fearful of the integration. But don’t be afraid. This is an integral step to compliance.

Clio payments

On a side note, I mentioned Clio payments in the video.  The folks at Clio have informed me of the following, including a sweet bonus:

"Clio has offered online credit card payments to customers through integration with LawPay since 2015. In October 2021, we added built-in payment processing to Clio Manage, which can be utilized without connecting to a third-party payment processor.

The new Clio Payments comes with more flexible payment plans, the ability to accept eCheck payments, and the option to securely store your client’s preferred payment details.

Many Clio customers are currently switching from LawPay to the new Clio Payments. There's even an offer on right now where they can save 25% on one year of Clio Manage to make the switch."

Now, it has been my experience that e-checks take 10 business days to clear.  Storing client payment details takes that burden off of the firm owner -- big time savings and compliance feature.  The fact that payment processing is built-in is a timesaver for sure. 

Next week we will dive into the settings. What do you need to know to set yourself up for success? Stay tuned.