Clio is a powerful, innovative, user-friendly law practice platform that offers law firms an array of options for adding functionality through its extensive App Directory and open API.
Integrations. One of its standout features has long been the extensive list of apps with which it integrates. No matter what software and services you use, you can probably plug them into Clio. But they recently took this to another level by building the entire app around a robust API. This isn’t just law practice management software anymore; it is a technology platform on which you can build your law practice systems. This means if you can’t find anything that does something in the way you wish it would, you can build your own app on top of the API exactly how you want.
Design. Clio has embraced user-centered design in a big way. Customers play a central role in shaping Clio’s development roadmap, and Clio gauges its own success by its customers’ success. At its annual Clio Cloud Conference, the design team takes copious notes as users demonstrate how they use Clio, or their frustrations and workarounds, and then incorporate what they learn into the development roadmap. Even if you never notice this focus on design, you’ll benefit.
Single-page app. The web app is now a single-page app. This means you don’t have to wait for the page to reload every time you click a button or link, making the web app feel faster and more responsive.
Sponsored Clio Updates
- Bryan Stevenson to Speak About Issues in America’s Criminal Justice System at Clio Cloud Conference (Sponsored)
- Design Thinking Comes to the Clio Cloud Conference (Sponsored)
- Lessons Learned in 10 Years (Sponsored)
- Legal Trends Report Dives Deeper into Industry Data (Sponsored)
- Start the New Year Off Right with the New Clio Experience (Sponsored)
Pricing starts at $39/user/month for the Starter (basic) plan. Most firms will want to upgrade to the Boutique plan, for $59/user/month, and take advantage of features like document automation, third-party integrations, trust requests, and alternative-fee (flat and contingent) billing. Firms with more sophisticated workflows may need to upgrade to the Elite plan, for $99/user/month.
All plans include training and live customer support from 8am to 8pm Eastern, Monday through Friday.
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Things You Might Want to Know
Security. Clio uses SSL to secure your session whenever you are logged in. This is comparable to the level of security your bank uses. Additionally, you can secure your account with two-factor authentication and require all users to use strong passwords. Clients (and anyone else you add) get that same level of security when logging into Clio Connect to access documents or communications.
Backup. If you are nervous about trusting Clio to keep your account backed up (this is an appropriate level of paranoia, FYI), it is relatively easy to back up your data to Amazon S3 with its Data Escrow feature. This sounds way more complicated than it is, and Clio provides step-by-step instructions will get you set up with Data Escrow pretty quickly and easily. If you sign up for Clio, you should absolutely set up Data Escrow. You can never be too redundant when it comes to backup.
Also, it’s not backup but there is Recovery Bin which functions as a short-term “undo” option in case you accidentally delete something and want it back.
Migrating. If you already use practice management software, Clio will help you migrate your data from your old software. Of course, the quality of the migration depends as much on the source (your old software) as the destination. When you contact Clio’s account migration team (open a new support ticket after you sign up), they will give you a good idea of what sort of results you can expect.
No matter what you use, Clio will not migrate certain things. These include historical accounting and billing information or documents stored in your old software. However, you can migrate your accounts receivable, and the bulk document uploader option should be able to help with getting your documents into the new system. If you have a lot of accounting data in an old system, it probably makes sense to migrate at the beginning of a new year to minimize the time you spend on setting up your books.
Plugins for Outlook and Gmail. Clio has plugins for Gmail and Outlook so you can associate emails with contacts and matters in Clio. The Outlook add-in allows you to track time and file emails to matters directly from Outlook. This feature is free for Boutique and Elite customers and is compatible with Office 365 Business and Premium accounts.
Accounting sold separately. Clio can handle your billing, trust accounting, and basic bookkeeping, and they have recently updated their software to include better trust account management and accounts receivable aging reports. But even with all this, you may need a full accounting software package like QuickBooks or Xero. Fortunately, you can integrate both.
Evergreen Trust Management. Clio has recently introduced a way to easily manage your trust accounts through its Evergreen Management update. This update allows you to set minimum thresholds for trust balances, automate trust balance notifications, review the status of funds, and track cashflow with Clio’s Trust Management Report, all to help you keep your trust accounts evergreen.
Accounts Receivable Aging Report. This new feature allows you to view unpaid customer invoices by date ranges to help you keep on top of your cash flow and collections. This is an improvement on Clio’s old Accounts Receivable report, which previously did not organize invoices by number of dates outstanding.
Task templates. You can create reusable task templates, which make it easy to assign things like briefing schedules with a couple of clicks. Task due dates can depend on other tasks, but not on calendar items.
Track your marketing. With Campaign Tracker, you can generate unique phone numbers (routed to your firm phone number) to use with ads, create contact forms, and enter leads manually. It’s a simple solution to a common problem: figuring out where your clients came from.
Clio Launcher. Clio Launcher is Clio’s document management tool that allows you to open, edit, and save documents in their native apps directly in Clio with instant sync. It is included for free in Clio’s Boutique and Elite subscriptions.
Who Clio is For
Clio is the clear leader in cloud-based law practice management software. While it is good for most small firms, its App Directory and open API make it especially attractive for firms that want to build a system out of multiple tools, all working together. If you are shopping for law practice management software for your firm, Clio should be on your short list of options to test.