If you’re a lawyer or partner in a small to medium-sized law practice, you’ve probably got enough on your hands without the stress of having to make sure your firm’s finances and customer contacts are managed smoothly. Clio is a powerful web-based law practice management tool designed specifically for the needs of law firms. Clio is suitable for sole traders and small-to-mid-sized law practices and although it’s mainly a web service, it can be accessed more conveniently using the desktop app for Mac.
From invoicing to client collaboration
Clio is easy to get to grips with and doesn’t require much learning or training. The app provides all of the essential tools for law firms, including case matter management, time tracking, billing/reporting, client contact and document management, task scheduling, trust accounting, and detailed reporting.
The main dashboard conveniently shows your most important pending tasks, events, billable hours and invoices to be settled.
It helps you organize your business and structure workflows and put everything related to your firm’s daily operation in one place. You can track time spent on a case, create professionally-designed invoices and control your firm’s finances more easily with Clio’s billing features. To help manage accounts more efficiently, Clio also integrates with professional accounting software such as QuickBooks Online and Xero to smooth the billing and accounting process.
Integration with other specialized third-party legal software
Clio is generally an excellent tool for either storing your documents or sending them to other third party services. It allows you to create, share, and store an unlimited number of documents and easily find documents, templates and generate routine legal documents.
These documents can then be shared or stored online using third party services such as Dropbox, NetDocuments, Box and Google Drive. However, these services are only available if you upgrade to Clio’s Boutique or Elite plan. These plans include the use of Zapier, which integrates Clio with many other types of web services.
The number of other law-related services that integrate with Clio is impressive and includes time tracking software such as Chrometa, DomainSkate for monitoring patents, JurisPage for managing client submissions, and RightSignature for signing documents digitally. You can check the list of third-party services supported by Clio by checking out the Clio integrations page.
Never lose track of important court dates again
The integrated scheduler and calendar in Clio is very useful as it allows you to keep track of important dates very easily. Apart from logging and tracking meetings, it also lets you enter deadlines and court dates to make sure you stay on top of important hearings, judgements, or meetings with clients. Again, this is only available if you subscribe to the Elite plan and includes the Court Rules integration feature means you no longer have to mentally keep track of deadlines and court hearings as Clio takes care of it.
Clio also includes Clio Uploader which enables lawyers to use Fujitsu ScanSnap to scan documents directly to Clio in order to create a paperless office and workflow. This also integrates with AgileLaw if you have the Elite plan – a paperless deposition solution that enables attorneys to manage the entire deposition process by replacing stacks of printed document exhibits with a tablet device.
Using other web-based software for highly confidential information can pose certain risks but the developer of Clio claims to provide a very high level of security with bank-grade encryption and rigorous daily security audits. This is especially important considering Clio also allows you to collaborate with clients via Clio Connect, a tool that enables clients to remotely access information, upload information and view documents that you grant them access to.
Clio is an impressive dedicated solution for small to medium-sized law practices. Although it costs $65 per user per month, it requires no on-site maintenance since all upgrades and updates are provided by Clio – so there’s no need for an IT department. If you’re looking for a smarter way to manage your law firm, it’s definitely worth a closer look.
Do you work for a law firm? What software have you tried in the past? Do share your comments below and let others know what apps work best for you?