Very early in my law practice I realized that I was becoming overwhelmed with the amount of information I had to manage. Coming from a computer science background, I knew that one of the best ways to get organized was to implement some type of technological solution. I began my search for ways in which lawyers managed their practices. I tried several popular solutions, the type of solutions where you would pay a large upfront fee to acquire the discs for installation, followed by an annual maintenance fee to continue using the software. I didn’t like this as a solution because I didn’t have resources available as a new lawyer to pay for this kind of upfront fee.
Then I tried to program my own solution from scratch. I realized very early on that it is no small task to build an entire practice management solution from nothing. So I continued searching.
Fortunately there was some discussions going on in the SOLOSEZ list-serve newsgroup for small firms and solo practitioners. Lawyers were discussing cutting edge software as a service (SaaS) solutions that were coming out for lawyers. The top two contenders at that time were Rocket Matter and Clio. The folks over at Rocket Matter were kind enough to give me a telephonic real-time demonstration of their product. However, they did not offer a true test drive account where I could take the wheel and give it a spin on my own. Clio, on the other hand, allowed me to sign up for a free 30 day trial on their website. It was quick, easy, and painless to get started.
As I began to tinker around in the system, the thing that impressed me the most was how simple and elegant Clio’s design was. Everything made sense. Nothing was confusing. I did not have to go to a help file to figure out how to do what I wanted to do. I didn’t have to call tech support. I was presented with a clean and simple interface that allowed me to do all of the major tasks that lawyers do in a typical practice management solution.
Then I began entering my real data. Client contact information, case information, calendar items, my to do list, my accounting, and even uploading my documents. I was confident that this system is just as safe and secure as any other system done another way – for example, a local installation on a laptop can be stolen probably more easily than the data secured on this secured web server. The information I was tracking was in a broad range of practice areas, from bankruptcy to personal injury.
After using the system for about one week, I was completely hooked. Clio was always open in a web browser window on my second monitor. It kept me on task from day-to-day, kept me organized, and gave me a sense of calm that I was not misplacing, losing, or forgetting any important information about my practice. Clio took the dread out of time tracking and billing for my time, as Clio has an easy way to manage both.
I never have to worry about backing up my Clio data. Clio does it for me. I never have to worry about installing software updates. Clio does it behind the scenes, seamlessly. I am able to access my information from anywhere with Internet access – which is almost everywhere these days. Everywhere I go I have Clio in my pocket – because it is on my iPhone as well.
With its modest monthly fee, excellent and friendly technical support, and an ever-increasing set of features, Clio is a bargain. I would recommend everyone give it a try – at least to see how it compares to other solutions. Finally, the owners of the company are completely friendly and professional. They will personally return your e-mails and phone calls very promptly. Rian and Jack have provided the best constomer support experience I’ve ever had in a software solution.
In sum, I am a very satisfied customer of Clio as my practice management solution.