Meet Ron Payne, a former high school band director turned estate planning, family law and small business lawyer from North Carolina. He started his firm with the intent of just handling a few cases while he looked for a job at a law firm. As he put it, he “wanted the experience working of for someone else, working for a mentor and having a stable salary.” He knew he needed a better way than spreadsheets to track the few cases he had, but it also had to be cost-effective. “Since we weren’t planning on having a firm, we didn’t want to spend $3500 on short term investment” which eliminated any of the server-based software packages. Not knowing where he’d work most of the time, being cloud-based was also key. “Clio seemed like the right size, and the right fit.” So he signed his fledging firm up for an account.
The handful of cases turned into a few more, and soon he was bringing on a fellow classmate as a partner. He suddenly found himself running a law firm, with Clio keeping everyone organized and on track. “The organization of Clio helps optimize my time, and staff’s time. We can focus on cases, not on process since the process has been developed for us.” The ease of learning Clio made training simple, “and we just tweak to our liking which is a big time saver.” Organization and time optimization have lead to unparalleled customer service.
Since starting a law firm was not the ultimate goal, “we initially considered customer service, being able to respond to clients quickly and efficiently, as a nice bonus, but as we’ve grown we think of it as our competitive advantage. Neither of us have worked as a full time attorney or a partner in a “traditional” law firm, so we have no preconceived notions of how law firms should be. Clio makes it possible for us to respond quickly and accurately to clients, no matter where we are, because all of the information we need is always at our fingertips.” Features of Clio, like the Firm Feed, help keep him in the loop on case and firm activity. “It makes communication between staff consistent and predictable, which is good if a client calls my legal assistant with something that doesn’t require my immediate attention. She can just put a note in the file, and I’ll see it which is much better than having to dig through email.”
In addition to making communications between staff consistent, Clio also makes billing a snap. “I’m not a numbers guy and most attorneys I know aren’t either. I don’t have a large support staff like a large law firm, either, to handle all my billing so being able to very easily generate a bill for 15 clients at once is great.” Even as his firm and caseload have grown, Clio has scaled with it and kept billing quick and easy. “We now have a much longer (and growing daily) active client list, and clients coming and going but our time spent billing work hasn’t increased much because billing is so simple with Clio.”
As an iPhone user, he’s found the billing features of Clio for iPhone “phenomenal.”
When asked if he’d recommend Clio to others, he said absolutely. It is rare we come across a user who doesn’t recommend Clio, but then he said “I don’t know how you can practice law in the modern day and age and not use technology to really maximize assistants to clients. In some senses, using the cloud should be a mandatory practice. It provides a robust, integrated solution. You’re almost committing malpractice if not using the cloud.”
Read the full interview. (more…)