I had a blast at the 2022 Clio Cloud Conference in Nashville.
A legal conference where, at the end, you were sad that it didn’t last longer. Have you ever heard that?
You’ve probably never been to ClioCon then.
Clio is a cloud-based legal practice management platform. With more than a decade of constant feature updates and welcoming third-party app integrations, Clio is designed to be a “one-stop-solution” for running a law firm. Billing. Document management and automation. Intake and client relationship management. Calendaring.
Basically, for everything a lawyer does during the day, Clio’s goal is to make it easier and more efficient. If they don’t offer a solution, let them know, and they’ll create one. One legal tech commentator called their culture “a cult of innovation.”
You probably think this is a paid post. (I mean, who shows this sort of rabid exuberance for legal practice management solutions?)
There are lots of law practice management tools out there, but none have the branding or message that these guys do (or care to have it). Clio casts itself and its users as rebels and disruptors. Clio knows its core audience, and ClioCon is a concert where they play the hits.
I’m telling you, Clio is a vibe.
In his closing address, Clio CEO Jack Newton said attendees were part of a “tribe.” “We are part of a big community here with a common goal of transforming the legal experience for all,” he said.
Legal tech writer Bob Ambrogi wrote this about the 2022 event: “It is no exaggeration to say that this is a conference in which it feels as if every single person is there because they are deeply committed to improving the practice of law and the delivery of legal services through the better use of technology and the innovation of their practices.”
Clio and their some 200 employees were there, at every turn, offering impromptu training sessions, directions (ugh, Opryland Hotel), and friendly smiles.
It was like hanging out with 200 people who really wanted you to be better at your law job, but also were your new best friends, and, occasionally, a life coach.
Part instructional, part sales-pitch, part motivational/self-help pep talk, it was hard not to leave ClioCon fired up about being a better lawyer.
(I actually signed up with FOUR new technology service vendors after leaving.)
The theme this year was, essentially, the world political and economic landscape is a mess, only getting worse, and we (and our clients) are in for some tough times in 2023. What can we, as lawyers, do to prepare and to provide better service to our clients?
It’s different than a typical legal conference because of the diversity of attendees. People come from all over. Most are lawyers, but some are administrative staff and other legal professionals. Many attendees are neither, but work on innovations in legal technology and processes.
Nevertheless, across the board, the common theme was that we (the Clio staff, the attendees, all of us in the room) are collectively collaborating on something different, rebellious, innovative…and all with the goal to provide awesome service to clients.
Every conversation I had–walking all over that awful hotel; waiting for sessions to start; meals–the topic was “how does your firm [insert some technical/practical law practice task].” “What works/What doesn’t.” People were there for one reason: To be better lawyers.
Who can’t help but get fired up about that?
I’ve attended 3 ClioCons now (the first two were remote, due to the pandemic).
My first year, it felt like we all were in on a big secret. In the early COVID world, it felt scandalous to openly talk about things like virtual law firms, document and client communication automation, and fully cloud-based systems. This was a crowd that held zero regard for “The Way Things Have Always Been Done.”
It felt awesome and liberating to not have a Managing Partner hiding around the corner, waiting to tell you that “we’ll form a committee to consider your idea and tell you ‘No’ in 6 months.”
In the past few years, the rest of the industry has come a long way, but they’re still far behind the types of things that are being discussed as a matter-of-fact at ClioCon.
What I’m saying is this: Find your tribe. If you care about things like disrupting the status quo in the legal industry and ways to be a better (and happier) lawyer, come to 2023 ClioCon in Nashville (yes, again) on October 9-10.
You can register here. I’ve already signed up for it.
My only compliant: No karaoke. Clio, if you’re reading this, call me. I can fix this.