As ABA TECHSHOW kicks off today, the practice management company Clio is announcing a new, broader vision for the company and its future.

It also made several other announcements, most notably the launch of The Law Community, an online platform for connecting Clio customers and others in the legal industry, as well as updates on its annual $100,000 Launch//Code Contest.

In 2017, Clio adopted what had been its guiding mission ever since: “To transform the practice of law, for good.” It was a clever double meaning, suggesting that the company wanted to transform law practice both for the better and permanently.

As cofounder and CEO Jack Newton put it in his keynote at the 2019 Clio Cloud Conference, “We want to make this our permanent dent in the universe,” paraphrasing Steve Jobs’ famous quote.

‘Transform the Legal Experience For All’

But in a letter issued this morning, Newton said that the company is now adopting a broader and more socially responsible statement of its mission: “To transform the legal experience for all.”

“Over the past year, we saw the issues facing the legal industry become magnified, and we quickly realized that our mission could do more to reflect our broader ambitions,” Newton’s letter said. “To better support the permanent changes we experienced as a global community in 2020, Clio is expanding its mandate to include how society engages with, delivers, and experiences legal services.”

This new mission is meant to encompass every stakeholder within the legal and judicial systems, from legal professionals to legal organizations, clients and consumers, Newton said. “This encompasses more than improving our software products; it’s about the larger impact we can have on the legal experience, on a global scale.”

The letter comes back to what has become a common theme for Clio and for Newton — that the future of legal services is cloud-based and client-centered. “Fostering these advancements will drive positive social change,” Newton writes.

There is now an opportunity in the legal profession for a paradigm shift, Newton says, in which lawyers adopt a client-centered approach to pricing, packaging, and delivering legal services.

“We believe doing this will break down barriers to legal services for consumers and make it easier for clients and law firms to work together more thoughtfully and effectively,” his letter says. “It’s time to create a more inclusive legal community and a more equitable legal system.”

How Clio Fulfills this Mission

Clio’s rephrasing of its mission in such broad terms raises the question of how a technology company can fulfill that mission. In materials provided by Clio to accompany Newton’s letter, it offers its answer to that question.

The pandemic, Clio says, has given rise to “a massive opportunity to create a better experience for everyone involved in the legal process” and to “reimagine how legal services can best be delivered by the many people and organizations who provide them.”

As a technology company, Clio says, it can make a direct impact on the legal system by:

  • Centralizing and simplifying business operations for law firms.
  • Creating new products and tools for lawyers to better serve their clients.
  • Making it easier for legal clients to collaborate with their lawyers and understand the legal system.
  • Enabling the legal industry to make data-driven decisions.
  • Breaking down barriers to legal services for consumers.
  • Creating a more inclusive legal community and a more equitable legal system.

“This is a key moment for the industry as law firms are realizing the benefits the cloud can have for their business,” Clio says. “But, more importantly, the move to the cloud also gives legal practitioners the opportunity to build a practice that truly places clients at the center of everything they do.”

The Law Community

Clio also announced today its launch of The Law Community, an online platform where Clio customers, industry leaders and legal professionals can connect over shared interests, goals and challenges; discuss important legal topics; learn how to better use Clio; and gain access to peer support.

Access to The Law Community is free for anyone with a Clio Manage, Clio Grow or Clio Suite subscription.

As of today’s launch, the community is exclusively available to Clio customers. But Clio says that, over the coming year, it will expand access to include integration partners, Clio-certified consultants, law students in the Clio Academic Access Program, and, eventually, the broader legal community.

Launch//Code

Also today, Clio said it is opening its fourth-annual $100,000 Launch//Code Contest, in which entrants compete to be the best new app integration developed for the Clio platform. The contest is now open for submissions. Five finalists will pitch their ideas to a panel of judges at the 2021 Clio Cloud Conference. Full details can be found at: clio.com/launch-code.

 

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Photo of Bob Ambrogi Bob Ambrogi

Bob is a lawyer, veteran legal journalist, and award-winning blogger and podcaster. In 2011, he was named to the inaugural Fastcase 50, honoring “the law’s smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries and leaders.” Earlier in his career, he was editor-in-chief of several legal…

Bob is a lawyer, veteran legal journalist, and award-winning blogger and podcaster. In 2011, he was named to the inaugural Fastcase 50, honoring “the law’s smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries and leaders.” Earlier in his career, he was editor-in-chief of several legal publications, including The National Law Journal, and editorial director of ALM’s Litigation Services Division.