Jennifer Laviano is a Connecticut-based attorney with a very unique practice. Her clients are families with special needs children and Jennifer’s firm helps them with the legal issues surrounding their children’s education. The firm consists of four lawyers, two non-attorney advocates, an office manager, a team of assistants, and an off-site bookkeeper. Together, they use these Clio best practices to help them work as a virtual team to serve the needs of the firm’s clients, as well as managing daily operations.
Given their area of practice, Jennifer’s firm is not dealing with just any ordinary legal matter. Anyone who is a parent will agree that their children are the most important things in their life. Raising a special needs child comes with many challenges and clients seek the firm’s counsel to forge solutions that have a long-term effect.
For Jennifer and the attorneys in her firm, there are three vital challenges to meeting their clients’ needs: cost efficiency, client communication, and attorney availability. Fortunately, they are able to meet all of these challenges using Clio as their practice management platform.
Prior to signing up for Clio, the firm did not use a comprehensive practice management system. They did use tools like Google calendar and QuickBooks, but knew that as the firm was growing, they needed a more robust solution.
Driven by a need for greater organization of records, files, and information, as well as the desire to manage a virtual firm with lawyers spread across the state, Jennifer and her team researched a number of solutions. That included trials and interviews with each provider. Intuitive, cloud-based, and offering a client portal, they ultimately decided that Clio was the right fit for the firm. And they haven’t looked back!
About seven years ago, Jennifer committed to reducing her overhead costs by establishing a virtual law practice and by going paperless. When she switched to Clio a few years later, that became even easier.
“The ability to scan all of the documents into Clio and the document management system has been phenomenal,” says Jennifer. “We’ve been able to use less paper and thanks to Clio, I can get everything I need from just my laptop and a wifi connection.”
When you consider that some files have up to six bankers boxes worth of paper documents, the ability to scan and save them digitally greatly reduces the cost of printing, copying, and storage. That savings ultimately gets passed along to the clients. And for families of special needs children, the balance of your child’s care expenses and their legal rights is a real concern. Jennifer’s firm uses Clio’s cost-saving advantages to help them strike a perfect balance.
In addition to saving on paper and related costs, scanning and saving all documents into Clio builds a strong and secure communications link between the firm and its clients. Using Clio Connect, clients can access their files anytime they need them and keep in constant communication with their lawyer.
“We can invite a client to look at their files through the client portal. Doing that saves both time and money because they can access the file immediately through any device without us having to send a physical document,” adds Jennifer. “It has also been a great value to clients, giving them access to their child’s records at any time throughout their education.”
In fact, Jennifer notes that the client portal has been a bit of a surprise value-add for her firm’s clients. She had expected that it would be more of a back-end benefit to the lawyers and assistants inside the firm. Instead, it has become great tool for client communications, allowing the clients to keep track of their matters, communicate with the team, and stay informed of any and all developments.
Of course, another significant benefit of using Clio is the anywhere, anytime accessibility it allows by virtue of being cloud-based. Jennifer’s law office is no exception here. As a virtual law firm, they benefit tremendously from this feature. While Jennifer runs her practice from her home, all of the other lawyers in the firm practice in other parts of the state. This helps reduce office space costs, but it also enables the firm to cover the entire state.
Using Clio, everyone in the firm can collaborate on matters, track time, and keep calendars up to date. They can also arrange to best meet the demands of their clients, especially in emergency situations or scenarios that require a fast turnaround time.
And they never let anything like a snow day get in the way of offering exceptional service. If you’ve ever experienced a New England winter, you’ll understand the pain and shoveling that a few billion of flakes of snow can inflict. But that won’t stop Jennifer’s firm from delivering on their promise of client service excellence.
The Case for Clio
Jennifer’s clients are truly special cases. Dealing with children with autism, dyslexia, learning disabilities, and other related issues is a concern for both the school system and parents. The legal rights of these children and their education is fundamental to their future. Jennifer’s firm helps set them on the right path. And Clio helps set her firm on a similar path: efficiency, communications, and accessibility are all hallmarks of the firm’s practice, boosted by having Clio as their practice management platform.
“Our experience with Clio has been excellent,” Jennifer concludes. “Not only has Clio provided great value in streamlining our firm and helping us move to where law offices should be going in the future, but it has also enabled us to provide better client service and look toward their future as well.”
For a full 360 overview of best practice management, join ALPS’ Risk Manager, Mark Bassingthwaighte, and Clio’s Joshua Lenon as they discuss strategies and tools that lawyers can implement to mitigate common malpractice issues catch up in our on-demand webinar, 10 Top Malpractice Tips.