Since 2012, Twenty-one states have adopted rules that require technical competency among lawyers. What does this mean? Lawyers are required to not only keep up with changes to the law and its practice but also the wide range of technology that can be used in the delivery of their services. This means staying abreast of the potential risks—and benefits—associated with any technology they use.
This doesn’t mean you need to acquire every new piece of technology that hits the market. Instead, there are many ways to get more out of the technology you’re already using.
In the Tech Competency for Lawyers Webinar, Joshua Lenon, and D. Casey Flaherty look at technical competency issues in the legal industry. Key takeaways from the presentation include:
- How to improve your technical competency
- How to become a Clio power user
Assess Your Technical Competency
We’d like to believe that younger generations have a natural tech advantage—having been born with keyboards and touchscreens at their fingertips. But, in fact, having the right tools does not entail proficiency—especially to the level of sophistication offered by many everyday software services.
Perhaps the most important step you can take to improve your technical competency is to assess your knowledge. That is, know what you don’t know.
In his presentation, Casey looks at how some very basic, yet under-utilized features in Word, Excel, and PDF documentation can vastly improve productivity—while minimizing opportunities for user-input errors. To determine where you can improve your competency, Casey’s Legal Technology Assessment Tool (LTA) helps assess your technical knowledge and informs on how best to improve.
Become a Clio Power User
If you’re looking to improve technical proficiency at your firm, chances are you can improve your knowledge of Clio. During the presentation, Joshua presented eight power user features that can help improve workflow.
- Filters and Exports
Filters can be applied to data found under matters, clients, bills, communications, and other pages across the Clio platform. Use filters to search for specific data such as attorney name, type of billable work, and an unlimited number of custom fields. Drill down into your data to find just the right information, even in Clio’s trademarked Firm Feed. Once you’ve created just the right set of filters, Clio lets you export the data in a format of your choosing. Export data as a spreadsheet to generate advanced reports for clients or as a PDF snapshot for your permanent records.
Select the Filter button (top right) to access the drop-down feature on any page.
- Text Snippets
Type simple abbreviations and let Clio expand them into longer phrases. Instead of typing “Travel to and from” on multiple time entries, just type “ttf” and Clio will do the rest. Do this on any Clio page, and customize your own snippets to use across your entire firm.
View, edit, or delete Text Snippets from the Settings page.
- Credit card processing and trust receipts
Lawyers wait an average of three months to get paid — often because they can’t process credit cards and have to wait for checks. Clio’s Boutique and Elite plan members have access to subscription-free LawPay accounts, which can deposit credit card payments automatically into specific operating and trust accounts. Using Clio’s built-in credit card processing, firms can reduce their wait for payment from three months to three days.
Clients can make payments easily through Clio Connect.
- Multiple calendars
Go beyond using a single calendar by sharing your calendar with others in your firm, or by creating multiple calendars to track specialized functions. Create multiple calendars to track room bookings, client tasks, or personal commitments. With client calendars, you can create tasks and have them automatically populate into your client portals, helping your clients stay up to date on key deadlines and action items. There’s no limit, so create as many calendars as you like in Clio.
View multiple calendars from the same window.
- Client portal
Client portals are accessed through Clio Connect, where you can share resources such as invoices, messages, calendar reminders, and more. It’s a great way to help organize your clients, improve correspondence, and make matter work more efficient. You can easily share bills and documents—and use Firm Feed tracking to notify you when a client reviews them.
Client Portals allow clients to view all shared case information in one place.
- Gmail extension
Clio has created a dedicated plugin for Gmail. It allows you to track time, tasks, and file your emails directly into Clio. You don’t need to be logged into Clio at the same time, and it saves you from cutting and pasting back and forth between windows.
Once the extension is installed, a dedicated dropdown appears in your Gmail window.
- Contact and Matter select custom fields
Create a hyperlink to specific contacts and case information you’ve stored in Clio. This allows you to access key information, when you need it, with one click — rather than navigating through multiple screens.
Reference information to hyperlinked text across Clio.
- Matter budgets
Available with Clio Elite. Track time against specific dollar amounts — such as client quotes or flat-fee profit thresholds — within a matter. This lets you monitor expenses and billable hours to evaluate the financial situation of a case, and avoid going over budget. You can even set warning notifications at a custom percentage. Want to be notified when you’ve used 90% of the projected budget? Clio can track that automatically for you.
Set budget limits to a matter to track time and expenses against.