Cloud-based practice management solutions are making a big difference in the practice of law. They allow lawyers to manage their firms from anywhere, giving them more flexibility in working with clients and in achieving better work-life balance.
We spoke with Jason Morris, an Alberta lawyer who’s looking forward to moving more of his practice into the cloud. Below, Jason talks about how he uses Clio, and about the significance of the cloud for the legal industry as a whole.
How cloud-based practice management saves lawyers time
When Jason was in law school, he articled at a traditional firm that used in-house, on-premise software. He filled out his timesheets in Microsoft Word, like many lawyers still do.
But when Jason struck out on his own, he was determined to be as tech-savvy as possible. Fast-forward to today, and he’s been using Clio for nearly four years. He also uses a number of other cloud-based applications as well, and uses Zapier to tie them all together.
“Whenever a new matter is created in Clio, it goes through a whole list of things for me and duplicates that matter in a bunch of other systems that I use,” Jason explained. “Zapier creates a project in Toggl because I use Toggl for my time tracking, then creates the project in Asana, and then announces it was all done in Slack.”
In short, Jason has worked hard to automate his firm, and it’s paid off in loads of saved time.
“Clio probably saves me in the range of a day’s worth of work, just on invoicing,” he says, “and it probably saves me another half hour for every project I create. And then it probably saves me a minute every time I do a time entry. Those little things kind of add up.”
How cloud computing could improve diversity in law
For Jason, cloud-based practice management is about more than just convenience. He’s a big believer in the power of the cloud changing the legal profession for the better.
For example, he points out that female lawyers in private practice are more than 50 percent more likely to leave private practice in their first five years of practice than male lawyers.
“The reason that they’re leaving is not because they don’t like lawyering, but because there’s no flexibility in how they do their job,” Jason explains. “They don’t have the ability to work less, because the firms that hire them want to maximize office space, for example.”
However, if there were a low-threshold option to start a solo practice, he believes some of those leaving the practice of law might be more likely to stay. Setting up a home office can make things cheaper, but business tasks such as invoicing and trust accounting still scare many lawyers away from starting their own law firm. Cloud-based practice management solutions like Clio solve that problem.
In short, Jason says:
Cloud-based technologies are designed to be used anywhere. If they can make solo practice easy and cheap, they can drastically change the face of the legal profession.
We might end up with a lot more part-time lawyers, home-based lawyers, and/or women lawyers. I think those would all be good things for lawyers themselves, and for access to justice—because there aren’t enough lawyers to go around currently.
About Jason Morris
Jason Morris started Round Table Law in 2011. He has lived most of his life in Sherwood Park, Alberta. Jason and his wife have three beautiful boys, and spending time with them is part of the reason he went into his own legal practice. Law is Jason’s second career. He went back to school after a brief but successful career in information technology. He uses the skills he learned in information technology to make Round Table Law as efficient as possible. Follow Jason on Twitter at @RoundtableLaw.
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