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Ashby Law offers family law services in the areas of divorce, child custody, child support, and adoption. With more than 500 active clients every month, the firm focuses on delivering excellent client service that emphasizes long-term solutions that work for everyone involved.
Scott Ashby, Owner at Ashby Law, believes that technology should make things easier for attorneys, paralegals, and clients. In early 2017, however, Ashby Law had been hindered by their previous software, a private cloud solution, for more than nine months.
“It was complicated, I mean really complicated,” says Scott. “I’m no computer expert but it reminded me of the old green or amber screens with no graphics that we used back when I first started practicing law.”
Despite its 99% uptime guarantee, the service would go down regularly, causing everyone to lose their work. “The problem was you could be on for four hours and then be off for 10 seconds, and your 99.9% uptime statistics still look really good,” says Scott.
According to Tyler Ashby, IT Training and Facility Manager, document management was also an issue—the firm lost several documents because they wouldn’t save properly. “Staff production was cut in half,” he says, “and I was on the phone almost every day with our provider trying to figure out what the deal was.”
Adoption rates were also low. “Our staff found workarounds and made excuses for why they didn’t put their notes in or why files were incomplete online,” says Scott. “We had people saving documents on their local desktops because they couldn’t find them in the service we were using. That just can’t happen in a firm with centralized management like we have.”
“It was not intuitive, and the staff hated it,” he adds. “I had people literally threaten to quit.”
Ashby Law knew they wanted a fully cloud-based solution, and everything that came with it. “It’s like everybody says: It isn’t if your hard drive or your system is going to fail, it’s when,” says Scott. “As a firm owner, I worry about backups, and about our hardware and software being up to date. All the phishing schemes, the spyware, and the ransomware is also a big worry.”
Working with cloud services means the providers take care of all of that, and often at a lower cost. Scott says, “We looked into server-based systems and we were getting quotes of $40,000 or $50,000 for hardware—and then you have the cost of security and IT to consider on top of that.”
Ashby Law explored Clio via a free trial and attended a few demonstrations of the product, where they were able to explore workflows and get details on how they could integrate other software they were already using at the firm.
Then, it was only a matter of switching.
“From when we started looking for a new provider, to when we implemented Clio and fully started using it, we did that in less than 30 days,” says Tyler.
Once Ashby Law made the decision to go with Clio, Tyler began working with Clio’s dedicated migration team to import all of their firm data. “We had 3,000 to 4,000 cases—all with notes and communications—plus 10,000 contacts that we needed to migrate and connect with their right matters,” said Tyler.
Tyler worked with Clio’s migration team to export data from their previous software into CSV files. Clio’s staff even improved the firm’s data by adding new custom fields to each entry. This would help Ashby Law sort and filter information once it was in Clio.
“It was a pretty seamless transfer compared to our previous experience. We planned our previous transition, before Clio, to take months, and it took months to do,” says Tyler. “Moving to Clio was one of the smoothest transitions I’ve ever done.”
Clio hosted 12 live, online training sessions to help staff at Ashby Law get acquainted with their new software. Sessions included training on the general use of Clio for all staff. Clio also provided training on accounting and payment workflows for specific departments.
“Ultimately, the training came completely from Clio. We just scheduled the sessions,” says Tyler, who also spent time reviewing online videos and support articles. “A lot of those really helped, because for me, I like to see examples while I’m actually performing them. It helps them soak in better.”
“I still use the knowledge base today,” he adds, “and for any of our new hires, their training comes completely from Clio’s videos.”
For a firm that already has workflows in place with other complementary software, integrating with Clio offers major advantages. “Clio is our hub, and everything else in our firm is built off of it,” says Tyler. So far, he’s integrated Clio with Outlook, NetDocs, and QuickBooks Online.
In terms of payment workflows, someone at the firm used to manually update information between their previous software, LawPay, and QuickBooks Online to ensure the correct information was recorded in each platform. With this much manual entry, there was always the chance something could get missed, which created more work for the Ashby Law’s accountant to track down and fix when reconciling accounts each month.
Now, staff can bill and collect money through Clio Payments, which syncs with QuickBooks Online. Once a bill gets paid using Clio Payments, the bill status gets updated automatically, and any affected accounts get updated in both Clio and QuickBooks Online.
“Everything is pretty much fully automated, from taking payment to having it recorded in our ledgers and in QuickBooks Online,” says Tyler. “The only person that ever looks at the LawPay website nowadays is our accountant, and only for reconciliations.”
For a firm that deals with upwards of 500 transactions every month, integrating its software saves a ton of time for administrative staff, which opens up time to attend to clients or perform other tasks. Tyler says, “When a receptionist is busy collecting payments, they can’t answer phones. Now, we’re spending a quarter of the time processing payments compared to what we were doing before Clio.”
Ashby Law tries to make its interactions with clients as easy as possible, and Clio helps them deliver. For many at the firm, this means reducing time spent dealing with technology, so that they can spend more time helping their clients.
“We want our staff to be happy and productive,” says Scott. “The software they use needs to be something that they enjoy using—and it needs to be reliable.”
Since switching to Clio, Scott and Ashby don’t need to worry about intermittent service disruptions and documents going missing—uptime performance is no longer something they worry about.
“Once we switched to Clio, I’ve found we don’t worry about the technology anymore,” he says. “Clio works great. It works in the background. Everybody likes it. It does what it’s supposed to do, which is help us be more efficient and deliver value.”