How Clio Drives Innovation at an Award-Winning Small Law Firm

Roche Legal

  • 2014

    Year Founded
  • 2-5

    Number of Staff
  • 2015

    Started Using Clio
  • York, England, UK

    Location
  • Flat Fee

    Hourly

    Fee Types
  • Wills and Estates

    Practice Areas

Clio Manage Case Study + Q&A

Rachel Roche LL.M. TEP, Solicitor Direct, Roche Legal

Innovation is essential at Roche Legal, Rachel Roche’s award-winning small law firm in York, England—and the firm’s usage of Clio is an example of innovation in action, with benefits for both the practice and its clients.

The forward-thinking firm strives to embrace new technology in ways that give legal clients better service and better experiences, and Clio’s clear, easy-to-navigate system makes it easier for Rachel and her team to keep their clients informed. With features like Data Reporting, simplified Billing, useful integrations, and more, Clio helps Rachel’s firm stay innovative and client-focused at every junction.

Read the case study summary below, or scroll down to the Q&A section.

 

Making innovation—and clients—a priority

“The driving force behind Roche Legal is our dedication to embrace new technology to ensure we offer unique client service innovations,” says Rachel Roche, Solicitor and Managing Director of Roche Legal—and winner of the Law Society of England & Wales’ 2018 Sole Practitioner of the Year award.

“Innovation is really important to me as a business owner and leader, and also to the type of law firm that I want to create,” she says. “I think that there is a lot of work for the legal profession to do to bring itself into the modern era, and I think innovation is incrementally something that we can do as a business to manage client expectations as tech becomes part of the everyday.”

“It was a no-brainer for me to have cloud-based case management software at the law firm. I don’t see any other way of doing it.”

Cloud-based technology like Clio—which isn’t reliant on hardware—has been a key driver of Roche Legal’s growth as Rachel has scaled the firm from a solo practice to a five-member team.

“It was a no-brainer for me to have cloud-based case management software at the law firm. I don’t see any other way of doing it,” Rachel says.

Clio gives Rachel’s firm access to intuitive features that make it easy to deliver better experiences to clients.

In Wills and Probate, and with all legal disciplines, Rachel says, “It’s about managing clients’ expectations—and certainly Clio helps us keep on top of that. With Clio’s reminders and with the way the data is presented, it keeps everything up-to-date across matters. I think clients like to be informed, communication is really important, and Clio certainly takes some of the legwork out of that, so that we’re just there to speak to the clients and reassure them.”

“From the minute we changed over to using Clio, I’ve noticed that it just paid for itself.”

Features to move Rachel’s firm forward

Clio’s array of easy-to-use features were helpful for Rachel’s firm, right from the start. “From the minute we changed over to using Clio, I’ve noticed that it just paid for itself, in terms of the time-recording facility, for one,” she says. “Clio’s Tasks features are great as well, because, obviously, you can assign tasks to different members of the team and keep track of what’s going on across multiple matters. 

“Overall, Clio is very intuitive as a system. Everybody that works here has always been a massive fan.”

With Clio, Rachel says, the firm’s billing has also become faster and more efficient. “I remember being at a different law firm before I started my firm, and it was a really laborious task to get bills done—we would dictate a huge lengthy bill narrative. But in Clio, you’ve got the Quick Bill function, and it’s instant—it mocks up all the time and presents it in a way that we want, depending on the type of matter or client receiving the invoice.”

“Clio is very intuitive as a system. Everybody that works here has always been a massive fan.”

Additionally, Roche Legal takes advantage of Clio’s industry-leading App Directory, with more software integrations than any other cloud-based legal software provider. Rachel and her accounting team regularly use Clio’s integrations with apps like Microsoft 365, Zapier, and Xero. 

Of the Xero integration, Rachel notes, “It’s great that the invoices get pushed through to Xero, because it gives me a real-time view and handle on what’s being billed on any given day.”

Clio’s Data Reporting features also help the firm run more efficiently. “We’ve started using a lot more of the Reporting facilities, recently,” Rachel says. “The Accounting reporting facility for us has been really very valuable, because we can drill down and see who’s doing what. We can also see what bills are outstanding.”

“We’ve started using a lot more of the Reporting facilities, recently. The Accounting reporting facility for us has been really very valuable, because we can drill down and see who’s doing what. We can also see what bills are outstanding.”

Solutions for small and solo law firms

For other small firms that are looking into Clio to help better run their practices, Rachel recommends taking the time to try it out and look into the ways that the software can help solve your firm’s unique needs.

“I think the first thing to do would be really just to have a look at it yourself. Book a demo. Trial it. Speak to other lawyers that use it as well,” she says.

While certain features are favorites at Roche Legal, Rachel says it’s important to look at how software like Clio can fit your firm, because every firm uses Clio in slightly different ways.

“I’ve certainly found that Clio is really adaptable … I think it really does work for a whole host of different types of firms—if you’re a sole practitioner to a multi-partner practice.”

For Roche Legal, one of the overarching benefits of Clio is its versatility; as Roche Legal grows and changes, Clio changes as well to accommodate the firm’s new needs.

“I’ve certainly found that Clio is really adaptable,” Rachel explains. “So as we’ve changed things here, Clio has been able to keep track of that, or we’ve been able to change something in Clio, or change the way we do something in Clio, to match with a new process that we’ve got internally. So I think it really does work for a whole host of different types of firms—if you’re a sole practitioner to a multi-partner practice.”


Q&A with Rachel Roche

What features of Clio’s software have been most valuable for you?

“From the minute we changed over to using Clio, I’ve noticed that it just paid for itself, in terms of the time-recording facility, for one. It’s also very intuitive as a system. Everybody that works here has always been a massive fan.

I love the Time Tracking facility, as you can probably tell. Clio’s Tasks features are great as well, because, obviously, you can assign tasks to different members of the team and keep track of what’s going on across multiple matters.

We’ve also started using a lot more of the Reporting facilities, recently. The Accounting reporting facility for us has been really very valuable, because we can drill down and see who’s doing what. We can also see what bills are outstanding, and that makes things very easy with the client.

With wills and probate, you’ve really got to be mindful that many of the clients that we deal with are dealing with upsetting and potentially distressing family and other situations—and so you really do have to have quite a good bedside manner, as we call it here. And the other thing is—just like across all legal disciplines—it’s about managing clients’ expectations. Certainly Clio helps us keep on top of that, with its reminders and with the way the data is presented; it keeps everything up-to-date across matters. I think clients like to be informed, communication is really important, and Clio certainly takes some of the legwork out of that, so that we’re just there to speak to the clients and reassure them.”

How do Clio’s billing features make a difference for your law firm?

“I remember being at a different law firm before I started my firm, and it was a really laborious task to get bills done—we would dictate a huge lengthy bill narrative. But in Clio, you’ve got the Quick Bill function and it’s instant—it mocks up all the time and presents it in a way that we want, depending on the type of matter or client receiving the invoice. So, it really is very malleable, and it’s just very quick. Gone are the days when I’d spend 20 minutes dictating a bill and waiting for it to be approved … It is just simply a matter of clicking a button, and the bill is there.”

Which integrations do you use between Clio and other software apps?

“Day to day, we use Clio with the Xero integration. Xero deals with all of what I call back end—you know, back office figures. So that will be what my accounts team will typically work with every day. It’s great that the invoices get pushed through to Xero, because it gives me a real-time view and handle on what’s being billed on any given day.

For the other integrations, we use a full Microsoft 360 integration. We were using Dropbox, but we moved over to SharePoint. We also use Zapier, which talks between Clio and our website. 

We’re actually looking to develop that even further, and it’s great to have that capability: Because Clio has an open API, Zapier will link our website to Clio so that data that goes into our website is automatically populated into Clio, which means we don’t even have to manually input data that’s provided to us by the client. So, it saves a job of setting up the file—really our website and our clients do that for us.”

Why did you initially start using Clio?

“When I set the business up. I always wanted everything to be in the cloud. So the idea has always been that if my laptop breaks or if I leave it on a train, that I can just go down to the shop and buy another one, plug it in, and we’re good to go. That’s pretty much how I’ve set everything up here, so that we’re not reliant on hardware.

It was a no-brainer for me to have a cloud-based case management software at the law firm. I don’t see any other way of doing it. And I don’t understand how other law firms who don’t have cloud-based software can work day to day, certainly at the moment when there’s a lot of people needing to work from home.”

How does Clio enable you to innovate at your firm?

“Innovation is really important to me as a business owner and leader, and also to the type of law firm that I want to create. I think that there is a lot of work for the legal profession to do to bring itself into the modern era, and I think innovation is incrementally something that we can do as a business to manage client expectations as tech becomes part of the everyday.

One of the best things that we’ve implemented over the last 12 months is a new client onboarding system. So that is where our clients will onboard through our website, and that’s linked directly to Clio using a third-party application. So that means that when a new client approaches us and then decides to hire us, they can use that portal to onboard directly into our case management system, and then Clio creates the matter from which we will then run the file.

I think there has been this archaic mindset that a law firm is slightly different to any other business, but I still think we’ve got a duty to manage our clients’ expectations and to help people as much as we can. I think that does involve being forward-thinking and trying to make everything a little bit easier for clients, because typically they will come to us when they’re in a challenging situation and they want advice.

The driving force behind Roche Legal is our dedication to embrace new technology to ensure we offer unique client service innovations.”

What’s your advice for other solo and small law firms who are considering Clio?

“I think it’s great. I think the first thing to do would be really just to have a look at it yourself, book a demo, trial it. Speak to other lawyers that use it as well. 

I think we all use it in slightly different ways—every law firm has different needs, different reporting requirements. For example, they might run their cases in a different way. But I’ve certainly found that Clio is really adaptable. So as we’ve changed things here, Clio has been able to keep track of that, or we’ve been able to change something in Clio or change the way we do something in Clio to match a new process that we’ve got internally. So I think it really does work for a whole host of different types of firms—if you’re a sole practitioner to a multi-partner practice.”

What’s it like being a member of Clio’s online customer community?

“The Clio customer community—The Law Community—I have found that really helpful. A lot of the lawyers are in America (I’m in the UK) and they are doing things quite differently to how we do them here. It’s put ideas in my head for the future.”