How Clio “Makes Our Life Easier” at Nazareth BonifacinoDownload This Article as a PDF
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Nazareth Bonifacino Law Benefit LLC
Number of Staff
Started Using Clio
D.C., DC, USA
A Certified B Corp law firm with a vision for good
When Natasha Nazareth and Ginny Bonifacino started their firm, Nazareth Bonifacino Law Benefit LLC, they envisioned providing excellent service and connection for their clients while balancing their personal needs. Natasha and Ginny also wanted to support the needs of their community. They became the first benefit law firm to operate in Maryland, and one of about two dozen law firms in the United States undergo the rigorous vetting to become a Certified B Corporation.
From the start, Clio has helped them build their vision.
“Clio Grow and Clio Manage make work more pleasant because it makes our relationships with our clients more positive and constructive. They see how we operate, and they’re drawn to that kind of efficiency and effectiveness—they respected our time from the start.” – Natasha
How Clio helps Nazareth Bonifacino grow their firm without sacrificing work-life balance
When they first launched the firm, Natasha and Ginny knew they needed a system that would create structure and consistency for their different types of casework.
At the time, they also thought they’d need part-time staff to assist in the firm’s day-to-day operations. However, they soon found that Clio was so seamless and efficient, they could manage everything themselves.
According to Natasha, “We quickly found that when we started our firm with Clio—compared to the traditional model—it takes us so little time to do the things that an admin would do that we actually don’t have a job to give an admin yet. It would require more of our time to supervise somebody than it would to do it ourselves.”
1. Highly personal, highly responsive
Natasha and Ginny are very deliberate in their hands-on approach to clients—and they know that the quicker they can get on the phone with someone, the better the experience will be for the client.
They both acknowledge that although their previous law firm had an excellent reputation, clients often had to speak to several legal assistants before they could speak with an attorney.
“Our branding is more about approachability and access to your attorney when you need them the most. We want to set that context at the very beginning,” says Natasha.
“We’ve been able to customize the contact form, which is linked on our website,” says Ginny. “Even if we get a direct referral in an email, we send them the link so that they can input all their contact information easily, and it flows through the system in a very quick way.”
“Our goal with our Clio Grow form is to get an attorney on the phone with a potential client as quickly as possible, with as little friction as possible,” says Natasha. “We don’t ask for a lot of detail beyond the minimum information to run a conflicts check and reach out. We’d rather them have the positive experience of talking directly to an attorney first.”
“Clio Grow just makes it so incredibly easy, and clients are really responsive to it. It’s very, very efficient. We get the email, we can look, and we can reach out immediately.” – Ginny
2. From first contact to signed retainer within an hour
In a traditional law firm, it was common for it to take up to nine days for a client to go through the onboarding process to retain a lawyer. Natasha and Ginny have the process down to an hour or less with Clio’s document templates.
Natasha says, “Compared to the traditional way, there is no drafting to tell the legal assistant what to draft in a letter of engagement, having them give you a hard copy to review, having the partner sign off on the copy, making the changes, waiting for them to mail it, and then having the client say, well how can I pay now? All of that is non-existent.”
“Once we’ve done a quick consultation, we can send out an engagement letter and have a paid retainer done in 15 minutes. Clients can use their cell phone to sign and pay quickly and easily.” – Ginny
A five-star welcome package at Nazareth Bonifacino
With the engagement letter they send to clients, Natasha and Ginny provide a welcome package to let clients know what to expect if they choose to hire the firm. It helps build trust—while helping set boundaries—and informs new clients of important considerations for their legal matter.
“We start with a paragraph that says our primary goal is to give you five-star service, and at the end of the representation, we’ll be asking you for a Google Review. We say right up front from the beginning that we hope they’ll give us a five-star review, and then we include it again in our closing letters. Lo and behold, we have five-star ratings across the board.”
“In the rest of the welcome packet, we talk about responsiveness, what to put into emails, how to reach us, and when not to reach us. They can text us, but we reserve texting for situations like being late for an appointment or for true emergencies.”
“Then we include more detail about billing in a more approachable way than the formal terms in the engagement letter. We talk about attorney-client privilege and best practices with whether we’re representing a company or individual. We provide guidance on whether they should be using their work email or their personal email account, and those kinds of logistical things that clients don’t always know.” – Natasha
3. Keeping billing and payments straightforward and easy
Aside from the systems that they’ve set up for their clients, Natasha and Ginny are able to free up time by streamlining their own internal processes with Clio.
WiseTime is a solution they’ve integrated with Clio to automatically track their time while they work, so that everything gets captured without any effort. When it comes time to bill clients every month, Clio helps them get all of their bills out within a few hours, makes it easy for clients to pay, and keeps all of their accounting in order.
“The billing is super easy,” says Ginny. “On the first day of the month, we’ll review all of the bills in the morning and they’re out by noon. And then the money just starts rolling in—people are very quick to pay because they have the link in their email, and they can just pay right away.”
“I love Clio payments. I do a lot of the finances for the firm, and Clio integrates so easily with QuickBooks—and with our bank. It’s all seamless. It’s so easy.” – Ginny
4. Balancing work and life while meeting every client’s needs
Natasha and Ginny have designed their processes to be highly responsive to clients—while also prioritizing their personal boundaries.
Natasha says, “If Clio Grow pops up on my phone over the weekend, I’ve got the contact information, I’ve got enough information to do a quick conflicts check. I will often respond to the client with a calendar link to book a consultation on Monday morning. Even though I’m not talking to them until Monday, they know that they’ve got the appointment set up.”
“Last summer, my son was working in another state,” says Natasha. “I was able to take 10 days off to visit him, work half days in the morning and completely unplug in the afternoon. As long as I had Wi-Fi, I could work because I had access to Clio. It allowed me the kind of balance that I wanted.”
“You can have reminders that automatically go out, and they can book appointments in your calendar, so it’s just like one less thing that we have to remember.All communications are documented automatically in the file.” – Ginny
5. Working paperless keeps everything organized
Running a law firm means being accountable for a significant amount of information and paperwork. Clio makes it all easy to manage.
“To the extent that there is any data entry at all, it’s all single entry,” says Natasha. “Whenever clients have questions, it’s so easy to instantaneously, as a lawyer, be at my desk and pull up everything that I might need to know—instead of working with an antiquated system where only the controller of the firm has access to the records you need.”
“We were looking for something that was easy, intuitive, and frictionless for both us and for our clients, and it was clear to us from the beginning that we were going to be a largely paperless office. Any paper that comes in gets scanned and uploaded to Clio immediately.”
6. Easy to get started
Natasha and Ginny started with Clio when they first opened their practice, and they were quick to sign on with Clio so that they could set up their system the way they wanted.
“I’m not a techie by any stretch of the imagination. But the quality and number of integrations that Clio had when we started was a big driver for us,” says Natasha.
“We received several onboarding calls for both Clio Grow and Clio Manage,” says Natasha. “There was structure to those calls, and they told us in advance what the topics were going to be so that they could walk us through things. We were able to ask all the questions we needed and they offered us additional time if we needed it. Things were so intuitive, we didn’t need any extra time.”
“We could implement Clio without needing to hire a dedicated consultant to get us up and running. Plus, it was very obvious that Clio updates its support regularly, and that was important to us.” – Natasha
A clear vision for the firm
One of their goals when launching their firm was to give Ginny, who was pregnant at the time, a fully paid maternity leave with enough flexibility to ensure that she could nurse for a full year when returning to work—something that had been really difficult with her first two children when she was working in a traditional firm environment.
“I’m very proud to say that supporting Ginny this way was our number one financial goal when we first started, and we met it,” says Natasha.
“We are the first Certified B Corp law firm in Maryland, and one of about two dozen in the country. That’s where Clio really aligns with what we’re trying to do. Our focus and mission is not only helping clients, but we really work with clients that are underserved populations—and doing good for them. Clio makes our life easier so that we can help others make their lives better.” – Ginny