Cheryl and I are very excited to attend the virtual Clio Conference this week. This conference is different than most legal conferences because, instead of focusing on substantive legal issues, it focuses on how we can better serve you, our clients. In its first year, Weinberg Elder Law saw rapid growth that well exceeded our projections. On one hand, Cheryl and I are amazed and honored by the support we have received this past year. On the other hand, we see the pains of the rapid growth, and we remain acutely aware of when we have not met expectations due to the challenges of that growth. In the background, we continue to adjust our processes to make sure we are responding timely to client concerns and to setting appropriate expectations as to identifying the next steps and when those next steps will occur.
Here are a few of the takeaways I hope to have from the conference.
1. Leveraging office technology. I learned an astounding fact. According to the Clio 2021 Legal Trends report, attorneys spend only 2.5 hours of an average 8-hour day on billable matters. The rest of the time is spent on office administration or other non-billable tasks (e.g., marketing, billing and paying bills, legal education, pro bono work). It’s no wonder that attorneys are exhausted, and clients are frustrated with the slow progress of their cases!
Clio is our office’s practice management system. Like most users, we were trained on the basics of Clio. Also, like most users, we became busy and never went back for that additional training to learn more about the advanced features that really help the office move forward. With this conference, we can focus on the more advanced aspects of our technology and how it integrates with other systems. My goal is to have our back-office systems work seamlessly so that we can provide quick answers to client’s questions about the status of the case. Also, better processes (both person and technology) allow matters to move forward more efficiently at a lower cost (I don’t have to raise rates as often) with less opportunity for someone to fall through the proverbial cracks.
2. Share best practices with other firms. One of the advantages of the virtual conference format is that the participants actively chat in a sidebar during the presentation. I have learned an incredible amount about what practices other firms have implemented to meet client needs. I imagine that Clio also finds the chat invaluable as its developers continue to create new features.
3. Trends in client communication preferences. The focus here is on making sure we meet our clients where they are most comfortable. Increasingly, our clients want to communicate with us by text and send us documents by text or email. The Clio 2021 Legal Trends Report addresses client communication, and this year’s Report results comport with what we see in our practice. Unfortunately, neither form of communication is secure, nor have I found an intuitive, effective method to capture text message communication. Through conferences like this one, I hope to learn about methods that allow you to communicate with us in a comfortable, secure manner.
After attending only one day of the 4-day conference, Cheryl and I are already brimming with ideas as to how to improve our client experience. Our clients have urgent problems impacting the lives of their loved ones, and our goal is to make our processes easy for our clients so that they can focus on their families. I hope you will find some amazing changes in the next few months that improve what I hope is an already great experience.