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Clio Cloud Conference 2017: The Moonshot

Apollo 11 Launch - Credit NASA
Apollo 11 Launch – July 16, 1969

“We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.” – President John Fitzgerald Kennedy

President Kennedy uttered those words during his famous “We Choose to Go to the Moon” speech from Rice University in Houston, Texas on September 12, 1962. And with that, the United States was committed to landing a man on the moon before the end of the decade; a feat never before attempted in human history.

You might be asking yourself why are we talking about the space race during a blog post about the Clio Cloud Conference. Well that answer resides with Clio co-founder Jack Newton. Aside from being a huge fan of Canadian Astronaut Commander Chris Hadfield, Jack announced the launch of project Apollo at Clio Cloud Conference 2016 in which they would re-engineer from “stem to stern” the entire Clio platform to deliver their most efficient and effective web app for legal practice management to date. And with that, the entire crew of Clio knew they were in for a year of audacious work and uncertainty as they plotted a course to accomplish their mission.

“Heavy lifting doesn’t need to be heavy spending if we do the job right” – Astronaut “Buzz” Aldrin

Aptly named “Apollo” as the code name for their “Moonshot” project and in the spirit of NASA’s 1960s missions toward celestial bodies, the Clio team would be pushed harder and further than ever before to deliver on their leader’s promise. This total rebuild of their web app would not be easy, it would be hard; requiring over 600 hours and 60 days spent with law firms, consulting with clients, testing with users, and utilizing customer feedback. With granular-level focus on every aspect of improving function, layout, and experience, the Clio team put customer perspective front and center with each change, including how far someone’s thumb can reach when placing buttons and controls in order to reduce strain. In addition to reducing “wear and tear” on end users, the overall search speed is up with today’s version “pushing the envelope” and saving saving thousands of hours per week across the platform.

“Why don’t you fix your little problem and light this candle?” – Astronaut Alan Shepard

Perhaps the most impressive feature on the new Clio web app is the advanced API 4 function which will allow even greater integrations of 3rd party applications to build on the Clio system. During our interview with Jack Newton, he admitted that Clio is not able to solve every niche problem facing the efficient practice of law but he wanted to make it possible for others to create businesses meeting that need. Going far beyond mere lip service, he announced Clio’s Launch Code Contest where participants will compete for a $100,000 prize in a Shark Tank like competition searching for the best innovation built on their platform.

“It’s not a miracle, we just decided to go” – Astronaut “Jim” Lovell

Bringing further clarity about the scale of the new API integration is a recent article written by author and fellow Legal Talk Network host Bob Ambrogi. In it, Bob talks about Clio’s aim to “change the practice of law for good”. As Jack Newton would later explain, “for good” has the double meaning of being permanent as well as for the better. Some have heard and read about the rumblings of great change under the hashtag #NewClio. To be sure there is a lot going on as Clio’s mission has evolved from “moving legal practice management to the cloud” toward “moving the practice of law to the cloud”. As Bob’s article quotes Jack, “I think we’ve built a great product. But now we want to build a 100-year company. We’re opening a new chapter for our second act.” And with that, the trajectory of Clio’s long term vision has changed because their new mission requires a paradigm shift in thinking for the entire legal profession.

“To sit back and let fate play its hand out and never influence it is not the way man was meant to operate.” – Astronaut John Glenn

The following series of audio interviews comprises our coverage of Clio Cloud Conference 2017. A common theme through the episodes is about the new and how we need to embrace change to continue in our endeavors. From the ground up, this was a different conference from a changing company. The sessions, presentations, and interviews were not just about changing our legal practices for the better, they were also about changing ourselves for the better.

Episodes Recorded from Clio Cloud Conference 2017:

The Future of Clio with CEO Jack Newton

Clio co-founder Jack Newton stops by to talk with host Bob Ambrogi about #NewClio, their “Apollo Moonshot” platform redesign, the future of the legal profession, and the move of the conference from Chicago to New Orleans. Tune in to hear about Clio’s bold new mission to bring the entire of practice of law to the cloud and become a 100 year company.

Why Lawyers Should be like Astronauts

Canadian Astronaut Commander Chris Hadfield joins Clio co-founders Jack Newton and Rian Gauvreau along with The Law Society of Upper Canada’s Phil Brown for an out-of-this-world conversation about leadership, reacting to things going wrong, and what he learned from being a pilot and an astronaut. Tune in for pointers about predicting trouble so you can train for it.

Clio Cloud 2017: Increasing Accessibility for Disabled Lawyers with Haben Girma

Clio co-founder Rian Gauvreau interviews Haben Girma, the first deafblind lawyer to graduate from Harvard Law School. She believes that separate is is never equal and together they talk about her mission to increase access to everyone who might be disabled (especially on the internet and within apps). Tune in to hear about her favorite innovations like haptics which uses devices like the iphone and apple watch to communicate through skin contact as well as cases she’s worked on to provide greater access to Americans with disabilities.

Clio Cloud 2017: The Perks of being a Demand-Driven Organization

Avvo founder Mark Britton sits down with Un-Billable Hour host Christopher Anderson to discuss what lawyers need to learn from demand driven organizations. By understanding who their clients are, lawyers increase the ability to provide services that meet their clients’ needs. Mark recommends that all of us to get out of the world of “thinks” and transition into world of “knows.” Tune in to hear what questions attorneys should be asking their clients and themselves in order to to provide the best service and make their firm more profitable.

Working with Millennial Lawyers and Clients

Lawyerist founder and podcaster Sam Glover interviews fellow podcaster Nicole Abboud from the Gen Why podcast about how millennials are changing the workplace landscape. Together they talk about the generational differences and how through greater collaboration, flexible work environments, and a little understanding today’s employers can obtain the greatest yield from and tap into the talents of their millennial workforce.

Takeaways from Clio’s 2017 Legal Trends Report

Hosted by Patrick Palace and Kimberly Sanchez, this episode features Clio VP of Business Operation George Psiharis and Clio VP of Sales Steven Silberbach discussing findings from their 2017 Legal Trends Report. In it, they reveal alarming statistics about the inefficiencies of law practice centered around time spent on non-billable activities as well as meaningful key performance indicators (KPIs) you can use immediately to benchmark your firm’s performance against others in your practice area and jurisdiction. Tune in to hear what younger clients are looking for, artificial intelligence, and how “data-driven lawyers are going to eat robots for breakfast.”

Clio Cloud 2017: Implementing Bitcoin in the Legal Industry

Clio Lawyer in Residence Joshua Lenon joins The Florida Bar Podcast hosts Christine Bilbrey and Jonathon Israel to talk about cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and how blockchain could be used to service the practice of law. Tune in to hear what your clients need to know about these non-official currencies as well as emerging practice areas thereof.

Clio Cloud 2017: Data Driven Decision Making & Process

ABA Journal’s Jason Tashea hosts Evolve Law’s Mary Juetten and Lawyerist’s Sam Glover for a discussion about data driven decisions and the KPIs that lawyers should be using when running their firms. Asking questions like where did the client find me, what are our bottlenecks, and how much time do we spend serving clients in various areas of practice can really help with the bottom line. Tune in for these pointers and more.

Clio Cloud 2017: A Sneak Peek at New Clio

Clio’s Ernie and Eric Bin join host emeritus Joshua Lenon to talk about #NewClio and how the team was able to complete such a comprehensive upgrade. If you work on big and/or vital cases or projects for your organization with difficult deadlines and require incredible attention to detail; you should definitely listen to this episode.

Clio Cloud 2017: Building a Complete Law Firm

Lawyerist founder and host Sam Glover interviews Building NewLaw podcast hosts Peter Aprile and Natalie Worsfold about their experience building a better more innovative firm. Together they discuss the steps taken, sacrifices made, and why it’s important to let people make mistakes. Tune in to hear Sam really get to the bottom of what makes an innovative organization tick.

Clio Cloud 2017: LawyerSlack: Once you Slack, There’s no Going Back

ABA Journal’s Jason Tashea interviews fellow journalist Keith Lee and San Diego attorney Bryan Lynch about the online community LawyerSlack and how it has been helpful to the profession. Although they admit a lot of time is wasted on un-billable activities, the sense of community keeps people coming back. Tune in to see if you’d like to be part of this growing online gathering of attorneys.

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After receiving his J.D. and MBA, Laurence Colletti went into solo practice with emphasis in general business and commercial real estate. He has always carried a strong passion for web-based media with a particular interest in podcasting and video. Laurence leverages his legal background against that passion to help bring sophisticated, relevant content to Legal Talk Network podcasts. You can follow Laurence on Twitter at @LaurenceEsq.