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The Clio Q&A, Tips & Tricks Thread

samgloversamglover Minneapolis, MN Admin
edited September 2013 in Legal Technology
This thread is for questions and answers about Clio.

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Post edited by samglover on
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Comments

  • Thomas AppelThomas Appel Walnut Creek, California
    How would Clio benefit a very small personal injury firm that does not use the billing aspect of the software?
  • samgloversamglover Minneapolis, MN Admin
    I think the primary benefit is actually the matter-centric organization. In most organizers (like Outlook), everything is organized by contact, but there aren't effective ways to group contacts like we do in a lawsuit (client, witnesses, judge, opposing counsel, etc.). That's what practice management software brings to the table.

    So with Clio, if you want everyone in your office to be able to see, at a glance, all the upcoming deadlines, dates, associated contacts, notes, etc., for a case, it's a piece of cake. You can even use it to store documents (or just the important ones), and securely communicate with your clients or send them documents (especially if they are prone to checking their email while at work).

    Clio also has the advantage of a free trial period, so it's worth checking out, if you're even curious.
  • Thomas AppelThomas Appel Walnut Creek, California
    How well does it integrate with the app's for Google business?
  • samgloversamglover Minneapolis, MN Admin
    It syncs very smoothly with Google Contacts and Calendar.
  • I just started using Clio a couple of weeks ago, and I integrated it with my existing Google account. I got my Google calendar synced too. 

     

    There are a few things I haven't yet figured out, like for example: 

    -- I use a Google Voice number that is tied to the Gmail account & login I've had for the past 5 years. So if I'm logged in to my new Google Apps account which is tied to my Clio account, I can't be logged in to my old Gmail account, meaning I can't be logged in to my Google Voice account. I end up logging in to my new Google Apps & Clio using Firefox and I stay logged into my old Gmail account & Google Voice using Chrome. That's a work around. 

    -- how to manage trust accounting although I think I'll be able to figure it out soon. 

    -- how to send one email to clients with both a PDF of their bill and a link to Clio Connect so that the client can either look at the PDF of the bill (without having to create an account or log in), OR they can create a Clio Connect account and pay the bill. 

    -- how to pay a fee to have the invoice printed & mailed remotely (I think Freshbooks offers this feature but Clio does not -- if not, I think they should add it). 
  • samgloversamglover Minneapolis, MN Admin
    You should definitely pose those questions to Clio support. They are very helpful.

    As for the Google account problem. Does using multiple sign-in help?
  • I haven't tried Google multiple sign-in before, but I'm checking it out now. I think that might fix the problem. Thanks for the suggestion! 
  • Just FYI I discovered a weird quirk about Clio, which I sync with my Google Apps account. If you have a contact that has a company name (ex: Anne Hansen Gathje @ Hansen Law LLC), Clio will create a blank contact card that says Hansen Law LLC. It won't have any information in it, it just exists. Clio Support told me it's something their system does to track things better (I don't understand it well enough to explain it). So if you ran a de-dupe to clean up your contacts in Clio, it wouldn't touch that blank contact card because it doesn't think it's a duplicate. But in Google Apps, it does think it's a duplicate, and will merge it with the real contact card. When that happens, Clio will delete all instances of the company name from your address book. For example, I had Scenic Hills Animal Hospital in my address book (it's my vet's office). Clio created a blank contact card in addition to the real contact card. When I ran a "merge contacts" in Google Apps, it combined those cards. Clio then eliminated the name Scenic Hills Animal Hospital from my original contact card because Google Apps deleted the blank company contact card. So my original contact card had the phone number and address, but not the business name. Gaaah.

     

    This happened with a ton of my contacts. Fortunately because I use Soocial.com for contact syncing and backup, I was able to check the history of my contacts in Soocial to find the company name that had been deleted. I'm still repairing my contacts manually, and it's a pain in the butt, but at least it can be done.

     

    Clio Support said they added my vote to the "feature request" that they should get rid of the blank company contact cards (I guess I'm not the first person with this complaint). In the meantime, here are the workarounds. One, you can just NOT ever run a de-dupe in Google Apps. Two, you can move the company name out of the company field in your Google Apps address book. You could put it in the address field, or the notes field, or the individual name field. Basically, anywhere but the company name field. Then Clio won't create a blank company contact, and you won't have a de-dupe/merge problem.

    What I did for individual (human) contacts was put their business name either in parentheses after their name in the name field (for case-related contacts), or in the address field or notes field (for personal and non-case-related contacts). If it's a business contact with no individual name (a collection agency that calls about my clients, my vet's office, Walgreen's), I put the business name in the individual name field.

    I see this as a dumb technology problem, but for now, it is what it is. It won't keep me from using Clio, but I just wanted to pass along the information to hopefully save other users from having this headache.
  • samgloversamglover Minneapolis, MN Admin
    Thanks, Anne. I would have missed that.
  • No problem. I went back through my e-mails with Clio Support and they said they create the blank company contact cards to "facilitate tracking employer/employee relationships." If it was pulling other information into the contact card like address or fax number, I'd understand why they were creating a company contact card, but that's not what's happening. Where this is most annoying (besides thwarting my de-dupe/merge efforts) is when I go into my address book on my phone to make a call, but I tap a contact card that winds up being empty.
  • samgloversamglover Minneapolis, MN Admin
    I understand the logic, since Clio has separate contact types for companies and people, and people can be associated with companies as employees, etc.

    So it makes sense to create company contacts for non-people (i.e., people without a name). But it sounds like they ran into a bug when they tried to implement it.
  • With Clio is there anyway to auto associate files with matters?

     

    For instance the software I currently use takes ecf notices and stores the Docket document automatically under that matter.
  • samgloversamglover Minneapolis, MN Admin
    I don't think so, no. At least, not yet. That's a nice feature, though.
  • Does anyone know if Clio will allow a mail merge to mass mail all clients? Also, what do you guys do to store SSNs, DOB, etc? The lack of a note section under each contact is terribly inconvenient, as there are often contact specific notations that need to be kept. 

     

    Also, does anyone know of a way to set a client for a call-back or check-up in the future and have it auto populate google calendar?
  • Ginger Duer said:

    Also, what do you guys do to store SSNs, DOB, etc? The lack of a note section under each contact is terribly inconvenient, as there are often contact specific notations that need to be kept. 

     

    I belong to the MILO (macs in the law office) google group. Someone on that group (it may have even been Jack Newton from Clio) stated that Clio is working on custom fields like Rocket Matter has. This would allow you to make those fields appear on each contact or matter.
  • Thanks. I will call their support for an ETA. If they are going to take any longer, we may have to switch to Advologix. I took them for a test run last year, and at the time I did not need everything they had, so it wasn't worth the price. Now we seem to be running into more and more need for customization, as we have three attorneys practicing three very different areas of law, using a fairly simple but pain to track internal referral fee system. Due to the relative weakness of the Clio accounting features, we are having to track all referrals separately in an excel spreadsheet, and pay them out quarterly. I'd prefer to pay them out as the work is completed so the attorneys have better cash flow.
  • SAWSSAWS Spokane, Washington
    Kassi -

    You are certainly not the only Clio user to have the problems you describe. My firm switched from Rocket Matter to Clio last year, thinking that the billing would be better. The invoices definitely look better, and they show past due amounts in a more logical way than Rocket Matter did, but there are many other problems that have me frequently thinking of going back to RM. Clio needs to introduce a major upgrade soon because Rocket Matter has been on a tear recently with big upgrades, and I think they have addressed many of RM's prior shortcomings.

    I think the lack of statements and aging is the most glaring and frequent problem we have. I think the people at Clio assume every client pays their bills in full each month. I know that is not the case in our office. The real problem comes after a matter is concluded and the client hasn't paid the bill yet - with no new time or expense entries, there is nothing to cause the bill to be reprinted, and since there is no function for generating statements, we are left with a manual check of all outstanding accounts and reprinting each bill separately.

    I also agree that not having a tab for bills at the client or matter dashboard is a glaring error in Clio. We have requested that feature several times. Having to search in "Open Bills" or "Billing History" to find bills, and then if you need to look at more than one bill, having to reenter the search information after opening each one becomes frustrating very quickly.

    You mentioned the lack of a mobile app. They do have a mobile version of the site, so you can go to it through your phone's browser. The problem is that if you don't use "descriptions" in your billing, you cannot enter time through the mobile version. We use very detailed descriptions of our activities, and the predefined descriptions (even if we customize them) do not provide the detail we want to show our clients. As a result, we cannot enter time through the mobile site, which renders it nearly useless for us.

    On the other hand, I do like the overall look of Clio, the firm feed, and a lot of the other features. I am also excited to try the Xero real time integration, which would seriously reduce our time spent on bookkeeping. It sounds a lot more useful than the QuickBooks integration the Clio has had for a while (and now Rocket Matter) which it is really just a one-way push that has to be manually initiated periodically. It would require us to transition from Quickbooks to Xero, though, which have not really evaluated yet.
  • samgloversamglover Minneapolis, MN Admin
    For what it's worth, Jack told me at TechShow that a mobile app is coming, and he claimed it will be worth the wait.
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