I had a great time attending my first Clio Conference two weeks ago in Chicago. Enjoyed meeting the Clio team, networking with other solo and small firm practitioners (including quite a few with Virginia connections), and winning an Amazon Kindle and Amazon Echo in two separate prize drawings! Here are a few of the more memorable takeaways from ClioCon2016:

1. Based upon data from other Clio users, the average solo attorney bills only 22% of his or her time worked on any given day. Lots of room for improvement and greater efficiency.

2. Compared to the rest of the country, Virginia is a great state in which to practice law when it comes to billable hours, hourly rates, and cost of living factors.

3. A shockingly high percentage of law firms do not even have a website, never mind an effective social media strategy. The conference featured tremendous keynote speakers–Gary Vaynerchuk and Melanie Heller to name two–who emphasized the critical importance of branding, technology, and social media in the legal profession and the business world as a whole. Lawyers should view themselves as a media company, first, and as a law firm, second. Everything we do that is information-based ultimately will become commoditized.

4. Technology has significantly leveled the playing field in the legal profession, and this trend is going to proliferate over the next ten years in dramatic ways. Life as a solo or small firm lawyer is going to continue to gain widespread appeal to attorneys (and supporting staff) and acceptance by clients who are becoming increasingly sophisticated and savvy when shopping for attorneys.

5. If you want a good laugh and see how an enterprising Texas criminal defense attorney with a sense of humor quickly built an online media campaign on a small budget that went viral and propelled him into a Taco Bell Super Bowl commercial, just google “Texas Law Hawk” and enjoy.

Big thumbs up to Jack Newton and his team at Clio for a great conference and the work they do to make my life easier each and every day. I’d highly recommend Clio Conference 2017 in New Orleans to any solo or small firm lawyer or staff person. The Perkins Law team will be there!

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