CLIO 2020: Oh, hey, yet another virtual conference!

So last month CLIO held its annual conference — wait… I’m pretty sure it was last month  —

*checks CLIO site*

Yes, last month, from Oct. 13-16, CLIO held its annual conference, this year virtually.  Academics could get a $99 pass, so I decided to take advantage of it.  For my money (and no travel expenses), I got 4 days of great programming and materials.  

Every day started with a keynote featuring industry experts. Interestingly, except for the first (from CLIO’s CEO), none were tech-focused.  Similarly, while many sessions focused on using CLIO efficiently, other sessions covered a variety of issues from diversity, to mental health, to design thinking.

Normally, CLIO conferences serve good food.  This year, wellness breaks were offered every day and attendees could choose between a high-powered ab workout or yoga (or, if it was nice, you could skip these and take a walk).  Late afternoon breaks featured live music and famous Chef Stephanie Izard, who showed us how to make Korean dumplings (DIY good food).  

Sessions, sessions, and more sessions

So what did I learn?  A lot of the sessions discussed the CLIO 2020 Legal Trends Report.  The trends report highlighted some of the issues that law firms have faced during COVID, including revenue streams and which areas of the law actually saw more activity during the crisis.  

Several conference sessions focused on data.  There were sessions on making choices with data, building a better practice with data, and even how data shows that law firms with more diverse attorneys earn more revenue than non-diverse firms.  

Diversity and equity were featured as well. Wednesday started with Ben Crump, a lawyer representing those hurt by the water in Flint, MI (among many others), giving his keynote Leading the Journey to Justice.  Other sessions during the conference focused on building a diverse practice, neurodiversity, and addiction.  

Most important: Clients

Many CLIO sessions focused on the law’s most important constituency – clients.  Seth Godin’s Friday keynote discussed marketing (of course). In Through Difficulties to the Stars: Putting the Client Experience First, Katy Young (Ad Astra Law Group) demonstrated how she used both positive- and negative- feedback to improve client relations.  And clients cannot trust us unless we keep their information safe, so Security & Privacy of Your Data in the Cloud was an especially important session by CLIO’s own cybersecurity experts, Scott Kramer and Mark Walsh.  

I didn’t watch many sessions demonstrating CLIO features and best practices. There were too many other interesting topics. But I have access to view any session on my own for a few more weeks, and I’ll take advantage of that to learn more about the ins and outs of CLIO.  If CLIO is virtual next year, I’ll see if I can attend again.  

Educational Technology Librarian at Chicago-Kent College of Law