In association with Clio: Conclusions from Clio’s Legal Trends Report for 2021, just released

In association with


There’s one thing that legal firms who are growing their revenues do more of than other firms: embrace cloud-based and client-centred technology.

That’s just one of the conclusions from practice management software provider Clio’s brand-new Legal Trends Report. Just released for 2021, the Legal Trends Report looked at technology adoption among firms seeing considerable revenue growth in recent years. The “Growing firms” group identified within the report had on average increased their revenues by 135% since 2013.

Following on insights from last year’s report, which showed significant levels of technology adoption among law firms, this year’s research indicates that new technology-enabled capabilities are part of a longer-term shift that will be further driven by consumer demand for more remote-enabled legal services. 

The key actions of growing firms

The 2021 Legal Trends Report observed that when comparing the growing firms to others, these firms had adopted cloud-based, client-centred solutions at much greater rates than other firms. Overall, the growing firms cohort were: 

  • 41% more likely to use online client portals;
  • 46% more likely to use online client intake and client relationship management (CRM) solutions;
  • 37% more likely to be using online payment solutions.

The success of these firms underscores the importance
of understanding how to effectively harness the benefits of
these flexible technologies in an ever-tightening and highly competitive market. 

Measuring success

Another of the most striking differences in technology adoption among growing firms observed in the 2021 Legal Trends Report was their use of firm reporting tools.

As a whole, growing firms are twice as likely to be using reporting tools as shrinking firms – a difference that reached as high as 175% in 2019.

The takeaway from this data is that growing firms are more likely to increase their revenues because they have access to the information and insights that help them assess how their business is performing, which also allows them to focus more attention on planning for additional, ongoing growth over the long term.

Client-led change

The increased adoption of technology is not only a change seen on the side of growing firms. It also reflects a massive change in legal client attitudes and expectations.

In 2018, only 23% of consumers were open to working with a lawyer remotely. Now, as uncovered in the 2021 Legal Trends Report, much of this change is client-led: 

  • 79% of consumers see the ability to work remotely with a lawyer as a key factor in choosing who to work with; 
  • 67% said they would look for a lawyer offering both remote and in-person options when searching for an lawyer;
  • 58% want the option to have a consultation through video. 

These are just some of the findings from Clio’s recent Legal Trends Report, which has been published annually for six years. Now widely considered the trusted resource for insights into the current and future state of legal, it comprises the aggregated and anonymised data from tens of thousands of legal professionals and surveys from both lawyers and consumers. Clio constructs a holistic picture of the legal industry today, and what the future trends are likely to be. 

If you’re seeking to grow your law firm, the insights contained in this industry report could prove invaluable. 

The 2021 Legal Trends Report is available to download for free at 

The Author

Clio is a legal practice management and client intake software and is an approved supplier of the Law Society of Scotland.
To learn more about how Clio supports growing law firms, and how it can support innovation at your law firm, visit

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