Over the past 10 years, Clio Co-founders Jack Newton and Rian Gauvreau have grown Clio from two to 250 employees, and from a new product to something that’s used by 150,000 legal professionals in 90 different countries. Here are some of the most important lessons they’ve learned along the way—about lawyers, technology, and themselves.
Lead the conversation
When Jack and Rian initially came up against hesitation and apprehension over the cloud in the legal industry, they immediately decided to lead the narrative instead of being dragged along by it.
They wrote white papers and blog posts, took on speaking engagements, and formed the Legal Cloud Computing Association (LCCA) to set standards for best practices around legal cloud computing. They even launched what’s become the biggest and best legal tech conference around—the Clio Cloud Conference, which saw 1,200 attendees in 2017. Today, the cloud is generally accepted in the legal industry: 20 U.S. states have issued ethics opinions that permit cloud computing.
Communicate more and more as you grow
On the road from two to over 250 employees, and from a single office to four global locations, communication at Clio has become much more complex.
“Communication happens so easily when you’re on small teams,” Rian explains. “Everybody knows what everybody else is doing. But with companies at scale, like we’re at now, you have to engineer different ways of making sure everybody’s in the know, and that they have the information they need to effectively to do their jobs.”
Take time to define your values
Jack and Rian are also proud of Clio’s values, and point to them as a key tool that’s helped them successfully scale Clio’s award-winning culture. With them, Clio has remained an environment where every employee is encouraged to innovate, share ideas, and point out and take on new challenges.
“I think that was a really key moment in our history and scaling journey,” Jack says. “I don’t think we would have scaled to 250 people as successfully as we have without actually having those as a touchstone that people can go to and reference on a day to day basis.”
Be irrationally optimistic
To build a successful business, Jack argues that it’s important to be optimistic, even if the odds aren’t in one’s favor. “There are a lot of downpoints that you reach as a founder, and if you’re not irrationally optimistic you’d just give up,” Jack explains.
Don’t go it alone
Both Jack and Rian believe that having a strong friendship prior to founding Clio has been a boon for the company’s success. “A big aspect of our joint success is having each other to lean on,” Jack says. “The whole idea is when you’re in those lows, you have someone to pick you up and help persevere. That partnership is really important.”
Invest more in what matters most
One day, when Clio had about 60 employees, Rian and Jack walked into a common area at Clio HQ and saw faces they didn’t recognize for the first time. Then and there, they decided to meet every new Clion as part of the interview process going forward.
Jack and Rian being personally involved in the hiring process for every person who joins Clio isn’t necessarily something that scales easily. However, to build a truly successful team, the pair has found some things are valuable enough to warrant the extra effort.
Be a part of our journey—learn more at clio.com/10years.