Updated: February 23, 2021

Enhance Clio with custom document automations that can help you:

  • Save time on data entry by automating intake;
  • Auto-populate document templates with your Clio data; and
  • Create new revenue streams by building public-facing document automations that compete with LegalZoom

Our Clio integration is a paid feature which requires at least a Professional Afterpattern subscription to use.

Getting started with Clio

To connect your Apps to Clio, you must first add Clio as an integration. This is doable under Account Settings > Integrations:

Send data to Clio

Afterpattern apps, which are essentially robust online forms, can collect information and send it to Clio. This simple mechanic (sending data to Clio) can be combined with other Afterpattern features to create a wide variety of legal apps, including:

  • An intake app that automates an engagement letter and creates a new Contact in Clio with the letter attached;
  • A self-help legal app (e.g. 'Make a will' or 'Apply for US citizenship') that guides the end-user through a complex process, helps them automate a document, and then sends all that data to Clio to create a new Contact and Matter.

How it works

  • Step 1: Build an Afterpattern app (check out a tutorial for step-by-step guides on building apps);
  • Step 2: Add a 'send data' function to one of your app's pages (choose a page that comes after those pages that collect the data you want to send). Select Clio:
  • Step 3: Select the type of action you want to take in Clio (e.g. create new Contact, create new Matter, etc):
  • Step 4: Select exactly what data you want your app to send to Clio. For each piece of data, you must select (1) the Clio field you want to populate; and (2) the data (i.e. variable) from your app you want to send over (learn more about variables): 
Be sure to click 'Sync custom fields' if you want to populate custom fields in Clio
  • Repeat Step 4 as necessary: You will likely want to send many pieces of data over to Clio;
  • All done! The next time you run your app, whether in Test Mode or Activated, you will send data to Clio.

Pull data from Clio

You can pull data from Clio into your Afterpattern apps. This is how you create new document automations that use data from Clio.

How it works

  • Step 1: Add a data source to your app. Select whether you want to pull data from Clio Contacts or Matters (if both, you can add two data sources): 
  • Step 2: Specify exactly what data you want to pull from Clio:

There are two ways to specify what data you want to pull from Clio: (1) manual, where you click "Add row" for each piece of data; or (2) Automatic, where you click "Add all fields" to instantly pull in all data from Clio.

If you want to manually specify each piece of data, when you click "add row" you must then: (1) Write a 'data label' (this is how you will reference the data inside your app); and (2) specify the 'data content' (the Clio field from which this data is being pulled):

  • Step 3 (optional): If you're pulling data from Clio that is not text (e.g. picklist, date field, number field, or checkbox) AND if you want to use that non-text data for logical expressions, you must convert the data in your app. Learn more.
  • Step 4: Create a mechanism for the end-user to "look up" which Contact or Matter pull data from in Clio.

After you've specified all the data you want to pull from Clio, we're presented with a new challenge: how will the end-user of your app "look up" a specific Contact / Matter in Clio? For example, if your app is pulling data for Clio Contacts, how will the end-user specify which contact to use? 

There are two methods for "looking up" a specific Contact / Matter in your Clio Data Source: 

  1. Row Selector question: you provide the end-user with a search field with which they can find a specific Contact / Matter; or
  2. Add your app as a "custom action" in Clio: Add your app directly to your Clio dashboard. Learn more.

Using a Row Selector question for Clio is the same as for a Database (our database product). You can learn more about Row Selector questions here or in this video:

    • Step 5: After Step 4 (where you create a mechanism for "looking up" which Clio Contact or Matter to use), you will have new variables available to you inside the App Builder. You will have 1 new variable for each piece of data you are pulling from Clio. Use these variables to create document templates (learn more).

    Adding Apps as Clio custom actions

    You can use Clio's Custom Actions feature to launch your Apps with a single click directly from your Clio account. With Custom Actions, you can quickly pull data from your Matters and Contacts into your document automation Apps -- and send the final documents back to your Clio account.

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