The Client Centered Law Firm: How to Succeed in an Experience-Driven World with Jack Newton
Read for a recap of Jack Newton's closing keynote at Bankruptcy Week.
  • legal tech
  • Bankruptcy Week
  • Clio
Published on May 20, 2020


NextChapter is thrilled with the turnout and support we saw during our first-ever Bankruptcy Wek Summit. The closing keynote session for Bankruptcy Week was given by Jack Newton, CEO, and co-founder of Clio, the leading legal software and first cloud-based practice management system on the market, launched in 2008. Jack is also a #1 bestselling author of the book The Client-Centered Law Firm: How to Succeed in an Experience-Driven World.


Jack’s keynote covered trends impacting the legal industry and how law firms can integrate technology to improve the customer experience.


The Age of Experience

We’re now seeing the consumerization of legal services—consumers of all types have many different technologies and devices to manage, and these experiences are reshaping the way they think about the services they want to pay for.


Companies like Starbucks, Airbnb, Uber, and Amazon have been so successful because they run their business with a customer-first approach. They streamline customer processes and introduce seamless, effortless experiences—for example, most consumers love to interact with brands on apps where they don’t have to put much thought into the interface.


For attorneys, there’s a big gap between lawyer expectations and customer expectations. While lawyers may think that the loyalty curve keeps rising when they go above and beyond for customers, the truth is that the curve plateaus quickly after you simply meet a customer’s expectations. Customers really want one thing—effortless experiences.


Building the Client-Centered Law Firm

A client-centered law firm ensures that all processes and workflows orbit around the client. Everything from intake to delivery of legal services to post-delivery is centered around the customer journey. This requires understanding what your clients want and being able to give them what they want.


Here are the five values that the client-centered law firm must integrate:

  1. Develop deep client empathy
  2. Practice attentiveness
  3. Generate ease with communications
  4. Demand effortless experiences
  5. Create clients for life


Jack then covered how to design your client-centered law firm in eight steps:

  1. Review your customer journey map
  2. Gather data
  3. Define the problem (or job to be done)
  4. Brainstorm solutions
  5. Design your process prototype
  6. Test
  7. Implement
  8. Repeat and iterate

Remember: This approach is non-linear and requires an open-minded approach to how you’re building your client-centered law firm.


The silver lining during the COVID-19 pandemic is that you can give yourself permission to experiment right now. Take a clean sheet of paper and brainstorm: how are you going to change the way your law firm operates? Clients are now willing to join you in this experiment. Shift your law firm culture so that your entire team will be involved and supportive.


Jack’s closing keynote was both inspiring and informative, offering tangible takeaways for legal professionals. To learn more, check out Jack Newton’s book The Client-Centered Law Firm. You can also watch all of the Bankruptcy Week recordings on YouTube. These sessions offered advice and guidance from experts in the legal and technology industries for new bankruptcy attorneys.