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Comprehensive Guide: Matters

  • Introduction

    "Matters" in Clio are your cases. All of the case work that you perform in Clio will be tied to the appropriate Matter file so that you can keep track of all important case information in one place.

    In this chapter, you will learn how to add Matters connected to each of your clients and how to navigate all of the options available on your Matter cards.

  • Video: Matters

  • Matter Numbering


    Custom Matter Numbering Basics
    Manual Matter Numbering
    Matter Number Override



    For new Clio accounts, the default Matter number and naming scheme is: 

    [Matter number] - [Client summary name]

    • Matter numbers start at 00001
    • Client summary name refers to the Last Name for person clients or Company Name for company clients.

    If you would like to change the Matter number/naming scheme, you can do so in your Firm Preferences Settings. 

    Go to the Clio Settings panel  and click on "Firm Preferences" in the Clio Settings column. On the Firm Preferences Settings screen, click on the "Matter Numbering" sub-tab.


    Custom Matter Numbering Basics

    To change your Matter number/naming scheme, start by selecting one of the templates then customize as desired.


    Preset 1: [Matter number]
    Example: 00001

    Preset 2: [Open date year] - [Matter number]
    Example: 2016-00001

    Preset 3: [Open date year] - [Open date month] - [Matter number]
    Example: 2016-06-00001

    To remove a field in a template, click on the X at the right of the field.

    New fields can be added to the end of what is currently showing in the customization area.

    To add a field to your number/naming scheme:

    1. Click in the customization box
    2. Select the field you want to add from the "Customize with additional fields" dropdown
    3. Select additional options if provided
    4. Click "Add"

    Available Customization Fields

    • Client Number
    • Client's First Name
    • Client's Last Name
    • Client's Summary Name
    • Matter Description
    • Matter Number (Firm-wide) -- One number sequence for all Matters
    • Matter Number (Per Client) -- Matter numbers for each client begin at 00001
    • Matter Number (Per Year) -- Firm wide Matter number sequence returns to 00001 each year
    • Month
    • Year (2 digits)
    • Year (4 digits)

    Finally, you can type static text directly into the customization area if you want that text to appear in all of your Matter names. Hit "Enter" on your keyboard once typing in your custom text.

    Applying the Matter Number and Naming Scheme

    Once you have set up your Matter name, you can choose to update the Matter name and number for any existing Matters.

    1. Check the "Update all existing Matters to reflect new numbering scheme" box
    2. Click the "Update Settings" button


    Manual Matter Name and Number

    If you would prefer to specify the Matter number/naming scheme manually on each Matter that you create:

    1. Select the "Manual for each Matter" template
    2. Click "Update Settings"

    You can now enter in the desired Matter name when ever you create a new Matter or edit an existing Matter.


    Matter Number Override

    You can change the number of a specific Matter by opening the "Matter Number Override" box.  

    Enter the Matter name into the "Matter" field and the new number in the "New Matter Number" field. Click "Update".

  • Creating Matters

    There are three methods for creating a new Matter:

    1. Use the Global Create button.
    2. Go to the main "Matters" tab and click on the "New" button.

    3. Open an exisiting Contact card to the "Matter" sub-tab and click the "New" button.

    In the "Create New Matter" form, "Client" and "Description" are the only required fields.

    Additional fields that we suggest you complete:

    Practice Area
    Clio comes pre-populated with a number of practice areas that you can apply to your Matters. To instantly add a new Practice Area within a Matter, click the "Add a Practice Area" link. Adding a practice area to your Matters can be useful in reporting

    For more information about managing practice areas, see the "Managing Practice Areas" article.

    Client Reference Number
    The Client Reference Number field can be used to track any internal or client facing reference number utilized by your firm. The Client Reference Number can be displayed on your bills through your Bill Themes

    Responsible Attorney
    Specifying the Responsible Attorney on a Matter is useful for a number of Clio reports including the ability to track accounts receivable data by each attorney in your firm. 

    Task Lists
    In Clio, you can create lists of Tasks that need to be completed for each Matter. These Tasks can then be assigned in bulk when creating a Matter. 

    Task Lists are covered in the "Tasks" chapter of this guide. 

    Custom Fields
    Custom Fields allow you to add any type of information to your Matter. Custom Fields can be used to filter your Matters list, they can be pulled into the documents that your create via Document Automation, and they can be reported on via your Matter Exports.
    Custom Fields are only available to our Boutique and Elite subscribers.

    For more information, see our collection of Custom Fields articles.

    Statute of Limitations
    Select a Due Date to track the Statue of Limitations on your Matters. The Statute of Limitations on all Matters can be viewed on the main "Calendar" tab by showing the "Statute of Limitations" calendar.  

    For more information, see the "Statute of Limitations Field" article.

    Matter Permissions
    Matter permissions allow you to specify who can view a particular Matter. 

    Matter permissions are covered in the "Profile Details, Firm Information, & Permissions" chapter of this guide. 

    Matter Billing
    The Matter Billing section is where you will specify the billing method for the Matter. By default, the Matter is billable based on the hourly billing rate specified in your user Profile. Clicking "Add a custom rate" allows you to specify a different hourly rate specific to this Matter. You can also specify custom Matter rates for other users of your Clio account. 

    Additional billing methods available are "Flat" and "Contingency". For more information about hourly, flat, and contingency billing methods, see our collection of Matter Billing articles

    Matter Budgets
    Checking "This Matter has a budget" allows you to specify the maximum amount that should be charged to the Matter and a threshold notification. 

    • Adding a budget to a Matter will also add a Budget dashboard to the Matter Info screen - discussed in "Anatomy of a Matter". 

    For more information about working with Matter Budgets, see our collection of Matter Budget articles.

    Matter Budgets are only available to our Elite subscribers

  • Anatomy of a Matter


    1 - Matter Sub-Tabs
    2 - Matter Budgets
    3 - Matter Metrics
    4 - Details Table
    5 - Timeline
    6 - Matter Option Buttons
    7 - Contact Section



    Matter Sub-Tabs

    The Matter tabs give central access to all of your Matter details and is where you will conduct most of your Matter work in Clio.

    This default Matter displays your Matter Metrics, Details table, and Firm Feed.

    You can record the time and expenses for a Matter and view time and expense entries for all Clio users. 

    Recording activities is covered in the "Adding Time and Expenses" chapter of this guide. 

    The Calendar tab shows all calendar appointments associated with this Matter - including any court rule events related to the Matter. 

    Calendars and Court Rules are covered in the "Calendaring" chapter of this guide. 

    The Communications tab allows you to attach emails, create phone logs, and send internal/external secure messages, all linked to the Matter.

    The Notes tab allows you to create, modify, and browse text notes related to the Matter. Notes can serve as a flexible information storage medium, and may serve different purposes for different practices. The Notes field can hold hundreds of pages of information and is full-text searchable.

    You can view, upload, and manage documents associated with the Matter on the Documents tab.

    Document management is covered in detail in the "Document Management and Automation" chapter of this guide.

    The Tasks tab shows all Tasks associated with this Matters for all users on the Clio account. If you added any Task Lists when creating the Matter, they would be visible here. 

    Tasks are covered in the "Tasks" chapter of this guide. 

    The Bills tab allows you to view and manage bills specific to this Matter

    Billing is covered in detail in the "Billing Workflow" chapter of this guide.</p

    You can manage Matter specific Trust and Operating transactions from the Transactions tab.

    Transactions are covered in detail in the "Bank Accounts and Transactions" chapter of this guide.

    Clio for Co-Counsel/ Clio Connect
    The Clio for Co-Counsel/Clio Connect tab is where you can view all of the resources and communications related to the Matter that you have shared with your client and other Contacts. This includes documents, bills, tasks, calendar events, and messages.

    For more information, see our collection of Clio for Co-Counsel/Clio Connect related articles.


    Matter Budgets

    The Matter Budget dashboard will only be present on Matters where a budget has been specified. 

    The "Budget" meter will show your spending progress on the Matter (all billed and unbilled time and expense entries recorded on the Matter). If you have specified a budget threshold, then the meter will turn red once the threshold has been reached.

    The "Budget Forecast" shows the number of hours that you can work on the Matter before reaching the budget limit. 

    For more information about working with Matter Budgets, see our collection of Matter Budget articles.

    Matter Budgets are only available to our Elite subscribers


    Matter Metrics

    The Matter Metrics dashboard presents a snapshot of the totals related to the Matter. 

    For more information about Matter Metrics, see the "Personal & Matter Dashboards" article.


    Details Table

    The Matter Details table displays all of the information that you entered when creating your Matter, including any Custom Fields that you added to the Matter.


    The Matter Timeline is a detailed log of the important activities and events taking place in your Clio account. The Timeline displays changes to Matter information, new activities related to the Matter, and deletions.

    Examples of areas logged in the Timeline include:

    • Matter Details
    • Contact Details
    • Notes
    • Tasks
    • Calendar Entries
    • Documents
    • Time and Expense Entries
    • Billing Activities
    • Clio Connect Activities

    For more information about Clio's Timeline, see our collection of Timeline articles.


    Matter Option Buttons

    Click Duplicate to duplicate the matter. When you duplicate the matter, the essential contact and matter details will be duplicated. Information in the matter sub-tabs, including Activities, Calendar, Communications, Notes, Documents, Tasks, Bills, Transactions, and Clio for Co-Counsel, will not be duplicated. 


    Click Share to share the Matter with a co-counsel through Clio's portal, Clio Connect. 

    Click Edit matter to change the data in the Matter Details table.

    Next Chapter topic: Calendaring

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