I came home from Clio’s annual Cloud Conference (Clio Con) in New Orleans on Saturday a little tired and a little hoarse.

Little question that Clio Con is solidifying its place as one of the best, if not the best, legal conference. A big thanks to Jack Newton and the entire Clio team. 100 Clio team members traveled from Vancouver to work the conference so the commitment to over the top customer service was evident everywhere.

Four big takeaways for me. One, the impact of Clio’s integration program; two, the relevance of Clio Con for all lawyers and legal professionals, young and old; three, Clio’s recognizing the good work of lawyers; and four, the growing group of good friends I have in the legal tech community.

Clio has talked integration with third party solutions for a couple years, but boy has integration arrived.

Over 150 apps, solutions and products now integrate with the Clio platform. People are quitting their jobs to work on new companies they have founded for the sole purpose of integrating with Clio.

When I asked one legal tech founder how he was getting to market, he just pointed to the Clio exhibit floor. I thought he meant those lawyers walking the exhibit floor, but he meant the 150,000 Clio users – that was his company’s market.

Imagine building your company to have an ecosystem like this. Clio has done it. Over a hundred companies and hundreds of people (not employed by your company) building solutions that make Clio stickier and stickier and getting Clio closer to being a must have for lawyers and law firms.

Clio continues to double done in integration applications. Last year Clio announced it would start making investments in third party integrations. This year, Tali, a voice activated time tracking assistant, was awarded $100,000 for winning Clio’s first Launch Code contest.

Clio Con’s not just for geeks and the futurist in your office. Clio Con is for all lawyers and legal professionals – no matter their age or experience with tech.

A friend of mine from Seattle doing plaintiff’s IP litigation has been practicing for over 35 years. I remarked to him that a lot of the attendees were as young as our kids.

He responded that he really liked the conference – enjoyed the sessions, picked up info from companies he may use and being a solo, he enjoyed the interaction and camaraderie with other lawyers.

Legal tech conferences often miss the essence of the law. Real lawyers representing real people – consumers and small business people. Not Clio Con. Clio is moving from practice management to the delivery of legal services itself and the experience delivered to the consumer of legal services.

In its Riesman awards, individual law firms were recognized for innovation, growth, community service and being the best new law firm in front of over a thousand people watching some pretty moving videos of these firms and their teams.

One of the best things about Clio Con is spending time, be it brief and a bit frantic while all of us are working there, is spending a few days with friends – who just happen to be some of the leading legal tech people in the country – lawyers, law professors, company founders, reporters and more.

They’ve become good friends and we only see each other a couple or three times a year. Clio Con has probably become our largest gathering place.

If you haven’t attended Clio Con, consider doing so. Ideas, inspiration, camaraderie and finding yourself square in the middle of the future and a company bringing you that future are good reasons to come to San Diego next October.