In this riveting episode of our podcast, we delve into the fascinating world of AI in the legal industry with our esteemed guests, Nathan Walter and Bridget Albiero. Walter, a former attorney and founder of BriefPoint.ai, has leveraged his legal expertise and passion for technology to automate the manual processes that often bog down law firms. Bridget Albiero, a User Experience (UX) and User Design (UD) expert, underscores the significance of intuitive design in making these AI tools not just effective, but user-friendly.
Nathan Walter has been instrumental in creating BriefPoint.ai, a tool designed specifically for lawyers to eliminate the mundane and time-consuming aspects of law practice. With the goals of automating the litigation process from response to appeal, Walter and Albeiro are focused on removing the mundane tasks, such as typing, from the process and allowing the attorneys to focus more on their legal experience and expertise over the grunt work that takes up too much of their time already.
However, the success of such tools is not solely dependent on their technical capabilities. Bridget Albiero’s role in UX and UD ensures that these AI systems are designed with the end user in mind. With the mission to make legal professionals’ lives much easier. Bridget’s work is critical in crafting an interface that enables lawyers to accomplish more work in less time, truly maximizing the benefits of AI integration.
Nathan and Bridget’s collaboration epitomizes the intersection of law and technology. They argue that the advent of AI tools, such as BriefPoint.ai, will invariably put pressure on law firms to rethink their traditional billing models. Nathan anticipates a shift towards contingency fee-based and flat fee billings, spurred on by the increased efficiency AI brings to the table. In addition, the ability for the plaintiff’s lawyers to reduce the overall amount of work that they need to put into each case, there will be more incentives to take on work that they might otherwise not consider. This has a multitude of effects ranging from flooding courts with more and more cases, to overwhelming defense firms and corporations with a much higher litigation matters, to making working at plaintiff’s firms more attractive to associates who don’t want to work the number of hours they would need to do in BigLaw firms.
Bridget also emphasizes the importance of approaching AI with a balanced perspective. While there are a number of positives when it comes to AI in the legal process, there are also downsides that need to be considered as well. Bridget and Nathan run through some of those issues as well. This thoughtful conversation with Nathan and Bridget offers a unique insight into the future of the legal industry, where AI and human ingenuity work hand in hand. Listen in to learn more about how these changes might soon be reshaping the legal landscape.
Listen on mobile platforms: Apple Podcasts | Spotify
Twitter: @gebauerm, or @glambert
Music: Jerry David DeCicca
Greg Lambert 0:07
Welcome to The Geek in Review the podcast focused on innovative and creative ideas in the legal industry. I’m Greg Lambert and I’m sitting in for Marlene Gebauer this week. On the show. We’ve been talking over the past couple of months how just the changes in legal tech since the launch of these generative AI tools from companies like open AI and others starting late last year, instead of us measuring progress and quarters and years and decades. We’re now at this point where we’re measuring them in days and weeks instead. And it’s just amazing how quickly things are changing. And our guests this week really exemplify that fact, we were going to have Nathan Walter, from brief point AI back in February on the show, to talk about leveraging AI in his product using products like GPT. So that interview kind of fell through but quite frankly, I’m kind of glad it did, because the amount of advancement and just that time has just been flat out insane. So it also gave us an opportunity for Nathan to bring in someone else with him to talk about the advancements that have taken place. So we’d like to welcome Nathan Walter, CEO and legal engineer at brief point AI and Bridget Albiero. Design Director at brief point, Bridgette, and Nathan, welcome to The Geek in Review.
Nathan Walter 1:35
Happy to be here.
Bridget Albiero 1:36
Thanks so much for having us.
Greg Lambert 1:38
So Nathan, before we start talking about, again, this rapid change in technology, I did want to point out something that you discussed with Chad main on his technically illegal podcast. And I don’t mind stealing from Chad. And I think Chad probably steals from me as well. So you guys talked about the fact that you are or we’re a stand up comedian. So you know, I do first want to point out, you’re not our first stand up comedian that we’ve had on the show. We had a Eugene sipper Roni from Goodmans in Toronto, was on the show a couple of years ago. But, you know, as I was thinking about how to write a question, I’m just going to ask, so does legal tech inspire comedy? Or does comedy inspire LegalTech?
Nathan Walter 2:29
IV, there’s certainly a comedy of errors. And I think that as with comedy, you do have to be pretty human and empathetic and sort of understand psychology up to a small degree, either implicitly or expressly. And having that is very helpful when you’re trying to sell something that is very not human. That is very procedural. So it’s nice to have maybe a more human and less stiff face representing something that is a little bit scary and daunting to a lot of people.
Greg Lambert 3:08
Do you ever do some, just some walk up? There’s some open mics anymore.
Nathan Walter 3:13
I haven’t in a while. The last time I did stand up, I think it was 2018. I did the Parent Teacher Association of Orange County, California annual comedy event. And it went great. It was a lot of fun.
Greg Lambert 3:30
Man, I don’t even know how to how to react to that. There’s, there’s just just some comedy and saying that, so
Nathan Walter 3:39
I got pretty dark. So.
Greg Lambert 3:46
So, Nathan, you’ve had a pretty interesting legal career, you know, in during your practice of law, you know, what are some of the high points and the low points of your practice? And what motivated you to turn more toward the entrepreneurial goals of starting a company? Like brief point?
Nathan Walter 4:06
Yeah. So I think the high points for me, I guess from my, if we want to do it purely on like a physiological reaction would be going into court and winning a motion that I was not expected to win or winning, some sort of whatever was the target of the hearing. And just coming out of that you feel like you’re just on fire, you know, you’re in the courthouse parking lot, punching your steering wheel going. And that those were certainly very high points. Right. And actually, the feeling of that was very similar to what happens on comedy. When you do you have a really good set. You just feel like you have this internal fire. Now with comedy, I felt that feeling of fire for about three times as long as I did with winning a hearing because you would end up just going back into the office and sitting on a computer and slowly typing away a discover Your response,
Greg Lambert 5:00
but you didn’t get a standing ovation from the rest of the lawyers when you walk. I felt like it was hands raised.
Nathan Walter 5:07
I was like, Why is no one clapping? No, of course not. Honestly, some of the times I want, I just felt like the judge may have just felt bad for me. But the Yeah, so and that those were the high points. And then more generally, the high points, were just being able to help someone who is in this process of litigation, who they’re very scared, it’s it’s very confusing. They don’t understand how it works, but they understand the implications of it not working in their favor can result in their livelihoods being seriously impacted, which is really a lack of control and for them to trust litigators, specifically, to help them in that I think is a huge honor. Yeah, that wasn’t that wasn’t it all the time. I mean, there was a lot of there’s a lot of things wrong with the practice litigation, there’s a lot of things wrong with access to justice. And the source, I believe, is the billable hour model to a large degree. I think that the billable hour models, it inherently pits you against your client in some way. Because Are you REALLY incentivized to do what’s in their best interest? In my experience, every attorney that I worked with, they were always interested in reducing billable hours, but for their clients, but that was at odds with the internal structures of the firm who needed to keep the lights on who to a large degree are manufacturers of billable hours. And I found that conflict to the disheartening, and when you have to lay it out for your client and say, Hey, I know you didn’t do anything wrong. Like I actually know the facts of this case, I would genuinely know you did not do anything wrong. But they’re only suing you for $100,000. So maybe you should pay them that that killed me. And that’s sort of why I started to teach myself code to figure out a way to prevent that from happening.
Greg Lambert 7:11
Yeah, had you always had that bug that entrepreneurial bug to to start something? Or were you just so frustrated with, with what you were doing? You’re like, I gotta find a better way, no way to do
Nathan Walter 7:25
frankly, I see entrepreneurship as a necessary evil. I never thought I’d be running a company. I never was a business person, I had to learn very quickly, obviously. But when I looked at what I wanted to do, which was sort of create a world where litigators number one wouldn’t need to make great sacrifices of their personal lives in order to maintain competency, and number two, be able to take on lower value cases and fight for them for longer, thereby increasing access to justice. We live in a society, we live in a society, we live in a capitalistic society. So creating an organist was the most efficient way for me to affect that change. And that in the industry, and so that’s, that’s why I chose to start a business.
Greg Lambert 8:13
Now with brief point, you have a very simple but a huge idea behind the product. And that is, you want to create an innovative solution that automates various aspects of the litigation process that attorneys need to do. And your overall goal seems to be to automate the entirety of the process, from demand letter all the way through appeals, you know, eat just easy stuff. Yeah.
Nathan Walter 8:39
It’s so funny. So yeah, specifically document preparation, which adding the most conservative comprises about 40% of a litigators job. That is what we’re trying to automate. And the you know, the tongue in cheek goal is to remove typing from document preparation. And that’s what we’re heading towards. And the we’re hoping to be a force multiplier for firms. We’re hoping to incentivize firms to maybe use different billing structures other than the billable hour, that’s much harder said than done. But even then, over 60% of our users, our billable hour attorneys, because the work that we automate is just frankly, just not the work that you want to do. It’s kind of rote, it’s a little bit boring. And it’s not why you went to law school doesn’t require a high degree of analysis or critical thinking. And by removing that we just increase the quality of life for our users.
Greg Lambert 9:37
Right now who are your customers? Are they are they tend to be solo small firm, they’re in California only or what’s your customer base now? And I think, what are you looking for?
Nathan Walter 9:49
And yeah, we target small and solo firms, but that was purely a business decision and not necessarily our our overarching intent. The we do have medium sized firms as well. And we’re actively discussing with am law 100 firms in regards to partnering to actually create a tailored version of brief point for their firm in their practice areas that would they would benefit from, because they have a solution that works for them. And then we would benefit from because we get their feedback and access to their documents, which makes automating those documents much easier. What to touch on why we target small farms, it really boils down to the length of a sales cycle. And when you are talking to larger firms, there’s not really at you know, there’s there’s a whole network of decision makers, and there’s librarians and different partners. And sometimes you’ll be talking to what we call a champion at the firm who wants to install brief point. And they’ll say something like, you know, I want this but even though I want this, there’s no way I can do this, because there’s, there’s so many barriers with a small firm, I’ve closed a deal in eight minutes. So the sales cycle was eight minutes long, because I’m talking to the owner of the firm. And we’ve priced it such that it’s, you know, it works for small firms. And so we needed to as we as we approach and as we sort of live in these longer sales cycles with larger firms, we still need revenue in the door. And so we target small and solo firms a lot. And I think that’s, that’s been helpful, because when I proceed in any legal tech company, you’re you’re walking through a graveyard of companies that went whale hunting for these large firms and died waiting on the sales cycle to close. And in recognition of that, I wanted to make sure that we were able to get money in the door as soon as possible.
Greg Lambert 11:43
I know Marlene and I have been on the the other side of that where we’re wanting to get something close. But there’s so so many processes internally, and people who have to sign off for us to get anything done. So it makes sense. You know, at least for now, I think to focus on on where you are. Yeah. So Bridget, why one, we’re really happy to have you here because we love having UX and design folks come in, especially those who aren’t former practicing lawyers. You know, because, you know, I think, you know, folks that come in from outside the industry have this fresh perspective, and hit and aren’t beaten down by the sales cycle. And, you know, this is how we always do it, kind of thing and, and just bring in new new perspectives. So, you know, what caused you initially to even want to get into the user design and, and or user experience and design profession? Yeah,
Bridget Albiero 12:48
well, I initially studied Fine Art and Design, in undergrad. And then I kind of made my way to do some coursework and industrial design. And I was planning on, you know, maybe going to graduate school for industrial design. Because the whole like how humans interact with physical products. And technology has always been fascinating to me, then when I kind of realized that and user experience design is like, where graphic design and industrial design really neat. It just felt perfect. So yeah, that’s kind of how I ended up here. And I love it, I’m there’s always a fun creative problem to solve. It’s very gratifying to, to know that, you know, you have a user that’s experienced your product, and it’s made their life easier or more enjoyable.
Greg Lambert 13:35
Do you get a lot of feedback? Do you? Or do you seek a lot of feedback from the user? So that you you understand, or do you have automated ways to look at that, but what’s your process on this?
Bridget Albiero 13:45
Yeah, we are always interested in our user feedback. And Nathan has created you know, a lot of personal relationships with our early users to kind of create that pipeline for fast and, and the feedback often from our users. But I think it’s an advantage for being so small to have, like, a real connection with our our first time users and early adopters. And we take all of that very seriously, it because we always have to remind ourselves that we are not our users. So we can make our best assumptions and do our own research on the side. But our users are really gonna provide like the most valuable feedback.
Greg Lambert 14:27
So when I did some programming when I was in law school in the 90s, I had somebody telling me once that you know, making something is really easy, but making something really easy is not and so the you know, that whole user experience design, you know, just makes it easier for the user to use. You know, a product is really a product like this is really complex. And when you when you break it down, but the trick is are you know, the goal is to make it make it easy. So
Bridget Albiero 14:59
yeah, and I love that I feel like I thrive and taking like a very complex sort of, maybe not the most exciting product to use, like, the challenge of making that intuitive and a little bit fun to use is pretty great.
Greg Lambert 15:14
Now, you’ve, you’ve been there at brief point a little less than a year. But 2022 and 2023 are not just different numbers, they it’s almost like a different universe, I think when it comes to technology like this. So, you know, I asked, you know, what are some of the interesting things that are happening now that you may not have thought you could be doing when you started last year,
Bridget Albiero 15:42
I think just like the capability of, you know, our capability using a network of AI networks. It’s just really, it surpassed my expectations. And I’ve been able to see that sort of progress. And I feel like other people can kind of relate. And just see that technology take off, has been really exciting. I’m always excited to see my designs and my workflows implemented, because I’m usually at the beginning of the process. And when I enables the coated and working, it’s so satisfying. But to see what we’re able to achieve today is just, it’s really It’s remarkable, like I still I feel like I pinch myself, because even in the past fast a week, like, you know, just testing out our product is like, wow, wow, this is really possible. It’s
Greg Lambert 16:37
good. I mean, as you want somebody that has pride in their work, so I’m sure I’m sure. Right, right, Nathan,
Nathan Walter 16:44
I tell Bridget, that she’s 99% of the value of our company and not to sue me for that value
Greg Lambert 16:52
there. Well, you’ve shown me brief point now a couple of times, so I’ve become familiar with it. But if I’m an attorney, and you know, California, or another state where you have the product that can help me, what is it that brief point does kind of the lowest hanging fruit? What’s the easiest thing for me to look at? As a litigator? That brief point could could help me do?
Nathan Walter 17:20
Oh, yes. Yeah, so probably worth explaining what we do, right? So yeah, what briefing does is you log in, we you upload your opposing counsels discovery request PDF, and then our AI takes data from that PDF in order to rapidly construct a response document. So you upload your opposing counsels discovery request PDF, you select some objections, or you click suggest, and we’ll write the objections for you. And then you click open in Word, and then a Word documents downloaded and that Word document is a completed response to that discovery request.
Greg Lambert 17:56
Super, super simple.
Nathan Walter 17:57
Simple. It’s super easy. Honestly,
Greg Lambert 18:00
Nathan, you know, when we were prepping for our talk back in February, you you and I jumped on a call where you were showing me some of the really impressive things that you were doing with brief point then. And at that point, you know, the hot tool was GPT 3.5, which hadn’t hadn’t been out for about a month or two by that point. And you were showing how you’re using that to automate the processes. Again, and just that little bit of time between then and now, the release of GPT. Four came out. And there are some other generative AI tools that have launched since how have has that advancement? altered the product and the timeline that you had for releasing the advancements that you had planned? In brief point?
Nathan Walter 18:50
Yeah, I mean, any company that did not have an emergency meeting regarding GPT, for the day, that technical report was released, I believe is unwittingly barreling towards relevancy. The jump between 3.5 and four was just monumental. I wouldn’t say historic because I think that historically, we’ll look at ChatGPT is sort of the start of these things, given its use, and its its wide adoption. The GBD for though, is what we call like a baby aid, artificial general intelligence or a baby AGI. And for a system to have an internal apparent internal representation of the world. And to be able to really think critically and pass the bar and the 90th percentile and seven minutes. We had to redo our whole roadmap, our initial roadmap, which was aggressive a month ago, or I guess two months ago, was far too conservative in light of these new Large Language Models and its DVD for its Claude you know, hugging face by Microsoft. These things just launched us way for further than I think anyone expected, even the people that created it. So our initial roadmap was okay, let’s just tackle documents, one document type at a time. And so we’ll start with discovery. And then we’ll do forms and then we’ll do complaints and then answers. And then we’ll I said this, I used to say this all the time, then we’ll just work our way chronologically from demand letter to appeal, document by document. But given what we’ve been able to do with these Large Language Models in conjunction with our existing AI systems, we’re just going to automate all the documents all at once. And that shortened our roadmap from like a three year roadmap to a nine month roadmap. And that, and I mean, the testing that we’ve done so far, it is just given the the connections we’ve been able to make between these Large Language Models and our AI systems. It is it’s curating stuff. That’s better than frankly, I would have done and I was, I’m proud to say it was a mediocre litigation attorney.
Greg Lambert 21:08
Well, I guess, I guess you really don’t, I mean, I think it makes sense that you want to have your plan, this linear plan, doing A then B, then C. And now you can kind of have this multi dimensional aspect of where you’re doing many things all at once. So, Bridget, the that sounds great for Nathan, how big of a headache is that for you to now all the sudden, you’ve got much more coming at you much, much faster. How How are you handling the the rapid advancement,
Bridget Albiero 21:43
I would much more prefer to work with someone who is very ambitious from the opposite. I think it’s exciting. And in my previous work, I started out in a small startup, we were acquired, and then that startup was acquired. And at the end of my run and health tech, there, I was working for a large corporation. And it’s to me, it’s so refreshing to be working with a small team because we are able to be really nimble. And we are not bogged down by our two year roadmap that has no flexibility and is filled with, you know, client commitments, we are able to be really flexible and respond to new client asks that we maybe didn’t think of as features and you know, market demands. And I see that is a huge advantage. So yeah, I feel like that gives me the opportunity, opportunity to do a lot more interesting work.
Greg Lambert 22:41
Yeah. And Nathan, with the just, again, the speed of the advancements is coming out. How do you stay up to date with, with what’s going on in the market? And then, you know, you might be three quarters of the way through some advancement, and then a new tool comes out and you’re like, crap, you know, now we could if we put this on, how do you kind of corral all of the, you know, all the changes so that you can still make the advancements, but not let it get overwhelming?
Nathan Walter 23:16
Yeah, so I just watch what Daniel Katz does on a daily basis now. So I’ve probably read every paper written on GBT four. And I, you know, I keep a very close eye on these things. I sort of, I mean, I feel like I have a pretty good idea of the trajectory, given the AI’s ability to improve itself reflects Yun, and then connecting of networks without being faced by Microsoft. I’m tracking this trajectory. And it’s really about a sort of just following the trajectory, but understanding that you’re going to need to pivot. And what that means in practice is making these things modular so that we can swap out pieces of our tack that get made redundant, given a new advancement. And that’s basically why we structure all these AIs into a specific network where they’re all they’re all doing specific tasks, as opposed to having one that does everything. And it is moving fast. I mean, it is it is moving incredibly fast. And it’s you have to be on the ball. And I think that is another advantage of being a smaller team is that we can adapt quickly. For example, the Florida tort reform passed and we initially were targeting, we’re like, Okay, we’re gonna go from California to Texas to New York to all this stuff. And then the Florida tort reform passed, and now we have large firms that filed 70,000 cases two months ago. And so we’re like, oh, okay, so now let’s, let’s, let’s shift over here. year, then we look at the Florida documents. Okay, can we do this and now it’s given the capabilities, it looks like we could probably launch to every jurisdiction this summer, hopefully. But it’s about just keeping track of it in practice, you know, you look at the people that write the papers, you connect with them on LinkedIn or follow them, you go to these conferences, I always go to Stanford Codex. And that’s Stanford Codex is about three, generally, it’s about three years ahead of the curve in technology. And so talking with those people being involved in those research projects, I work in conjunction with Dr. Ian Schick, from the machine general legal document research arm of Stanford Codex, and just being on the polls, having those relationships with those CEOs sharing different tips and tricks and really have just, it’s really relationships and maintaining those checking in and seeing what’s going on, because the news is not going to do it for you, Google searches aren’t going to do it for you. Look at the research papers that are written on GPT. Four, get the names of the authors, find them on LinkedIn, and start building a relationship.
Greg Lambert 26:10
And I found a lot of those folks that are writing those papers are very open to having these conversations. It’s it’s almost like a, I don’t know, like a desire for them to have somebody they can talk to bounce ideas. Yeah.
Nathan Walter 26:24
Well, I can I can talk about that, too. You know, I love talking about this. But everyone in my life doesn’t you know it in my life loves it as much as I do. And so when I’m with my girlfriend out at dinner, and I strike up a conversation about AI, she is takes her everything, not to push her chair back and drive home. So it’s it’s a huge, it’s really awesome to die. It’s a nerd thing. It’s just a nerd. You know, we’re just Yeah, it’s,
Greg Lambert 26:53
I had the same thing I was I was at my in laws, place in Oklahoma over the weekend. And my brother in law, who’s who’s a teacher, my wife’s a teacher, we I was just like, wanting, it’s like, what are you guys doing in the you know, in the education system? What do you do in wanting to have this conversation? And they were like, well, we’re just kind of, you know, checking it out right now. We’re not really doing anything. I’m like, you’re falling behind. And I wanted to, you know, I want almost broken to a lecture. Right there. So I have I understand the excitement. And it’s really interesting to see. And I think you’re seeing it in law firms as well, I think you’re seeing a lot of law firms that are dipping their, you know, summer diving and but most are dipping their toe, and there’s some out there that are like, Yeah, we’re gonna wait to see how this how this works out. You know, if it works out fine, then we’ll jump in. And and I think, you know, those firms are never going to catch up.
Nathan Walter 27:58
Yeah. Because every day you wait in usted, every day you wait to Doctor tech used to be a day. Now every day you wait to adopt a tech, it’s, it’s about a year. So it’s, we are it’s Yeah, I mean, I know firms that are very hesitant, and I understand why I think they’re, they have justification for that. I totally understand. But the world has changed dramatically. And we are going to see some of the it’s going to have AI is going to hit society like a freight train.
Greg Lambert 28:29
Yeah, it definitely is. So one, I would say, Do you have a lot of competition? Now? What you’re doing? And if not, do you see? I mean, I kind of look at like the contract lifestyle or lifestyle, the contract? Manager CLM. Just how many companies are in that field? Now? Do you see a lot of startups like yourself jumping in and or do you think this is something that if you’re not in there right now, you’re again, you’re going to be behind on?
Nathan Walter 29:07
Yeah, so I mean, I think for all legal tech, even CLM, the competition is the status quo, and it will always be the status quo. I have a good relationship with one of my competitors, that does discovery, among other things, they generate responses to discovery requests. They’re sort of in a different lane. They’re more sort of on the corporate side of things. And I you know, they I don’t know what I don’t know if they’re incorporating these things. We’ve been planning and for incorporation of these Large Language Models since 2021. So we’re a little bit ahead of the ball there, if not very far from ahead of the ball, and the requisite skills you need to act Usually we’ll these things are very hard to find in the market because I’m doing legal engineering with an understanding of how these Large Language Models work. Namely, there are transformers, right? And the i Five probably would bet there’s only 15 other people in the United States that have that capability. And I’m encouraged by the fact that they’re not working on what I’m working on, like Daniel Katz. And of course, you have the case taxed in those and Jake from that, that that team okay,
Greg Lambert 30:38
can Pablo No, of course, of course, Pablo,
Nathan Walter 30:41
Pablo is a wonderful person to have in our field I, I’m always thankful that he didn’t get into financial tech, because he’s really what Pablo is doing is incredible. And he’s doing it right. And I’m really glad that he’s not doing document automation.
Greg Lambert 31:00
So, Bridgette, how do you involve the brief points, users, we talked about it a little bit when it comes to the design process. But as you’re developing new ways of working through the documents have ways of preventing, as Nathan was saying, to eliminate typing from the process? How do you make sure that what sounds like a really cool, great idea for you is actually something on the user side that is actually usable?
Bridget Albiero 31:36
Yeah, our users are really good at providing feedback. I think that a lot of our early adopters are people who are very enthusiastic about technology. And they know that our technology is young, and they want to be heard. And I think we’ve shown that we really value that feedback. So it’s definitely an ongoing goal and challenge in some way. But we’ve been pretty fortunate so far, to have really great user feedback.
Greg Lambert 32:02
And Nathan, do you get that feedback as well?
Nathan Walter 32:06
Yeah, yeah. And really, uh, you know, just to toot Bridget’s metaphorical horn, the Rishi is just incredible at distilling these advanced processes into very, just click, click Execute workflows, where, for example, one of our most prolific users was a paralegal. And before she was a paralegal, she spent 15 years at a monastery in Northern California, with no access to the outside world or technology. And she is our most prolific user, she uses it all the time. And she didn’t need to be trained in it. Because we believe that, you know, as long as you know how to do draft the document, as you already do, then you’ll know how to use brief point. And so what I’m able to do given Bridget’s expertise is say, Okay, this is how we do it right now. These are the steps we’re going to automate. And we don’t change the workflow. We don’t change the order of operations. We just, we sort of map our own workflow on the existing attorney workflows, except instead of 20 steps, there’s now one, and Bridget is just very meticulous about making things very clear, like what is the attorney doing, for example, she prioritizes use of descriptive buttons over symbols and icons that an attorney would otherwise have to learn, right. And she’s been very successful in that. And that’s sort of that’s then I think, that’s one of our secret sauces. That’s why we brought on Bridget and Bridget was she has been working full time for less than a year but she was with the the founding group. So she’s been required since the start these part time and now full time. And I wanted on one like bridge on the team because what I saw in the legal tech field before, brief point where we’re really good ideas that were displayed to the user in a way that looked like an engineer built it and operated like an engineer built it. And I thought that was one of the reasons that there was such slow adoption of tack is just because it tech, it just, you know, attorneys don’t want to have to take a training seminar attorneys don’t have time. And what we want is something that’s usable right out of the box. That makes sense. And you know, even right now you if you’re in California litigator, you can hop on to brief point, upload a document and get a valuable response like product within four to five minutes of just logging in. And that is all possible because of Bridget’s sort of relentless focus on ease and simplicity of use.
Greg Lambert 34:51
You know, there’s obviously a lot of upside with AI tools, you know, for what you’re doing there at a brief point, however, You know, there’s a number of skeptics out there that worry about the potential downside of AI tools as well. So in and again, some of them may be more realistic than others. But they’re, you know, there’s some of the things that you hear, like the arguments that you know that the tools aren’t trained on, on legal data, or the issue with AI simply making stuff up, or the idea that and we’ve touched on this briefly that if you automate everything, then why? Why would you need a lawyer? So I’m guessing that you’ve thought of, you know, most or all of these and more. So, Nathan, let’s start with you. What are your thoughts about when you hear people talk about the downside of AI tools?
Nathan Walter 35:44
Yeah, I mean, I think about this all the time. I think, you know, AI tools, AI generally, I think is something that is very concerning. And I don’t think most people appreciate what the threat that AI poses to society. And I would encourage them to look up concepts like alignment, and do and do research on that, because that is, frankly, in my opinion, the most important task for humanity to solve. And I don’t know that we will be able to, but we need help. Anyways, as far as the the near future and the current issues. So yeah, the arguments are that it’s in others inaccuracies, what we call hallucinations at the risk of anthropomorphizing the AI systems. And the Yeah, hallucinations, I mean, brief points, whole structure is designed to eliminate hallucinations, you can look at tools like Pablos tool that also does the same. And the way we do that is you buy a tool that’s built on top of the AI system, so you’re not going to ChatGPT and asking for legal advice, that is probably not a good idea. Even though it did pass the bar the 90th percentile, it’s still not a good idea, especially if you’re not familiar with that field of law. And there’s a risk of it sort of just pulling from its corpus of data and inputting it that isn’t early applicable. But you can what Pablo, what I are doing is we restrict the generated content to the immediate factual environment of the case. And by doing that, we eliminate the chance of hallucination because we don’t let it make assumptions. We don’t let it guess. We give it all the rules and all the things and we say just here’s the data, just do this task. And so by narrowing the scope of the AIS task, you increase its accuracy. providing it with sufficient data to execute that task is obviously necessary, so that the loose nations are sort of a thing that are not going to be an issue, they’re an issue now, because people are using ChatGPT, which is ill advised. But when you hire a system that accesses these things, if they are a good system, then they will prevent that from happening. The next biggest threat is what we call over reliance. And over reliance happens when you just rubber stamp everything that AI generates. And that can be a problem, because even with, you know, reductions of hallucinations, you know, maybe the proposed argument isn’t what’s right for your client or case, you know, maybe there, that proposed argument elicits some procedural grounds for your opponent to do something that ultimately would have a net negative effect on your case. And so really understanding that you need to review the work as if it is a first year associates work, and not over relying on and then applies not applies for everyone using AI systems over alliances always a threat. And yeah, I mean, there’s certainly people that think that they’ll replace attorneys a brief point, we’re very, we do not want to replace attorneys, we are always going to keep attorneys in the loop, we will never go direct to consumer, unless we do so through a vendor who has processes to ensure compliance with unauthorized practice of law statutes. But that’s far and away. We’re not here to replace attorneys. We believe that we need attorneys in society, we need people with those critical thinking skills, because those are the people that are going to be able to address some of the appropriate regulations around artificial intelligence that may ultimately give us more time.
Greg Lambert 39:25
Yeah. And Bridgette, what are some of the concerns that you’ve been addressing?
Bridget Albiero 39:30
Yeah, I would say, let’s all just proceed with caution with AI. Think Daniel. I think a lot of people could agree with that. And, you know, I been reading and thinking about this a lot as well. I think that anyone who is you know, knowledge worker could be like, slightly concerned about their future prospects. But I do think that AI can be could be a great opportunity to automate The tasks in our lives that are mostly mundane and tedious, and allow us to really connect with meaningful work, thoughtful work. And I think that’s true for legal professionals. I would love that to be true. I think our product can help with that. And then I also think that there’s an opportunity to have more legal professionals, the experts in AI, because we’re going to need that, because we need to have some guardrails placed around AI. And we need the people creating those to be the experts to really know what’s going on. That’s all right. I’m
Greg Lambert 40:37
sure Senator Grassley and Schumer will come up with some excellent regulations that I don’t know
Nathan Walter 40:43
why I was afraid. But I forgot about your right now. I don’t know what what was I thinking?
Greg Lambert 40:50
So so we are at the point of the interview now, where we ask our guests are crystal ball question. And so Bridget, we’ll start with you, can you pull out your crystal ball? And let us know what changes or challenges in the legal industry or even in the UX design industry? Do you see occurring over the next two to five years? And that, again, we’ve been telling you that may be too long right now. So just in the foreseeable future? Let’s let’s do it there,
Bridget Albiero 41:18
sir. Yeah, I think the whole prospect of AI and what it can promise and what it will become in the next couple of years is probably a little bit unimaginable to us right now. So I’m really interested to see how designers and user experience practitioners are really going to bridge that gap into this like, giant, huge new piece of technology that is overwhelming, and maybe a little bit hard to understand, and how we’re gonna piece that out. And like, you know, distill the value that that can provide in a more specific way, and help facilitate that, like human connection. So people are able to really connect to it and AI will be able to ultimately, like provide us value in our everyday lives.
Greg Lambert 42:07
The stuff that social media just sucks out of us. Nathan, how about you, as your crystal ball say?
Nathan Walter 42:18
Well, I think in the near term, I think there’s gonna be a lot more market pressure on the billable hour models, I think we’re going to see a sort of a gold what he called a golden age for contingency fee base and flat fee Billings. With flat fee billings, in particular, with relative to the billable hour, you know, you your margins are not set, you can basically say it’s going to be X dollars for this task, or in these set of tax if we have to do these motions that will cost this. And then you can do those really quickly. And now the quicker you do it, the higher your margins, were as a billable hour, you’re sort of like, okay, if I work these hours, this is how much I will make. And I think we’re gonna see a real sort of shift in the market where the law firms that are implementing these AI systems, and then using more creative billing structures, or just the plaintiffs attorneys that are leveraging this technology just be able to crank out cases at a higher quality and much faster. And with on the plaintiff side, because I’m enabling plaintiffs attorneys to take cases for much cheaper given length, the reduction in salary costs and overtime, etc, there’s going to be an increase in litigation. So there’s gonna be a lot more cases brought, because now plaintiff’s attorneys who initially might be kind of wishy washy on a case of this value, given these facts, are now looking at it doing another risk analysis where the actual cost to take that case, is much less. So now, they’ll take cases that only have a 10% chance of success. And when every plaintiff’s attorney is doing that, it’s going to flood the courts with new cases, and then the defense firms are going to be overworked. And they’re going to be basically, it’s going to be hard for them to find staff because if they’re still doing the billable hour model, now their associates are overworked. It’s still the same structure. And the socialists look at their friends at plaintiffs firms who are using these AI systems who are taking months of vacation a year, and they’re going to the you know, the labor force is going to move in that direction, thereby exacerbating the problem. And I think it’s inevitable that there’s going to be a massive shift in the in the market for law, and I think it’s a good shift. I think there’s going to be some growing pains which are going to be unfortunate, and I’m not going to celebrate those but I think ultimately there will be a net positive in the next few years.
Greg Lambert 44:42
Yeah, well, and anyone that’s worked in, especially in large law firms for any amount of time understand that nothing gets a large law firm to change the way it acts, then something exploding on them just something blowing up. And I think you know, sooner rather than later heard this whole model. You know, this, it’s, everyone’s been saying it’s unsustainable for, you know, two, three decades now. But I just don’t see how you can’t change, because you’re going to be you’re eventually going to be forced to change.
Nathan Walter 45:16
Yeah. And that’s especially true once these, you know, I work with small firms or defense firms. And once they figure out how to reach the clients of the big firms and say, hey, I can provide you with the same if not better services for a 10th of the cost, and it’s going to be much more transparent and structure. I mean, relate to they say relationships are everything for clients, right? Well, relationships are valuable. And what I mean by that is that they can be valued, and that if you ever, you can be your best buds with some guy. But if you’re just paying him hundreds of 1000s of dollars, and for the sake of you guys being friends, I don’t think that’s going to be a long lasting relationship. And
Greg Lambert 45:59
I know I don’t have any friends like that, so. Well, well, Nathan Walter and Bridget Albiero. Thank you both for coming in and taking the time to talk with us.
Nathan Walter 46:13
Thank you, Greg. It’s my pleasure.
Bridget Albiero 46:14
Thank you so much. And of course,
Greg Lambert 46:15
thanks to all the listeners for taking the time to tune in to The Geek in Review podcast. If you enjoy the show, share it with a colleague. We’d love to hear from you. So reach out to us on social media. Marlene can be found at gay Bauer M on Twitter And I can be reached @glambert on Twitter, Nathan and Bridget if someone wants to continue this conversation with you what’s the best place for them to to find you, Bridget?
Bridget Albiero 46:43
Oh, yeah, you can connect with Reddit on LinkedIn.
Nathan Walter 46:45
Same goes for me LinkedIn, Nathan Walter, brief points CEO and legal engineer.
Greg Lambert 46:50
All right. And of course the listeners can also leave us a voicemail on our can review Hotline at 713-487-7821 and as always, the music you hear is from Jerry David DeCicca Thank you Jerry. Well, Nathan and Bridget thanks again for coming in
Unknown Speaker 47:14
Unknown Speaker 47:19
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