In this episode, Greg Lambert speaks with Whitney Triplet, Paul Campbell, and Adonica Black about the LexisNexis African Ancestry Network and LexisNexis Rule of Law Foundation Fellowship 2023 cohort. They discuss the goal of the fellowship program and the projects undertaken by the fellows, including technology solutions to alleviate racial bias in jury selection and law clinic support tools to combat systemic racism in the legal system. The conversation also covers the role of analytics in identifying and addressing disparities in the legal system, as well as the future of the fellowship program and initiatives.
Takeaways
  • The LexisNexis African Ancestry Network and LexisNexis Rule of Law Foundation Fellowship aims to tackle systemic racism and inequities in the legal system through technology solutions and project-based approaches.
  • Projects undertaken by the fellows include developing a mobile app to increase literacy and comprehension of critical rule of law concepts, creating an accessible repository of inclusive curriculum resources for law school instruction, and building bridges for HBCU students to legal fields that lack diversity.
  • The fellows’ research focuses on addressing racial bias in jury selection and improving legal clinics to provide better access to justice for underrepresented individuals.
  • The use of analytics and technology can help identify and address disparities in the legal system, but it requires diverse data sets and a recognition of biases to ensure equitable outcomes.

Listen on mobile platforms:  ⁠Apple Podcasts⁠ |  ⁠Spotify⁠ | YouTube

⁠⁠⁠⁠Contact Us: 

Twitter: ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠@gebauerm⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠, or ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠@glambert⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠
Threads: @glambertpod or @gebauerm66
Email: geekinreviewpodcast@gmail.com
Music: ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Jerry David DeCicca⁠⁠⁠⁠

Transcript

Continue Reading Breaking Barriers and Building Bridges: Tackling Racial Bias in Law with LexisNexis Fellows 2023 (TGIR Ep. 231)

Vanderbilt Law School recently launched an exciting new initiative called the Vanderbilt AI Legal Lab (VAILL) to explore how artificial intelligence can transform legal services and access to justice. In this episode, we spoke with VAILL’s leadership – Cat Moon,(👑) Director of Innovation at Vanderbilt’s Program on Law and Innovation (PoLI), and Mark Williams, Associate Director for Collections and Innovation at the Massey Law Library – about their vision for this pioneering lab. 

VAILL’s mission is to harness AI to expand access to legal knowledge and services, with a particular focus on leveraging generative AI to improve legal service delivery. As Moon described, VAILL aims to experiment, collaborate widely, and build solutions to realize AI’s potential in the legal domain. The lab will leverage Vanderbilt’s cross-disciplinary strengths, drawing on experts in computer science, engineering, philosophy, and other fields to inform their ethically-grounded, human-centered approach.

VAILL is prioritizing partnerships across sectors – courts, law firms, legal aid organizations, alternative providers, and others – to test ideas and develop prototype AI applications that solve real legal needs. For instance, they plan to co-create solutions with Legal Aid of North Carolina’s Innovation Lab to expand access to justice. Moon explained that generative AI presents solutions for some legal challenges, so VAILL hopes to match developing technological capabilities with organizations’ needs.

Ethics are foundational to VAILL’s work. Students will learn both practical uses of AI in law practice as well as broader policy and social implications. As Williams emphasized, beyond core professional responsibility issues, VAILL aims to empower students to lead in shaping AI’s societal impacts through deeper engagement with questions around data, access, and algorithms. Teaching ethical, creative mindsets is VAILL’s ultimate opportunity.

VAILL will leverage the resources and expertise of Vanderbilt’s law librarians to critically assess new AI tools from their unique perspective. Williams noted that the lab sees law students as a “risk free” testing ground for innovations, while also equipping them with adaptable learning capabilities to keep pace with AI’s rapid evolution. Rather than viewing AI as a differentiator, VAILL’s goal is producing legally-skilled innovators ready to thrive amidst ongoing change.

Vanderbilt’s AI Legal Lab represents an exciting development in exploring AI’s legal impacts. By emphasizing human-centered, ethical approaches and collaborations, VAILL aims to pioneer solutions that expand access to legal knowledge and services for all. We look forward to seeing the innovative applications VAILL develops at the intersection of law and AI.

Listen on mobile platforms:  ⁠Apple Podcasts⁠ |  ⁠Spotify⁠ | YouTube

⁠⁠Contact Us: 

Twitter: ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠@gebauerm⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠, or ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠@glambert⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠
Threads: @glambertpod or @gebauerm66
Email: geekinreviewpodcast@gmail.com
Music: ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Jerry David DeCicca⁠⁠⁠⁠

Transcript

Continue Reading TGIR Ep. 228 – Cat Moon and Mark Williams Launch the New Vanderbilt AI Law Lab (VAILL)

On a special “on location” episode of The Geek in Review, Greg Lambert sits down with vLex’s Damien Riehl for a hands-on demonstration of the new generative AI tool called Vincent AI. While at the Ark KM Conference, Riehl explains that vLex has amassed a huge legal dataset over its 35 year history which allows them to now run their own large language models (LLM). The recent merger between vLex and Fastcase has combined their datasets to create an even more robust training corpus.

Riehl demonstrates how Vincent AI works by having it research a question on trade secret law and employee theft of customer lists. It retrieves relevant cases, statutes, regulations, and secondary sources, highlighting the most relevant passages. It summarizes each source and provides a confidence rating on how well each excerpt answers the initial question. Vincent AI then generates a legal memorandum summarizing the relevant law. Riehl explains how this is more trustworthy than a general chatbot like ChatGPT because it is grounded in real legal sources.

Riehl shows how Vincent AI can compare legal jurisdictions by generating memorandums on the same question for California, New York, the UK, and Spain. It can even handle foreign language sources, translating them into English. This allows for efficient multi-jurisdictional analysis. Riehl emphasizes Vincent AI’s focus on asking straightforward questions in natural language rather than requiring complex prompts.

Looking ahead, Riehl sees potential for Vincent AI to leverage external LLMs like Anthropic’s Claude model as well as their massive dataset of briefs and motions to generate tailored legal arguments statistically likely to persuade specific judges on particular issues. He explains this requires highly accurate tagging of documents which they can achieve through symbolic AI. Riehl aims to continue expanding features without requiring lawyers to become AI prompt engineers.

On access to justice, Riehl believes AI can help legal aid and pro bono attorneys handle more matters more efficiently. He also sees potential for AI assistance to pro se litigants to promote fairer outcomes. For judges, AI could help manage pro se cases and expedite decision-making. Overall, Riehl is optimistic about AI augmenting legal work over the next two years through ongoing improvements.

Riehl discusses vLex’s new Vincent AI system and its ability to efficiently research legal issues across jurisdictions and across languages. He provides insight into the technology’s development and potential while emphasizing understandable user interaction. The conversation highlights AI’s emerging role in legal services to increase productivity, insight, and access to justice.

Listen on mobile platforms:  ⁠Apple Podcasts⁠ |  ⁠Spotify⁠ | YouTube (NEW!)

Links:

vLex Vincent AI

⁠⁠Contact Us: 

Twitter: ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠@gebauerm⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠, or ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠@glambert⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠

Threads: @glambertpod or @gebauerm66

Email: geekinreviewpodcast@gmail.com

Music: ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Jerry David DeCicca⁠⁠⁠⁠

⁠Transcript


Continue Reading vLex’s Damien Riehl on Examining vLex’s New Vincent AI (TGIR Ep. 227)

In this episode, we dive into the fascinating story of Kristina Kashtanova, author of “Zarya of the Dawn,” a comic book that she illustrated using AI-generated images. Kristina shares their personal struggles during the pandemic, including losing loved ones, being unemployed, and undergoing dental surgery. She talks about how she discovered the power of AI-generated images through OpenAI DALL-E and how it helped them overcome their pain and isolation. We learn about their creative process of generating various images before remembering their story and deciding to use AI-generated images to illustrate it. Kristina also shares their experience of sharing their progress on social media and receiving positive feedback from the AI community. Their story is a testament to the intersection of art and technology and how it can be used to overcome personal struggles and create something beautiful.

We are also going by a duo of Richmond Law School Professors, Ashley Dobbs and Roger Skalbeck. Professor Dobbs runs the IP and Transactional Law Clinic at Richmond and explains that the clinic provides an opportunity for law students to work directly with clients on intellectual property matters, such as copyright and trademark protection, under her supervision. The clinic primarily works with startups, entrepreneurs, and creators who cannot afford legal services. Ashley and her team also handle various transactional matters related to intellectual property, such as forming entities, reviewing contracts, and assigning rights. By working with clients in a real-world setting, law students are able to apply their book learning to practical situations and gain valuable experience before entering the workforce. She is also providing assistance to her fellow professor Roger Skalbeck for his “Copyright §101” Comic Book.

Roger Skalbeck created a comic book to teach his students about copyright laws in the United States. Roger explains that he wanted to create something that looked like the comic books he grew up with, such as the Avengers and Spider-Man, with a vibrant and simplified aesthetic. He used various tools, including Mid-Journey for image generation and Photoshop and Pixlr for updates, before putting it together with a layout program called Comic Life 3. Roger’s comic book provides a visual representation of each individual definition in the statute, making it easier for students to understand complex legal concepts. By using a comic book as a teaching tool, Roger is able to engage his students in a fun and creative way while also providing them with a valuable learning experience. Tune in to learn more about Roger’s efforts to use a comic book to teach copyright laws and how it is helping to transform legal education. Roger has a class set up in the Fall Semester this year that will require his students to create a comic book that focuses on a practical aspect of Access to Justice.

Tune in to learn more about the intersection of law, comic books, AI, and copyright. Make sure to subscribe on your favorite podcast platforms and share the podcast with your colleagues.

Listen on mobile platforms:  Apple Podcasts LogoApple Podcasts |  Spotify LogoSpotify
Contact Us:

Twitter: ⁠@gebauerm⁠, or ⁠@glambert⁠
Voicemail: 713-487-7821
Email: geekinreviewpodcast@gmail.com
Music: ⁠Jerry David DeCicca

Transcript

Continue Reading From Pain to Creativity: How AI Helped Kristina Kashtanova Illustrate Their “Zarya of the Dawn” Story – featuring Richmond Law’s Ashley Dobbs and Roger Skalbeck (TGIR Ep. 196)

There is a lot of buzz around ChatGPT and GPT 3.5, but is it really the next Tesla, or is it the next IBM Watson? We talk with HyperDraft’s Tony Thai and Ashley Carlisle about OpenAI’s popular tool and why, lawyers at least, shouldn’t be ready to go all in on this specific technology. While there are great examples of how GPT 3.5 impressively handled things like Bar Exam questions, there are still a lot of unknowns from this resource from a company that started out as Open Source and non-profit, but has released a product that is neither.
While the conversation focused a lot on the short comings of ChatGPT, there is a lot of promise in the technology, even if it may be years before it can handle the complex issues that lawyers and the legal community handle on behalf of their clients. Are we going to reach The Singularity in 2023, or is it decades away? Can AI plug the Access to Justice gap, or will it cause more issues than it solves? Will this specific AI tool continue to improve as it devours more data and leverages millions of users, or will it become corrupted by bad actors who discover how it inputs its data?
Can society use this to better ourselves, or will it become another way to play upon our short attention spans?
We cover all of this and more in a roundtable discussion. We’d love to hear your thoughts on what value you see in ChatGPT and GPT 3.5 in the legal industry. So reach out to us on Twitter or give us a call!

Listen on mobile platforms:  Apple Podcasts LogoApple Podcasts |  Spotify LogoSpotify
Links:
Contact Us:
Twitter: @gebauerm, or @glambert
Voicemail: 713-487-7821
Email: geekinreviewpodcast@gmail.com
Music: 
Jerry David DeCicca
Transcript 

Continue Reading ChatGPT – If It Sounds Too Good To Be True… – Tony Thai and Ashley Carlisle (TGIR Ep. 185)

It has been almost three years since the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) held its last in-person conference in Washington, DC. Since that time, both the New Orleans (2020) and Cleveland (2021) Conferences were replace with an online event. Needless to say, many members are ready, albeit still with some concerns, to meet their colleagues in person once again. From July 16th through the 19th, nearly 900 members will gather in Denver, Colorado to enjoy the educational and social gathering of law librarians. Another 60+ vendor organizations will also be at the Denver Convention Center under the gaze of the iconic Blue Bear.
We asked current AALL President, Diane Rodriguez, along with AALL Vice-President, Beth Adelman, to take time out of their busy preparation schedules to come in and talk with us about what members and vendors should expect from the conference. Those of us who attend AALL conferences understand that it is truly a technology conference where vendors go to show their enhancements to existing products or to launch new products to the tech savvy end-users of many of their products. Even Bob Ambrogi has put this as one of the top legal tech conferences in the legal industry
Rodriguez and Adelman have spent the last year preparing AALL for a post-pandemic presence in the legal industry and focused not only on returning to in-person events, but also creating a new Strategic Plan for the Association headed by Beth Adelman. In addition, the organization continued its fight for access to justice and legal information. Diane Rodriguez penned an article for the ABA Human Rights Magazine earlier this year titled “Putting the Spotlight on Civics Education: How Law Librarians Are Helping to Bridge the Access to Justice Gap.”
Of course conferences aren’t all educational programming and vendor interactions. We all are working in some baseball, concerts, books stores, and art exhibits while we are there as well. For more information visit the AALL Conference Website.

Listen on mobile platforms:  Apple Podcasts LogoApple Podcasts |  Spotify LogoSpotify
Contact Us
Twitter: @gebauerm or @glambert
Voicemail: 713-487-7270
Email: geekinreviewpodcast@gmail.com
Transcript

Continue Reading Diane Rodriguez and Beth Adelman on AALL’s Preparation for an In-Person Denver Conference (TGIR #164)

We all know that it takes some “outside of the box thinking” to help improve the legal system in the United States, especially when it comes to Pro Se litigants. Courtroom5 CEO and co-founder Sonja Ebron does exactly that with her startup focused on guiding Pro Se litigants through complex court processes. Ed Walters, CEO and co-founder of Fastcase wants the legal industry to stop trying so hard to reinforce that “box.” Together, Ebron and Walters are creating a process to help litigants access and navigate the court system through a combination of case process instructions, legal information, Artificial Intelligence, and collaboration with legal professionals. Eventually, Ebron would like to see the courts themselves leverage Courtroom5’s abilities to help those seeking legal recourse.

Walters stresses that the “North Star” of legal practice should be the wellbeing of clients. In a system where according to The World Justice Project, over 75% of legal needs go unmet, and some 80% of citizens seeking judicial action do so without the use of legal professionals. Part of that solution lies with the courts and the need to focus on the ability “to filter out people who need lawyers helping people who don’t.”

Once again, this is not about replacing lawyers with robots, or encouraging Pro Se litigants to not seek legal assistance. Courtroom5 and Fastcase are seeking ways to improve the overall process of placing the right information in front of litigants, at the right time. Even if those instructions are to highly recommend seeking legal counsel.

Listen on mobile platforms:  Apple Podcasts LogoApple Podcasts |  Spotify LogoSpotify

Links Mention:

Contact Us
Twitter: @gebauerm or @glambert
Voicemail: 713-487-7270
Email: geekinreviewpodcast@gmail.com
Music: 
Jerry David DeCicca

Transcript

Continue Reading The Geek in Review Ep. 160 – Sonja Ebron and Ed Walters Collaborate on Courtroom5 and Fastcase to Help Pro Se Litigants Access Justice

Ian McDougall is the General Counsel for LexisNexis, as well as the President of LexisNexis’ Rule of Law Foundation. According to the Foundation, The Rule of Law is made up of four parts:

1. Equality Under the Law
2. Transparency of Law
3. Independent Judiciary
4. Accessible Legal Remedy

For there to be a true existence of Rule of Law, all four parts must be present in the governments which rule the people. McDougall says that no country has mastered the Rule of Law, and that ideals like democracy and justice can cause significant barriers to the Rule of Law. Without the Rule of Law, there is no true access to justice. Without the Rule of Law, commerce doesn’t flow. McDougall is working with partners, including the United Nations, NGOs and corporate operations to establish stable environments, for people, as well as commerce.

Listen on mobile platforms:  Apple Podcasts LogoApple Podcasts | Overcast LogoOvercast | Spotify LogoSpotify

Information Inspirations:

We live in an age of massive data, analytics, business intelligence tools which allow industry leaders to gain insights on their organizations, industry, and competition. With all these resources, data, analytics, and insights at their fingertips, Deloitte’s recent survey of over 1,000 industry leaders exposes that a majority of these leaders still desire the simplicity of spreadsheets. To borrow from Henry Ford, they desire a faster horse.
Continue Reading The Geek in Review Ep. 47: Ian McDougall on LexisNexis’ Rule of Law Foundation