In the latest episode of “The Geek in Review” podcast, co-hosts Greg Lambert and Marlene Gebauer continue their series of interviews from this year’s LegalWeek conference by engaging with Joshua Lenon from Clio. As Clio’s Lawyer in Residence, Lenon delves into the insights derived from the company’s Legal Trends Report, emphasizing the data-driven analysis of law firm practices and trends. The report, which leverages aggregated anonymous usage data from tens of thousands of law firms using Clio, offers a unique perspective on the productivity, billing, and technological adoption within the legal industry, particularly among mid-sized law firms.

Lenon shares intriguing findings from the report, highlighting a significant increase in productivity, billable hours, and revenue across the industry over the past eight years. However, a closer examination of mid-sized law firms (defined as those with 20 to 200 lawyers) reveals disparities in matter handling and productivity gains compared to smaller firms. Lenon explains how mid-sized firms maintain a consistent workload per lawyer by adjusting the ratio of lawyers to non-lawyer timekeepers based on demand. This adaptability showcases the strategic management of resources within mid-sized firms to optimize efficiency and service delivery.

The discussion further explores the impact of financial technology (FinTech) on law firms’ operational efficiency. Lenon illustrates how adopting new payment methods and technologies significantly improves firms’ collection rates and client payment experiences. Specifically, mid-sized firms that embrace FinTech and client-centered approaches see notable improvements in their financial health, underscoring the importance of innovation in enhancing legal services delivery.

Lenon also introduces Clio Duo, an in-house AI tool designed to enhance law firms’ access to and interaction with their own data. By providing a chat-based interface for exploring firm data, Clio Duo aims to streamline tasks and improve efficiency, allowing lawyers to focus on high-value work rather than administrative tasks. This development represents Clio’s commitment to leveraging technology to address the evolving needs of the legal profession.

Lenon predicts some of the challenges and opportunities facing the legal profession, particularly in relation to artificial intelligence (AI) and document creation tools. He speculates on the limitations imposed by traditional word processing applications like Microsoft Word and suggests that the future will likely see a paradigm shift towards more interactive and multi-dimensional tools for legal work. This shift, Lenon argues, could dramatically enhance productivity by integrating AI more seamlessly into the legal drafting process, moving beyond the static, page-focused approach of current software.

Throughout the conversation, Lenon’s insights underscore the dynamic interplay between technology and legal practice. As legal technology evolves, so too does the potential for law firms of all sizes to improve efficiency, client satisfaction, and ultimately, profitability. The episode illuminates the importance of data-driven decision-making and technological adaptation in the legal industry’s future. By embracing these tools and insights, law firms can better navigate the challenges of the modern legal landscape, ensuring they remain competitive and responsive to their clients’ needs.

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Email: geekinreviewpodcast@gmail.com
Music: ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Jerry David DeCicca⁠⁠⁠⁠

⁠Transcript

Continue Reading LegalWeek 2024 Special Part Four: Joshua Lenon from Clio

In the latest episode of “The Geek in Review” podcast, hosts Greg Lambert and Marlene Gebauer continue their series of interviews at the 2024 LegalWeek conference with guest Bill Piwonka, the Chief Marketing Officer at Exterro. The conversation dives into Exterro’s participation at LegalWeek, highlighting the return to pre-COVID attendance levels and the

We kick off our new “Love & Legal Tech” series this week where we embark on a journey to explore the personal and professional lives of couples in the legal tech industry. We are excited to interview couples who share in the excitement of weaving their professional endeavors into their personal relationships. We think this is going to be a great series where couples get a chance to tell their stories of how they balance what one of our guests describes as “Work-Life-Integration.”

Our inaugural guests, Alex Macdonald and Cassie Vertovec share their unique story of how a solid professional collaboration slowly turned into a deep, personal connection.  Alex, the Chief Strategy Officer at McCarter and English, LLP, and Cassie, the Practice Director of Corporate and Director of Practice Strategies at Barnes & Thornburg, began their journey in the legal tech world at Seyfarth Shaw.  Over the years they have found themselves leading teams together, moving across the country, isolating together during the pandemic, and most recently working in similar firms. They navigated their careers with mutual respect and understanding, highlighting the importance of communication and shared values in both their professional and personal lives.

They provide insights into the dynamics of working as a couple while maintaining a balance between work and persona life. Which is no easy feat as they are both intertwined with the legal profession. Their story is a testament to the idea that professional collaboration can lead to personal growth and deeper connections.

Our hopes with the “Love & Legal Tech” series are that we not only offer a glimpse into the lives of a couple navigating love and legal tech but also shed light on broader themes within the legal industry, including the shift towards greater tech integration and the challenges and opportunities it presents. Our sincere thanks to Cassie and Alex for sharing their story with us on this series premiere.

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Email: geekinreviewpodcast@gmail.com
Music: ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Jerry David DeCicca⁠⁠⁠⁠

⁠Transcript

Continue Reading Love and Legal Tech: Cassie Vertovec and Alex Macdonald

In the second of a special series of interviews from Legal Week 2024 , co-hosts Greg Lambert and Marlene Gebauer welcomed Mollie Nichols, CEO, and Mark Noel, Chief Information and Technology Officer of Redgrave Data. Nichols and Noel discuss Redgrave Data’s mission to cut through the hype of legal tech innovations, particularly generative AI. Nichols emphasized the company’s focus on delivering custom solutions that meet clients’ actual needs and highlighted the importance of educating the legal community on effectively integrating new technologies into their practices.

Mark Noel emphasized the strategic addition of data scientists to their team, enabling Redgrave Data to develop and advise on cutting-edge technologies. He stressed the importance of applying generative AI judiciously, pointing out its limitations and the potential for misuse if not properly vetted. Noel and Nichols shared insights on navigating the legal tech landscape, emphasizing efficiency, data management, and the careful evaluation of tech solutions.

Looking forward, Noel predicted a recalibration of expectations for generative AI in the legal industry, suggesting a period of disillusionment might follow the initial hype. Conversely, Nichols expressed optimism about the industry’s ability to thoughtfully incorporate new technologies, enhancing legal practices through careful testing and integration. Their discussion underscored the evolving nature of legal tech and the critical role of strategic implementation in leveraging its benefits.

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

⁠Transcript

Continue Reading LegalWeek 2024 Special Part Two: Mollie Nichols and Mark Noel from Redgrave Data

This week, Greg Lambert sat down with Caroline Hill, Editor-in-Chief for Legal IT Insider to discuss the new partnership with NetLaw Media. Hill described the new partnership between Legal IT Insider and NetLaw Media as a mutually beneficial collaboration with significant synergy between the two organizations. She emphasized the complementarity of their focuses, with Legal IT Insider’s emphasis on impartial coverage and promotion of various conferences in the legal tech sector, and NetLaw Media’s focus on technology and IT security. Hill noted that both organizations share common sponsors and audiences, which enhances the partnership’s potential​​.

She also mentioned the importance of working with Frances Anderson, the chief executive of NetLaw Media. Hill pointed out that NetLaw Media has been running the British Legal Technology Forum for years, indicating a deep involvement in the legal tech community.

Greg and Caroline also discussed the dramatic change in Legal Tech in 2023, and the continued shift in the industry as demands increase on law firms and others to truly implement AI solutions in 2024.

Hill pointed out that many law firms lack the expertise to build AI solutions themselves and therefore rely heavily on their business partners (vendors) for these capabilities. She suggested that the solution might lie in leaning on these business partners, but noted the challenge of justifying the costs to law firm leadership. She further mentioned the challenge of capacity and waitlists for AI projects, indicating that this has become a source of competition among law firms. The ability to quickly understand and adapt to the requirements of working with AI and establish effective vendor relationships is crucial for law firms to stay competitive and relevant in the rapidly evolving legal tech landscape​​.

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⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠

Contact Us: 

Twitter: ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠@gebauerm⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠, or ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠@glambert

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Email: geekinreviewpodcast@gmail.com

Music: ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Jerry David DeCicca⁠⁠⁠⁠

⁠Transcript

Continue Reading Navigating the Future of Legal Tech with Caroline Hill (TGIR Ep. 233)

In this episode, Marlene Gebauer interviews attendees at two recent legal tech conferences – the TLTF Summit and the Legal AI Pathfinder’s Assembly. She asks them about the biggest impacts they foresee AI and other innovations having on the legal industry in 2024. Their responses range from predictions that AI will help automate legal workflows and build tools faster, to allowing for better data analytics and metrics to improve client relationships and retention.

Marlene and Greg comment on the various perspectives shared. Key themes that emerge include leveraging AI to improve efficiency and processes, being cautious not to move too quickly, opportunities to reduce legal costs and enhance Access to Justice and hopes that 2024 will see AI tools become more practical and move beyond “party tricks”. While recognizing the excitement around AI, they emphasize focusing on real business problems to solve rather than just implementing solutions for their own sake.

List of Speakers:

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Email: geekinreviewpodcast@gmail.com
Music: ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Jerry David DeCicca⁠⁠⁠⁠

Transcript

Continue Reading Projections for Legal Tech and Innovations in 2024 (TGIR Ep. 232)

This week we catch up with Jeff Pfeifer and Serena Wellen from LexisNexis to discuss the rapid development of AI tools for the legal industry over the past year. Pfeifer and Wellen give us an insider’s view of what it took to bring their Lexis+ AI tool to the market and the balance between speed to market and getting solid customer guidance on what they need in a legal-focused Generative AI tool. Between the initial version released to a select group of customers and the current version, the product grew from an open-ended chat interface into more of a guided resource that helps users on creating and following up on prompts. As with most AI tools created in the past year, there is still more potential as more and more customers use it and give critical feedback along the way.

In addition to Lexis+ AI, LexisNexis has now launched two additional AI products – Lexis Snapshot and Lexis Create. Lexis Snapshot summarizes legal complaints to help firms monitor litigation. Lexis Create brings AI capabilities directly into Microsoft Word to assist with drafting and research while lawyers are working on documents. The goal is to embed insights where lawyers are actually doing their work rather than separate AI tools.

While the focus of the initial Generative AI tools from LexisNexis were focused on the US market, Serena Wellen and her team are busy expanding that to more of an international reach. This requires adapting the models, content, and interface to different languages and legal systems. This is complex undertaking, but Wellen discusses how LexisNexis has content and editors around the world to help customize the tools. Surprisingly, desired use cases are fairly consistent globally – both simple legal tasks as well as more advanced legal research and drafting.

Greg Lambert brings up a recent LinkedIn discussion that he had with Microsoft’s Jason Barnwell, where Barnwell told him that today’s version of Generative AI tools are “the worst these things will ever be.” In response, Pfeifer says that LexisNexis is focused on continuously improving answer quality to build trust and prove the value of AI to skeptical lawyers. LexisNexis is leveraging relationships with companies like Microsoft to reinforce the stability and progress being made.

Wellen and Pfeifer look into the future and predicted that AI assistants will become highly personalized to individual lawyers. AI agents will also proliferate across platforms to help automate tasks and workflows. Law firms will likely accelerate their adoption of AI tools based on rising expectations and demands from corporate legal departments to work more efficiently.

Listen on mobile platforms:  ⁠Apple Podcasts⁠ |  ⁠Spotify⁠ | YouTube

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Email: geekinreviewpodcast@gmail.com
Music: ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Jerry David DeCicca⁠⁠⁠⁠

Transcript

Continue Reading Pfeifer and Wellen Give an Inside Look at LexisNexis’ AI Sprint (TGIR Ep. 230)

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.

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Twitter: ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠@gebauerm⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠, or ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠@glambert⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠
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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

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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)

This episode of The Geek in Review podcast provides an in-depth look at how the AI assistant Paxton, created by Tanguy Chau and Mike Ulin, is transforming legal work. The hosts speak with the founders of Paxton to explore the pain points their technology aims to solve and how generative AI can enhance lawyers’ capabilities.

Tanguy and Mike discuss their backgrounds in AI, regulatory compliance, venture capital, and management consulting. This diverse experience informed their vision for Paxton as an AI assistant specifically built for legal and compliance professionals. They explain that Paxton is trained on millions of legal documents and regulations, allowing it to search this vast knowledge and retrieve highly relevant information rapidly. A key feature they highlight is Paxton’s accuracy in citing sources, with every sentence linked back to the original text.

One of the key features of Paxton is that it can automate repetitive, low-value legal work to make lawyers more efficient. Tanguy notes that tasks like reviewing thousands of sales contracts clause-by-clause or compiling 50-state surveys that once took weeks can now be done by Paxton in minutes. Mike discusses Paxton’s advanced document comparison capabilities that go beyond keyword matching to understand meaning and intent. This allows quick, substantive analysis of contracts, marketing materials, and more.

Exploring the future, Mike predicts that like software developers, lawyers who embrace AI will become much more productive. But higher-level strategic thinking will remain uniquely human. Tanguy shares an analogy of a human on a bicycle outpacing a condor, the most efficient animal. He believes combining human creativity with AI tools like Paxton will enable radically new levels of efficiency and capability.

Paxton.AI’s Tanguy and Mike make a compelling case that AI-powered tools such as Paxton will fundamentally transform legal work. By automating repetitive tasks, AI will free lawyers to focus on high-value, client-facing work. Overall, this episode provides great insights into how generative AI may soon become indispensable for legal professionals seeking to improve their productivity and capabilities.

As a special treat, we wrap up the interview with a demonstration of Paxton.AI’s capabilities. (YouTube only)

Links:

Paxton AI (try the Beta for free)

Forbes Article: Unlocking The 10x Lawyer: How Generative AI Can Transform The Legal Landscape

Using Generative AI to analyze the 45 page Trump Indictment using Paxton AI

Unveiling Paxton AI’s Newest Features: Boolean Composer and Document Compare

Instantly Analyzing the Congressional UFO Hearing with Generative AI powered by Paxton AI

Transcript:Continue Reading Paxton.AI’s Tanguy Chau & Michael Ulin: How AI Allows Legal Work to Soar to New Heights (TGIR Ep. 220)