Artificial Intelligence

In this episode of “The Geek in Review,” hosts Greg Lambert and Marlene Gebauer celebrate the one-year anniversary of CoCounsel, the pioneering Generative AI Legal Research Tool launched by CaseText. They are joined by Pablo Arredondo, Vice President of CoCounsel at Thomson Reuters and co-founder of CaseText, to discuss the significant strides and challenges faced in developing and implementing generative AI in legal research. Pablo shares insights into the early days of exploring generative AI and the transformative potential it held for overcoming the limitations of traditional keyword-based search methods in legal research.

The conversation delves into the technical and strategic journey of bringing CoCounsel to market, highlighting the team’s rapid pivot to leverage GPT-4 technology and the collaborative effort that ensured its successful launch. Pablo emphasizes the importance of quality control, trust, and addressing the nuanced requirements of legal research to ensure that CoCounsel met the high expectations of its users, including law librarians and legal professionals.

Pablo also reflects on the broader implications of generative AI for the legal industry, including the rapid adoption by law firms and legal departments seeking to leverage this technology to enhance their research capabilities and workflow efficiencies. The discussion touches on the ongoing challenges and opportunities presented by generative AI, such as regulatory considerations, ethical concerns, and the need for continuous education and adaptation within the legal profession.

The acquisition of CaseText by Thomson Reuters is discussed, with Pablo sharing his perspective on the strategic move and its potential to further expand and enhance CoCounsel’s capabilities and reach. He highlights the synergy between CaseText’s innovative approach and Thomson Reuters’ extensive resources and market presence, which together aim to drive the next wave of advancements in legal technology and research tools.

Finally, the episode explores future directions for generative AI in legal research, including the expansion of CoCounsel’s capabilities to encompass a wider range of legal tasks and its potential to transform the practice of law. Pablo’s enthusiasm for the possibilities ahead underscores the significant impact that generative AI is set to have on the legal industry, promising to revolutionize how legal professionals interact with information and conduct research.

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Music: ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Jerry David DeCicca⁠⁠⁠⁠ and Eve Searls

⁠Transcript

Continue Reading Pablo Arredondo on the One-Year Anniversary of CoCounsel

For the entire history of human civilization, the ability to put words together intelligently, whether spoken or written, has indicated an underlying level of understanding and a general level of intelligence of the speaker or writer. The development of Generative AI may be a major milestone in the creation of artificial intelligence, but it also

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

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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⁠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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⁠Transcript

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

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.

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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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Transcript

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

This week on The Geek in Review podcast Marlene Gebauer and Greg Lambert featured guests Colin Levy, Ashley Carlisle, and Dorna Moini discussing Levy’s recently published book “Handbook of Legal Tech.” Levy edited the book and contributors included Moini, Carlisle’s CEO, Tony Thai, and many more legal technology experts. The book provides an overview of key technologies transforming the legal industry like automation, AI, blockchain, document automation, CLM, and more.

Levy shared how he ended up editing the book, describing it as “herding cats” to get busy experts to contribute chapters. He wanted the book to serve as a comprehensive introduction to legal tech, with each chapter written by leaders in the various subject matter areas. Carlisle and Moini explained their motivations for taking time out of their demanding schedules to write chapters – spreading knowledge to help move the industry forward and impart insights from their work.

The guests reflected on their favorite parts of the experience. Levy enjoyed bringing together the community and seeing different perspectives. Carlisle appreciated being able to consolidate information on contract lifecycle management. Moini was proud to contribute right before having a baby. Lambert highlighted Levy juggling this book and writing his own solo book on legal tech stories from the front lines.

The guests offered advice to law students and lawyers looking to learn about and leverage legal tech. Carlisle emphasized starting with an open mind, intentional research, and reading widely from legal tech thought leaders. Moini recommended thinking big but starting small with iterative implementation. Levy stressed knowing your purpose and motivations to stay focused amidst the vast array of options.

Lambert prompted the guests to identify low-hanging fruit legal technologies those new to practice should focus on. Levy pointed to document automation and AI. Moini noted that intake and forms digitization can be a first step for laggards. Carlisle advised starting small with discrete tasks before tackling advanced tools.

For their forward-looking predictions, Carlisle saw AI hype fading but increasing tech literacy, Levy predicted growing focus on use and analysis of data as AI advances, and Moini forecasted a rise in online legal service delivery. The guests are excited about spreading awareness through the book to help transform the legal industry.

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Transcript:Continue Reading Colin Levy, Dorna Moini, and Ashley Carlisle on Herding Cats and Heralding Change: The Inside Scoop on the “Handbook of Legal Tech”

On this episode of The Geek in Review, hosts Marlene Gebauer and Greg Lambert delve into how AI can transform legal writing with ClearBrief founder and CEO Jacqueline Schafer. As a former litigator, Schafer experienced firsthand the frustrating scramble to finalize briefs and prepare filings. She founded ClearBrief in 2020 to leverage AI to analyze documents and suggest relevant evidence and citations to streamline drafting.

ClearBrief integrates into Microsoft Word to align with lawyers’ existing workflows. By uploading case documents and discovery materials, the AI can pull facts and quotes directly from the record to support legal arguments in the brief. New features even generate chronologies and timelines from case files automatically. Schafer explains the AI doesn’t hallucinate text from scratch, avoiding ethical pitfalls. Rigorous security and confidentiality controls provide the trust needed to gain adoption at top law firms.

According to Schafer, attorneys now exhibit much greater openness to tailored AI tools that enhance productivity versus disrupting their workflows entirely. Younger associates and paralegals tend to be most enthusiastic about the technology while firm leadership lags. She believes empowering the next generation of legal professionals with AI will modernize law practice to better serve unmet needs.

Looking ahead, Schafer expects to expand ClearBrief’s features to assist paralegals along with corporate attorneys beyond litigation. By leveraging AI to handle tedious tasks like cite-checking, lawyers can focus their time on high-value analysis and strategy. With the aid of trusted AI writing assistants, attorneys can craft compelling briefs and filings more efficiently while still verifying the underlying sources.

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Transcript:Continue Reading Jacqueline Schafer on Writing Briefs at the Speed of AI: How ClearBrief is Transforming Legal Drafting

On this episode of The Geek in Review, hosts Marlene Gebauer and Greg Lambert interview Thomas Suh, Founder and CEO, and Ken Block, Senior Account Executive of LegalMation. The company provides AI-powered tools to help litigators automate repetitive tasks and work more efficiently. The conversation focuses on LegalMation’s products, overcoming resistance to adopting new legal tech, and predictions for the future evolution of legal service delivery.

Suh provides background on founding LegalMation about seven years ago to help streamline the “scut work” litigation associates spend time on. The flagship product automates drafting responses to lawsuits, discovery requests, demand letters, and more by leveraging a firm’s historical data. LegalMation initially built an automation tool internally at a law firm before deciding to spin it off into a standalone legal tech company. The product found an early champion in the form of a corporate legal department interested in licensing it. Today, LegalMation serves large corporate legal departments, law firms, and insurance companies.

Suh and Block discuss common roadblocks to adopting new legal technology like lack of trust and skepticism. Suh notes the importance of identifying the right use cases where efficiency gains matter most. For high-stakes litigation, efficiency may be less of a concern than for high-volume routine matters. Corporate legal departments are often early adopters because they are focused on efficiency and supplementing personnel. Law firms still incentivized by billable hours may be warier of efficiency gains.

For the YouTube Viewers, Block demonstrates LegalMation’s Response Creator tool for automating drafting of responses to complaints and discovery requests. The AI leverages a firm’s historical data to maintain proper tone and style while speeding up document preparation significantly. Lawyers can still review and edit the AI-generated drafts before finalizing. Suh explains that because the AI relies solely on a firm’s data, it maintains consistency rather than attempting to generate random creative language.

Looking ahead, Suh predicts that the litigation process will become more modular, with different firms or providers specializing in discrete phases rather than handling a case end-to-end. Block emphasizes that younger lawyers expect to leverage more technology and are unwilling to slog through repetitive manual tasks, which will force law firms to adapt. Technology stacks and automation will become selling points for recruiting top young talent.

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Transcript

Continue Reading Thomas Suh and Ken Block on How LegalMation is Revolutionizing Litigation Efficiency (TGIR Ep. 222)