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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Music: ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Jerry David DeCicca⁠⁠⁠⁠

⁠Transcript

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

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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Music: ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Jerry David DeCicca⁠⁠⁠⁠

⁠Transcript

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

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.

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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.

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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)

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.

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vLex Vincent AI

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⁠Transcript


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

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 explore innovations in legal search with Paulina Grnarova and Yannic Kilcher, co-founders of DeepJudge. This semantic search engine for legal documents leverages proprietary AI developed by experts with backgrounds from Google and academic AI research.

As PhDs from ETH Zurich, Grnarova and Kilcher recognized lawyers needed better access to institutional knowledge rather than constantly reinventing the wheel. DeepJudge moves beyond traditional keyword searches to a deeper integration of search and generative AI models like GPT-3. Partnerships provide financial support and key insights – advisors include execs from Recommind and Kira Systems while collaborations with law firms shape real-world product capabilities.

Discussing product development, Kilcher explains connecting search to language models allows generating summaries grounded in internal data without ethical or security risks of training individual models. Grnarova finds the core problem of connecting users to full knowledge translates universally across firms, though notes larger US firms devote more resources to knowledge management and data science teams.

When asked about the future of AI, Grnarova expresses excitement for AI and humans enhancing each other rather than replacing human roles. Kilcher predicts continued growth in model scale and capability, requiring innovations to sustain rapid progress. They aim to leverage academic research and industry experience to build AI that augments, not displaces, professionals.

DeepJudge stands out for its co-founder expertise and proprietary AI enabling semantic search to tap into institutional knowledge. Instead of reinventing the wheel, lawyers can find relevant precedents and background facts at their fingertips. As Kilcher states, competitive advantage lies in accumulated know-how – their technology surfaces this asset. The future of DeepJudge lies in combining search and generative models for greater insights.

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Contact DeepJudge: info@deepjudge.ai⁠

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Transcript

Continue Reading Paulina Grnarova and Yannic Kilcher from DeepJudge.AI: Unlocking Institutional Knowledge: How AI is Transforming Legal Search (TGIR Ep. 224)