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)

In this episode of The Geek in Review, hosts Marlene Gebauer and Greg Lambert have an illuminating discussion with Christina Wojcik, the new Managing Director of Corporate for LexFusion. Christina has over 20 years of experience pioneering innovation in the legal services and technology space.

The conversation covers Christina’s diverse background and journey into legal tech, including formative experiences at companies like Pangea3, IBM, Seal Software, and Citi. She shares key lessons learned about the importance of visionary leadership, solving real client problems, and embracing a fearless, entrepreneurial spirit.

Christina provides insights into top pain points for legal departments today, especially at highly regulated organizations like major banks. She discusses the cautious approach many are taking with emergent technologies like generative AI—treating it like a “monster behind the door” to be carefully studied before fully unleashing.

Christina advocates for “failing fast” when testing innovations, allowing for rapid iteration in a safe sandbox environment. She explains her rationale for joining LexFusion and how she hopes to leverage her well-rounded expertise to drive value for legal tech providers and clients alike.

The conversation concludes with Christina’s predictions for the legal industry’s evolution in areas like AI adoption, CLM consolidation, and new service delivery models. She provides a fascinating insider perspective on the future of legal innovation.

https://open.spotify.com/episode/3B4A7EFJBE1WzqUteJXXRr?si=mOC-OyQ4Qhe1glFffLysdg

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

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Twitter: ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠@gebauerm⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠, or ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠@glambert⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠
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Voicemail: 713-487-7821
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Transcript

Continue Reading Unleashing the Legal Monster Behind the Door – LexFusion’s Christina Wojcik (TGIR Ep. 221)