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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Music: Jerry David DeCicca