We talk with Michael Bommarito, CEO of 273 Ventures and well-known innovator and thinker in legal technology and education. Bommarito and his colleague, Daniel Katz were behind GPT-3 and GPT-4 taking the Bar Exam. While he and Katz understand the hype in the media reaction, he states that most of the legal and technology experts who were following the advancements in generative AI, expected the results and had already moved on to the next phase in the use of AI in legal.

Michael Bommarito on his farm in Michigan, alongside his trusty friend Foggy.

While we talked to Michael a couple of days before the news broke about a lawyer in New York who submitted a brief to the court relying upon ChatGPT to write the brief and not understanding that AI tools can completely make up cases, fact pattern, and citations, he does talk about the fact that we are falling behind in educating law students and other in understanding how to use Large Language Models (LLMs) properly. In fact, if we don’t start teaching 1Ls and 2Ls in law school immediately, law schools will be doing a disservice for their students for many years to come.

Currently, Bommarito is following up his work at LexPredict, which was sold to Elevate Services in 2018, with 273 Ventures and Kelvin.Legal. With these companies, he aims to bring more efficiency and reduce marginal costs in the legal industry through the application of AI. He sees the industry as one that primarily deals with information and knowledge, yet continues to struggle with high costs and inefficiency. With 273 Ventures and Kelvin.Legal, he is building solutions to help firms bring order to the chaos that is their legal data.

AI and data offer promising solutions for the legal industry but foundational issues around education and adaptation must be addressed. Bommarito explains that decades of inefficiency and mismatched data need to be adjusted before the true value of the AI tools can be achieved. He also believes that while there might have been many false starts on adjustments to the billable hour through things like Alternative Fee Arrangements (AFAs) in the past, the next 12-36 months are going to be pivotal in shifting the business model of the legal industry.

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Continue Reading Michael Bommarito on Preparing Law Students for the Future, and His Quest on Bringing Order to the Chaos of Legal Data (TGIR Ep. 205)

This week we have Damien Riehl, VP, Litigation Workflow and Analytics Content at FastCase, and one of the drivers behind SALI (Standards Advancement for   for the Legal Industry.) Damien is definitely a “big thinker” when it comes to the benefits of creating and using standards for the legal industry. SALI is a system of tagging legal information to allow for better filtering and analysis. It works like Amazon’s product tags, where a user can search for a specific area of law, such as patent law, and then choose between various services such as advice, registration, transactional, dispute, or bankruptcy services. The tags cover everything from the substance of law to the business of law, with over 13,000 tags in the latest version. SALI is being adopted by major legal information providers such as Thomson Reuters, Lexis, Bloomberg, NetDocuments, and iManage, with each provider using the same standardized identifiers for legal work. With this standardization, it will be possible to perform the same API query across different providers and receive consistent results. Imagine the potential of being able to ask one question that is understood by all your database and external systems?
In that same vein, we expand our discussion to include how Artificial Intelligence tools like Large Language Models (i.e., ChatGPT, Google BARD, Meta’s LLM) could assist legal professionals in their quest to find information, create documents, and help outline legal processes and practices.
He proposed three ways of thinking about the work being done by these models, which are largely analogous to traditional methods. The first way is what Riehl refers to as a “bullshitter,” where a model generates information without providing citations for the information. The second way is called a “searcher,” where a model generates a legal brief, but does not provide citations, forcing the user to search for support. The third way is called a “researcher,” where the model finds relevant cases and statutes, extracts relevant propositions, and crafts a brief based on them.
Riehl believes that option three, being a researcher, is the most likely to win in the future, as it provides “ground truth” from the start. He cites Fastcase’s acquisition of Judicata as an example of how AI can be used to help with research by providing unique identifiers for every proposition and citation, enabling users to evaluate the credibility of the information. In conclusion, Riehl sees a future where AI is used to help researchers by providing a pick list of the most common propositions and citations, which can then be further evaluated by the researcher.
One thing is very clear, we are just at the beginning of a shift in how the legal industry processes information. Riehl’s one-two combination of SALI Standards combined with additional AI and human capabilities will create a divide amongst the bullshitters, the searchers, and the researchers.

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Twitter: @gebauerm, or @glambert
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Transcript


Continue Reading The Bullshitter, The Searcher, and The Researcher – Damien Riehl on the Dynamic Shift in How the Legal Profession Will Leverage Standards and Artificial Intelligence

Jim Hannigan, the Director of Legal Project Management at Coblentz Patch Duffy & Bass LLP and a member of the leadership team and standards committee at SALI Alliance walks us through the importance surround data standards when it comes to legal matters. Creating standards is the first step in allowing those of us in the legal services industry to speak the same language, and create ways of comparing apples to apples when it comes to marketing pitches, prior experience, or matter pricing. Hannigan discusses why SALI was created, the release of the first set of matter standards in January of this year, and what to expect at the LMA P3 Conference next month.

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We also discuss the current situation with Wolters Kluwer experiencing a ransomeware attack which shut down most of it’s online resource tools. WK has been very open about what happened, and is keeping a public statement page open as they begin to bring services back online – although, others may not agree. Just another reason to watch out for those phishing emails!

Information Inspirations

Legal innovation needs to learn some new tricks.” Rae Digby-Morgan at Wilson Fletcher, tells us that you can’t just slap “legal” or “law” onto a process and think that it makes it special. In fact, the legal industry may be a bit too much insular and should open up to non-legal experts to come in and advise us on how to improve our processes. She also reminds everyone that process improvement does not equal innovation. The value-add results of process improvements are expected by our clients… and is the floor, not the ceiling. If you want to separate yourself from the competition, being truly innovative will help.

How a Google Street View image of your house predicts your risk of a car accident. Standford University and the University of Warsaw in Poland have tested Google’s Street View images of individual’s houses to determine how likely they will be to file an auto insurance claim. Reportedly, they improved predictability by 2%. Scary! Marlene wonders what are the next factors in determining future actions? If you run 5K’s, or donate to non-profits?

Kim Kardashian and Legal Team Help Free 17 Prisoners in 90 Days. Although neither Greg nor Marlene watch KUWTK, or follow Kim on Instragram, they have nothing but good things to say about her work to help free 17 people who were imprisoned and drug related charges. Some serving life sentences. If you’re going to have power and fame and a platform, using it for social justice is a great way to use it.

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Continue Reading Jim Hannigan – SALI Alliance and Why Matter Standards … Really Matter