On Wednesday night, Casetext continued to celebrate the launch of their Generative AI platform, CoCounsel with a special “Invitation only” event during LegalWeek in New York. CoCounsel is powered by OpenAI’s GPT 4 and was the first AI technology to successfully pass a bar exam.
The event included a demo of a new CoCounsel workflow for transactional lawyers called “Market Check,” a brief keynote by Stephen Gillers, Elihu Root Professor of Law Emeritus at NYU, a lively panel discussion about the legal business impact and ethical challenges of AI.
What is Market check? Pablo Arredondo, CoFounder and Chief Innovation Officer at Casetext introduced a live demo of Market Check. This new workflow uses the CoCounsel generative AI technology to analyze a corpus of transactional documents and identify the “market standard” for specific clause types. Currently Bloomberg Law and Intelligize both offer “what’s market” analysis on publicly available documents and enable lawyers to compare one or several draft documents with a market standard. Market check could enable a firm to analyze a custom corpus of internal and/or external documents and ask CoCounsel to deliver results in response to “plain English” questions.
The Panel Discussion
Arredondo’s remarks emphasized that each CoCounsel workflow is tested, retested and verified before release. Unlike generalized, publicly available large language models, CoCounsel was built to overcome the natural skepticism of lawyers. Casetext combined the power of Open AI’s most advanced model with its own proprietary legal databases and legal search system, Parallel Search. As a result, CoCounsel can perform substantive tasks such as legal research, document review, deposition preparation, and contract analysis more quickly and accurately than ever before possible. Most importantly, CoCounsel was built to address the privacy and security demands of law firms.
Laura Safdie, Casetext, COO and General Counsel moderated a panel of thought leaders which included Gillers, Darth Vaughn, Legal Innovation Manager at Ford Motor Company, Jae Um of six parsecs. and Andrew Perlman, Dean, and professor of law, Suffolk Law School. (who participated via video).
One of the rubrics which emerged at LegalWeek was repeated by a panelist. “AI will not replace lawyers, but lawyers who use AI will replace the lawyers who don’t.”
Key takeaways from the CoCounsel Panel
- Generative AI needs to be introduced in law school.
- AI will replace tasks not lawyers.
- Law schools need to teach new skills such as strategic thinking.
- Lawyers who use AI without validating and testing the results will be at risk.
- Generative AI will drive the demise of the billable hour.
- Generative AI marks the end of legal services as we know it.
Generative AI raises significant legal and ethical issues. I have heard rumors about law firms imposing bans on the use of generative AI tools. Both Gillers and Perlman were members of the American Bar Association’s Commission on Ethics 20/20, which was responsible for updating the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct to reflect changes in technology and increased globalization. Perlman and Gillers pointed out how the concerns about Generative AI echo similar concerns about using cloud storage, the use of email and even the telephone in generations past. It seems that every technology endured years of skepticism and an ethical “hazing” before landing in the pantheon of essential legal tools.