Today vLex is announcing a suite of AI tools in its research assistant platform Vincent AI. Since the merger with Fastcase in 2023, vLex has offered the “world’s most comprehensive AI legal research platform.” vLex has launched an invitation-only beta which includes a suite of large language model (LLM) tools. The beta will be offered to additional users in the coming months.
This announcement ratchets up the already feverish competition taking place in the legal research market. Thomson Reuters recently purchased Casetext CoCounsel for 650 Million and is expected to launch an integration with Westlaw Precision before the end of the year. LexisNexis is testing AI tools with customers and Bloomberg Law has made AI tools available in an Innovation Studio. All are expected to launch LLM enabled AI tools in the near future. I anticipate that we are in for a year (or maybe a decade) of leapfrogging AI technology launches. .
“AI tools are only as good as the data they rely on,” said vLex CEO Lluís Faus, “and the vLex law library is one of the largest collections of structured law on the planet, including leading expert commentary. That leads to unprecedented insights for legal tasks. For legal LLMs, this release is a major improvement. It is as big as the jump from ChatGPT to GPT4. The results are astonishing.”
vLex contains the law of more than 110 nations, and includes more than 1 billion cases, statutes, regulations, dockets, pleadings and motions in its collection. Vincent AI offers answers based on their proprietary database of primary and secondary materials and expert treatises.
Ed Walters View Ed Walters one of the co-founders of Fastcase and now Chief Strategy Officer at vLex, offered me a demo of Vincent AI.In order to prevent “hallucinations” Vincent AI answers are based on the vLex proprietary database. One interesting feature is that in response to a research question, a user will see the sources on which the answer is based. The user, then has the option to exclude specific sources if they choose to. I asked Walters how users would know if the cited sources are reliable precedent. Prior to the merger with vLex, Fastcase has acquired the Judicata software which drives the new Cert -citation validation feature.
Walters describes Vincent AI as a “first draft” assistant – and like good law professor, Walters warns that lawyers still bear responsibility for validating their research results – even when using an AI assistant.
State and international Statute Surveys “on the fly” As part of the demo, Ed showed how lawyers can get AI generated multi- jurisdictional answers to a legal question across, individual US states as well as across the four countries which are currently included in Vincent AI
Which Countries are Covered? The new Vincent AI tools already work in the United Kingdom, the United States, Ireland, and Spain, in English and Spanish, with more jurisdictions to be added on a rolling basis.
Vincent AI Currently Offers 8 Skill Sets
Vincent AI accepts questions in natural language, conducts research in primary and secondary sources, presents a customizable source list, summaries of research and verifiable hyperlinks, and then creates research memos or arguments from the results in different formats. For the beta launch, Vincent AI will include 8 skills:
- Ask a Question – create a research memo to answer legal questions with direct citations and links to verified sources, including Fastcase’s Cert citator in the United States
- Build an Argument – Vincent will research and create winning arguments for or against propositions, based on precedent in specific jurisdictions
- Compare Law in Different Jurisdictions – forum shop or compare governing law across different states in the United States, or between different countries
- Spot Legal Issues – read and summarize instantly the issues in a case
- Headnote Summaries – create editorial headnotes for a case on the fly
- Document as a Search – drag and drop a document and automatically find related precedents without additional searches
- Related Authorities – during research, find related authorities from vLex, including primary and secondary materials.
- Vincent for Word – Access Vincent AI while drafting from inside Microsoft Word
As advanced as the new suite of Vincent AI tools are, legal professionals will find them easier to use than traditional legal research tools. “What’s great about this product is that lawyers will immediately recognize it — saying ‘I know what that is’ — drastically reducing or eliminating any learning curve,” said Scott Rechtschaffen, Shareholder and Chief Knowledge Officer of San Francisco-based Littler.
How vLex Is Addressing Security and Reliability
The following in included in today’s press release:
To safeguard against the dangers of unconstrained LLMs, Vincent AI sources authorities directly from our vast database of authoritative legal sources including case law, statutory and regulatory information, and secondary sources.. Vincent AI draws its answers only from real cases and real legal materials — offering unparalleled trust and verification.
vLex’s comprehensive sources, coupled with the company’s AI-powered search functionality, means that Vincent AI translates natural language questions into a complete and thorough search: identifying trusted data that a manual search may have left unnoticed. With Vincent AI, legal professionals experience unparalleled efficiency, accuracy, and comprehensive legal insights:
- Verified answers with no hallucinations: With individualized summaries, linked directly to primary and secondary materials, Vincent AI helps you understand exactly how each case, act, law, or article addresses your questions.
- Unprecedented user control: While most systems limit users to the cases they present, Vincent AI is designed for user autonomy. Legal professionals can omit or even add cases to the analysis, while viewing the sources’ relevant text. This level of control is unparalleled in the industry.
- Global legal intelligence: Only with Vincent AI can legal professionals go beyond country borders — obtaining fast and accurate legal answers — bridging the gap in international and comparative research. With access to exclusive and comprehensive primary and secondary materials sourced from vLex’s massive, worldwide database, Vincent AI’s smart search ensures that research leaves no stone unturned.
- Build and counter arguments: More than just answers, Vincent AI lets users formulate compelling arguments, support propositions, counter opposing views, and even anticipate counterarguments.
“We are proud to launch this new feature, built using the largest collections of legal information in the world – to answer questions reliably in a way that no other provider can,” said Robin Chesterman, Global Head of Product, vLex. “Vincent AI is now the only tool on the market that can build arguments and answer research questions in different jurisdictions, using verified, customizable sources to ensure responsible, ethical, and accurate performance.”
Join the waitlist
With search, summarization, and now interactive assistive features, Vincent AI can identify related documents from around the world in a matter of seconds, generating accurate summaries by generating headnotes and identifying the key legal issues, as well as answering research questions. Law firms wishing to be notified as Vincent AI’s new skills become available may join the waitlist via the new vLex Insights Program at www.vlex.com/insights.