One of the most exciting panels at the 2022 ILTA Conference (What is Natural Language Processing and How can I Use It?) showcased dramatic breakthroughs in neural net technology to natural language processing (NLP). Pablo Arredondo, Co-Founder / Chief Innovation Officer, Casetext provided an intensely passionate tutorial on the history of AI through the centuries. The launch of commercial research systems such as Lexis and Westlaw in the 1980’s dramatically transformed legal research by making cases and statutes keyword-searchable. Arredondo enthusiastically proclaimed that neural net technology can now “free research from the keyword prison.”

Let’s start with a definition. Natural Language Processing is a multi-disciplinary field concerned with the interactions between computers and human language. NLP is also generally considered a sub-field in the broader field of artificial intelligence. As with other areas of AI, the two major approaches (the full story appears at this link  on Legal Tech Hub)

 

Today Thomson Reuters is announcing the release of a new platform Westlaw Precision which promises to dramatically cut research time and improve the quality of research results. Westlaw Precision will be sold as an upgrade to Westlaw Edge. Westlaw Precision is tackling the gnarly and perennial problem of language ambiguity by doubling down on taxonomy. At launch, Westlaw Precision covers 8 topics (Commercial law, Federal Civil Procedure, Federal Discovery and Evidence, Federal Remedies, Federal Class Actions, Employment, Securities, and Anti-trust.) Fifteen new topics will be released through 2023. Only the most recent 12 years of caselaw in each topic are included in search results.

Westlaw Precision includes 6 new features at launch. Precision Research is the “Star of the show.” The other 5 features offer cite checking or workflow enhancements.

“Our customers tell us difficult legal research can often take more than 10 hours per case,” said Mike Dahn, head of Product Management, Westlaw, Thomson Reuters. “It’s time consuming because they are often looking for something very precise, but traditional Continue Reading Westlaw Precision Launches With Promise to Cut Lawyer Research Time in Half

Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory  is launching its AI enhanced workflow tool for GCs in the US. Legisway  is already  well established in the European  In House Counsel market. The product offers contract lifecycle management and customizable modules for a wide range of workflows. Legisway is an all-in-one SaaS solution that powers enterprise legal management for corporate legal departments.

“Wolters Kluwer has a long history of providing actionable solutions for corporate legal professionals, and as legal departments are called upon for key decision-making and strategic counsel within their organizations, it is essential for them to become more effective, connected and collaborative,” said Ken Crutchfield, Vice President & General Manager of Legal Markets at Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory U.S. “The launch of Legisway provides our customers with a workflow-based platform that meets key needs within a law department, and provides powerful reporting, insights, and analytics to support decision making and better outcomes for the department and the broader business.”

Legisway is a configurable, modular, workflow platform, productivity tool and smart repository for small to mid-sized corporate legal Continue Reading Wolters Kluwer Launches AI-Powered Version of Legisway  in the United States for In House Market

 Law360Pulse has released their first post-pandemic “Summer Associate Survey.” As in the past, the questions focused on compensation and hiring, social activities, training and mentorship, and whether law firms adequately prepared them for expected tasks.

2019 was the last year when summer associate programs got a full on site emersion experience complete with mentoring, and the mandatory fun events – cruises, concerts, wine tasting, whitewater rafting etc.. According to the survey 66% of the 2022 respondents participated in a fully in person program this year compared to 27% in 2021.

I was particularly interested in the questions which explored summer associates exposure to innovation and technology.  53% of respondents reported participating in innovation projects. Unfortunately, no details were provided on what type of innovations summer associates were exposed to.

Key Highlights:

  1. Ropes & Gray LLP emerged as the top firm among summer associates, boasting a perfect score and dethroning the incumbent, Morrison Foerster LLP.
  2. Dechert LLP, Alston & Bird LLP, and Skadden Arps Meagher Slate & Flom LLP rounded out the top five. Latham & Watkins LLP saw the biggest leap, up 13 spots from last year.
  3. Summer Associate programs conducted in-person rose to 66% (from only 27% last year.)
  4. Less than half of students (49%) received hiring assurances, down by six percentage points from 2021 and down by a lofty 25 percentage points from 2020.
  5. Signing bonuses are still not the norm: Only 7% of participants reported receiving them, at a median amount of $9,500. 43% percent said their firms offered a bonus to cover living expenses while studying for the bar.
  6. Tech and innovation are lagging: 84% of participants said there was no skill requirement that included giving them the opportunity to create tools to automate workflow, and a scant 20% received software training in contract life cycle management.
  7. In-person experiences were up. Students expressed a lot of excitement about getting to do on-the-job training in actual litigation or deal-making scenarios, in courts, boardrooms and other settings. And 46% categorized their program as “super fun” — almost 19 percentage points more than last year.
  8. The percentage of summer associates allowed to get involved in pro bono work declined to 68% (from 75% last year.)

 

The American Association of Law Libraries (AALL)  has published a new legal research resource for information professionals—law librarians, legal information professionals, and public librarians.

The new resource, Online Legal Information Resources (OLIR)  provides links to primary resources  for all 50 states, the District of Columbia, U.S. territories, the U.S. Federal Government, and Canada.

The resource was developed by the AALL Advancing Access to Justice Special Continue Reading The American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) Publishes Guide to US Primary Law Online

 Courtroom Insight today announced a collaboration with LexisNexis® Legal & Professional.  LN will enable customers who have both Courtroom Insight and LexisNexis to automatically access select Lexis Context Analytics and Lexis+ information about expert witnesses and judges. The new data will appear with  within the Courtroom Insight Knowledge Management platform profiles of judges and experts. This integration also allows Lexis Search Advantage users to easily access and navigate relevant Courtroom Insight profiles and research from within their internal search and document systems.

The first live ILTA meeting since 2019 provided the venue for the launch of this new offering. I sat down with Jeff Pfeifer who explained how the Courtroom Insight API is part of a Lexis strategy to build a single connected workflow for lawyers. Lawyers shouldn’t have to interrupt their process by locating and launching a new tool to complete a task.  Lexis is [prepared to support law firms at all phases of the API journey from novice applications to sophisticated data integrations.

“Our firm is a strong proponent of integrating data sources wherever possible to make it easier to access critical information,” shared Scott Bailey, Director of Research and Knowledge Services at Eversheds Sutherland. “Courtroom Insight is our preferred platform for accessing knowledge about experts, arbitrators and judges and, when combined with the power of Lexis+, these two key legal sources create an amplified value to both our users and clients.”

“LexisNexis is committed to making data and actionable insights available within our customers’ workflow,” explained Jeff Pfeifer, Chief Product Officer, LexisNexis North America, UK and Ireland. “Many clients report that Courtroom Insight is their attorneys’ first stop when seeking expert witness and judicial information so pursuing this collaboration was a priority for us. Courtroom Insight leveraged LexisNexis expert witness identifiers, APIs, and metadata to seamlessly build links back to trusted LexisNexis content. This integration saves a law firm from doing the development work and becoming experts in data normalization.”

“We are excited to deliver the highly valued data insights and powerful analytics that LexisNexis offers to our clients,” added Mark Torchiana, co-founder and CEO of Courtroom Insight. “Moreover, we look forward to the opportunity to share trusted information between our solutions and to develop innovative APIs and other technologies that will make our integration even more powerful.”

Here is an example of a Courtroom Insight profile  of Judge Lucy Koh including Context analytics.

For the past few decades, the traditional law library has been transformed by the digitization of statutes, regulations, and commentary. Law Librarians and KM professionals have become the curators of an ever-expanding universe of commercial, dynamic data sources including company profiles, competitor profiles, experience data, insights into judges, experts, and arbitrators, deal data, dockets, and news. These data elements, when aligned and merged with internal administrative systems, can deliver strategic insights to power the ongoing evolution of the business and practice of law.

In my last LegallTech Hub column, I referred a panel at this year’s AALL conference, The Law Library’s Role in Data Integration, APIs and Attorney Workflow Initiatives, which provided a goldmine of practical tips, experience and wisdom. During that panel, Erik Adams, the Manager of Library Digital Initiatives at Sidley Austin, provided an excellent “Checklist for Evaluating an API”, which is reprinted below with his permission. Continue reading here.

This post is Part 2 of the previously published “If Data is the New Gold – Then Law Libraries are a Goldmine.”

Move over algorithms and analytics… API was the hot buzzword at this year’s AALL Meeting and Conference in Denver.  It seemed that every vendor had an API to pitch. I attended a “Standing Room Only” program, The Law Library’s Role in Data Integration, APIs and Attorney Workflow Initiatives, which provided a goldmine of practical tips, experience and wisdom. The program was moderated by Dave DiCicco, Sr. Director Product Management LexisNexis. The panelists included: Erik Adams, Manager of Library Digital Initiatives. Sidley Austin; Pam Noyd, Information Resources Manager, Foley & Lardner LLP; Emily Rushing, Director Competitive Intelligence, Haynes & Boone LLP; Keli Whitnell, Senior Experience Database Mgr. Troutman Sanders.

The  law library has been in a process of deconstruction. Over the past decades codes, cases and commentary have been untethered from print. Now algorithms and analytics surface patterns of data extracted from commercial and internal sources.

Even before COVID-19 accelerated the death of the print library, law librarians had begun developing portals using APIs to deliver widgets,  continue reading on LegalTech Hub

Part 2 of this post including a Checklist for evaluating APIs will be posted later this week.

I know it’s the lazy days of summer – but you can still take a few minutes to share your expertise with your colleagues.

After a pandemic induced hiatus I have posted a new  “Start/Stop Survey” where you can share your wisdom on the products and projects you have started and shttp://link.topped since March 2020. Tell your colleagues “what’s hot and what’s not! The http://link.urvey will take less than 5 minutes to complete.

Over the past week I have gotten numerous emails thanking me for restarting the survey. But survey is nothing without you! Your colleagues are anxious to get your insights into products and projects that thrived of fizzled.

The results will be posted here and I will participate in a live presentation in conjunction with  HBR’s second annual Legal Information + Knowledge Services Conference (LINKS)

The Survey will close on Friday August 19th.

My apologies I just learned that the link that was posted yesterday did not work. Here is the correct link.

After a pandemic induced hiatus I have posted a new  “Start/Stop Survey” where you can share your wisdom on the products and projects you have started and shttp://link.topped since March 2020. Tell your colleagues “what’s hot and what’s not! The http://link.urvey will take less than 5 minutes to complete.

Over the past week I have gotten numerous emails thanking me for restarting the survey. But survey is nothing without you! Your colleagues are anxious to get your insights into products and projects that thrived of fizzled.

The results will be posted here and I will participate in a live presentation in conjunction with  HBR’s second annual Legal Information + Knowledge Services Conference (LINKS)

The Survey will close on Friday August 12th.