Will Generative AI awaken the need for serious focus legal research education?

The introduction of Generative AI to the practice of law has been anything but smooth. First there was the unfortunate case of Mr. Schwartz who used Chat GPT-3 to write a brief complete with hallucinated cases which he submitted to a federal  court in New York. Judge castell of the Southern District of New York noted that the attorneys had “abandoned their responsibilities.” More recently there have been the controversies related to a Stanford Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence (HAI) team study criticizing the quality of the Lexis and WL generative AI products. The study was so roundly criticized that it was revised and reissued. The HAI study’s conclusions regarding the Westlaw Precision AI and Lexis+  AI products requires a nuanced understanding of the HAI benchmarking definitions.  The HAI studies flag a wide range of issues including some which appear to be subjective. Problems noted range from a “true hallucination” to a factual error e.g. name of a judge, to the length of responses. Everyone agrees that legal generative AI products require serious benchmarking studies, but Stanford fumbled the ball.

Selling any new legal technology to law firms is hard. Selling generative AI products to law firms appears to be moving at a glacial pace and this post will explore some of the obstacles to adoption of GAI in legal. There are probably more stakeholders in the mix than I have seen for any prior technology. Most noticeable is the presence of the General Counsel/Ethics Officer who in many firms is waving cautionary flags. Then there are clients who are sending conflicting signals limiting, requiring or banning use of GAI products on their matters.  Add to this stew of ambiguity, the proliferation of judges rules restricting or establishing requirements regarding not only the use of generative AI but AI products in general. (AI is probably in  90% of the products the average lawyer uses including their smartphone).

Why are law firms are holding off generative AI adoption for legal research?

Read the full post on Legal TechHubContinue Reading Generative AI Risk in Legal Research: Is the Fault in the Technology or in Ourselves? Answer is Both

Today Lex Machina, a LexisNexis company, is releasing a new tool for competitive insights called “Litigation Footprint.”  Lex Machina now includes litigation analytics from over 27 million cases filed in 94 federal district courts and over 1,300 state courts in 34 states and the District of Columbia.  The Litigation Footprint enhancement was developed in response to customer demand for deeper party level analysis tools.

Since its launch in 2010 as a platform for analyzing IP litigation, Lex Machina has continuously raised the bar for the legal analytics market. The Lex Machina platform combines natural language processing, machine learning, human curation, data normalization and extensive tagging of data elements to improve precision and granularity of research results and reporting.

.Litigation Footprint focuses on the litigation histories of corporate entities in order to enable lawyers to quickly get a high level overview of a  party’s litigation footprint across the United States.Continue Reading Lex Machina Launches  “Litigation Footprint” With Deep Insights into Company and Industry Litigation Trends

The American Association of Law Libraries is seeking nominations for the 2024 Product of the year award. Both members and vendors can submit nominations.

This award honors new commercial information products that enhance or improve existing law library services or procedures or innovative products which improve access to legal information, the legal research process, or procedures for technical processing of library materials.

A “new” product is defined as one which has been in the library-related marketplace for two years or less. New products may include, but are not limited to, computer hardware and/or software, educational or bibliographic material, or other products or devices that aid or improve library workflow, research, or intellectual access. Products that have been reintroduced in a new format or with substantial changes are eligible.

The world before and after Generative AI If you are scratching your head and trying to Continue Reading Nominate Your Favorite Products for AALL’s Product of the Year Award

I have lived through legal technology revolutions before. The conversion of legal research from print to online moved though law firms like slow rolling train.  Lexis, the first commercial online  legal research product launched in 1970. Many firms did not fully embrace online research and abandon print until the pandemic drove the profession to remote work, nearly 50 years later. Analytics in legal research provided dramatic new insights into the behavior of judges, courts, attorneys and clients. It took less than ten years following the launch of Lex Machina in 2013 for legal analytics to move from esoteric to essential. The promise  of, if not the practice  with  Generative AI swept like a wildfire through the legal information market. When ChatGPT launched it took only five days to reach a million users and by January 2023 (2 months later) it had a 100 million users. Enter the “hype cycle.”

While OpenAi dominated the commercial market, Casetext, which had early access to GTP 4 dominated legal industry news headlines in 2023. Read the full post at Legal Tech HubContinue Reading Standing on the threshold of change: 2023 in review (A somewhat irreverent review of the AI hysteria That Swept Through the Legal Industry)

Once Again We Must Ask –What business are we in?

Over the years when speaking to library and knowledge management audiences, I have often invoked the importance of knowing what business we are in.

,I became a librarian because “I loved books.” Yet on the day when I started my first law library job, a hulking piece of equipment was rolled through the door of the Pace University Law  Library. This was an omen, like a comet across the night sky, my career path would pivot in unforeseeable directions. The Lexis DeLuxe research terminal was the size of a washing machine, and it connected to Mead Data Central computers in Ohio via a dial-up modem. This “state of the art” equipment provided access to Ohio statutes and cases. Within 10 years the Lexis and Westlaw WALT terminals would shrink, the World Wide Web would be born and the stacks of books would be compressed into bits of data accessible on everyone’s desktop.

I love the “Black & Decker marketing strategy that recognized that their customers “don’t want a drill they want a half-inch hole in a board.” And librarians who thought lawyers and law firm administrators only needed books became flotsam in a surging tide of technology. Librarians and knowledge managers need to be aligned with what lawyers really need and  that they have the unique expertise to deliver: information that gives them a competitive edge, new clients, happy clients, predictive and  actionable insights , efficient workflow, and tools that make their lives easier. (Read the full post at Legal Tech Hub)

Seizing the Technology of the DayContinue Reading AI and the Future of Law Libraries : Opportunity or Armageddon

As the 2024 budget planning season ramps up, we all look to both internal and external intelligence to support renewal, cancellation and acquisition decisions.

In August many of my readers participated in the annual Start/Stop survey which was open during the month of August 2023. I partnered with Harbor to conduct the survey and present the results On Thursday, September 14, 2023, at the third annual Legal Information + Knowledge Services Conference (LINKS)— a full day of virtual thought leadership conference.

As in the past, this survey was intended to  gather feedback on both products and projects which readers started or stopped during the past year or plan to start or stop in the near future. For this years survey I added new questions related to the emergence of generative AI. Thirty-tree organizations participated in the survey (93% were law firms)

Some overall trends – Generative AI trending up. Analytics Market Shaking out.

Generative AI although legal publishers have been embedding and utilizing AI in their products for decades, the emergence of large language models (LLMs) has captured the market in a rather feverish way. There are firms out on the bleeding edge, but most are  holding back and struggling to create an AI policy and select from the ever expanding galaxy of products. Vendors are plunging ahead with AI offerings.

The most dramatic “shape shifting” market event was Thomson Reuters acquisition of Casetext, less than a year after the launch of WESTLAW Precision. The move was clearly designed to catapult TR  over competitors, who are developing  muti-modallarge language models  based AI products internally.Continue Reading The 2023 Start/Stop Survey: CoCounsel Best New Product, Analytics Segment Shakeout.

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.”Continue Reading vLex Launches First Global AI Legal Assistant: Vincent AI for Research and Drafting

Legal Tech Mergers continue despite the uncertain economy. The recent acquisitions of Fastcase and Casetext inspired me to “take the temperature” of legal information marketplace. Thomson Reuters acquisition of Casetext for the breathtaking $650M was completed on August 17, 2023

The Survey I gave information professionals the opportunity to provide feedback on legal information mergers

LexisNexis Legal & Regulatory  has released the results of its International Legal Generative AI Survey. The survey asked 7,950 lawyers, law students, and consumers across the U.S., U.K., Canada, and France about their overall awareness, its anticipated impact on the practice of law, use of generative AI, and expectations of adoption.

“Our survey confirms what we hear from customers all over the world every day, that they are excited about the potential of generative AI to help improve their productivity, efficiency, and overall business and practice of law,” said Mike Walsh, CEO of LexisNexis Legal & Professional. “Customer-driven innovation is core to the approach we take with product development, and LexisNexis is excited that our Lexis+ AI platform safely and securely provides critical generative AI tools to help legal professionals excel in their jobs.”

It is clear from the survey that relatively few lawyers have used Generative AI and I have to assume that even fewer have used it for their actual legal work. The market has become painfully aware of the “hallucinated cases” that can be generated using open source GPT Chat for legal research. Lexis Nexis will soon launch Lexis+ AI. All of its competitors (Thomson Reuters, Bloomberg Law, Wolters Kluwer, vLex) are laser focused on developing or launching Generative AI products that can not only drive efficiency but also address lawyers legitimate concerns regarding the ethics and security of these products.Continue Reading LexisNexis International Legal Generative AI Survey – In House Counsel  Expectations Will Drive Law Firm Adoption