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

Today, Thomson Reuters, and the Center on Ethics and the Legal Profession at Georgetown Law has released the 2024 Report on the State of the US Legal Market.

The report opens with the sobering tale of the collapse of Pan American Airways because leaders stuck with an old strategy and failed to pivot as more nimble competitors emerged and an oil embargo changed the economics of international travel. We have seen this executive paralysis and  failure to  recognize the emergence of a market disruptor repeatedl: Kodak, Blockbuster, Swiss watchmakers … the theme documented in Clayton Christensen’s book  “The Innovator’s Dilemma.”  

The report continues the warning by noting how several fundamental shifts in the market threaten to upend traditional law firm business models, most notably the emergence of Generative AI. Law firms continue to inflate the rates balloon and clients wield market power in demanding higher discounts to deflate the increases.

Shifting market factors include:Continue Reading Thomson Reuters 2024 Report on the State of the Legal Market — Cloudy With a Chance of Disruption?

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)

Today Casetext announced that a new feature called Timeline is available in CoCounsel. Timeline makes it easy to assemble “clear, comprehensive, and accurate chronologies” from large volumes of documents by using AI to extract events and arrange them into a chronological series. Timeline enables attorneys to manipulate the results through filtering, editing and focusing. Casetext was acquired by Thomson Reuters earlier this year.

Time Saving with Timeline

According to the announcement, TImeline :”enhances attorneys’ thoroughness and inaccuracy saving hours of painstaking, manual work and achieving better results.” Timeline eliminate the risks of manual review by reading “every word” in every document in the collection being analyzed. The Timeline report includes citations supporting its findings to enable quick review and validation.

Timeline features

Continue Reading Casetext CoCounsel Launches Timeline Feature

Yesterday I attended a press event hosted by Thomson Reuters where they announced an demoed a  suite  of four GenAI products and initiatives. Only three months after completing the acquisition of Casetext they are launching a suite of tools which are driven by the integration of Casetext and CoCounsel technologies with TRs legacy AI infrastructure.

Standing on the Doorstep of Change I have spent forty years watching legal research evolve, so my focus in this post will be on the Westlaw Precision AI functionality. During yesterday’s demo, I had to remind myself “we are not in Kansas anymore.” My default is to expect the product to be more like the research experience am used to in Westlaw Edge. This reminds me of the early days of Westlaw – it started out being a system which could only search the West headnotes and the key number system. It delivered efficiencies over print research but didn’t at all suggest the completely transformed and unimaginable changes that would come. No one was thinking about legal analytics in 1980, but now they are an essential part of legal strategy and legal research. I feel that we are in that same place with AI Assisted Research on Westlaw Precision, It offers a foundational move toward a new way of performing research and integrating research into workflow. I need to remind myself that there is a future of legal research I can’t yet imagine.

The new products include:

• AI-Assisted Research on Westlaw Precision – Better, faster answers to complex research questions drawn from the industry’s most comprehensive collection of editorially enhanced content.

 • A new GenAI assistant connects all Thomson Reuters generative AI products, building on innovation from Casetext

• Thomson Reuters Generative AI Platform – A common development platform to design, build, and deploy GenAI skills with unparalleled speed • New GenAI capabilities for Practical Law – Customers to benefit from AI chat-type interface

• CoCounsel Core – Announcing the commercial offering of CoCounsel skills as part of the Thomson Reuters portfolio

“Thomson Reuters is redefining the way legal work is done by delivering a generative AI-based toolkit to enable attorneys to quickly gather deeper insights and deliver a better work product. AI-Assisted Research on Westlaw Precision and CoCounsel Core provide the most comprehensive set of generative AI skills that attorneys can use across their research and workflow,” said David Wong, chief product officer.

AI Assisted Research on Westlaw Precision is now available to Precision customers in the United States. It is described as offering a “best of” approach which combines the technology from both Casetext and the Thomson Reuters Generative AI Platforms. .AI-Assisted Research allows customers to ask complex legal research questions in natural language and  receive synthesized answers, with links to supporting authority from Westlaw content and links to further examine that authority. During a pre-launch event Mike Dahn, Head of Westlaw Product  pointed out that although AI is an important component of the new product, the technology is rooted in and enhanced by “more than 150 years of Thomson Reuters classification, analysis, and editorial expertise contributed by subject matter experts and attorney editors”.

A few observations:Continue Reading Thomson Reuters Launches Generative AI-Powered Solutions  for Research and Workflow – Previews Generative AI Strategy

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.

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

The American Arbitration Association (AAA®), the global leader in arbitration and mediation services and data analytics, announced that Steve Errick will join their international division, the International Centre for Dispute Resolution® (ICDR®), as Senior Vice President and Chief Development Officer.

Steve has been a highly visible presence at legal tech

Thomson Reuters has released its Future of Professionals Report. The research was conducted during the months of May and June 2023 via an online survey. More than 1,200 professionals from the legal, tax and accounting, and risk professions employed by corporations, firms, and government agencies completed the survey.

“We are at a unique moment where we have the opportunity to realize the benefits of human intelligence, thinking and collaboration differently, while using the potential of AI to overcome some of professionals biggest pain points.” said Steve Hasker, president and CEO, Thomson Reuters. “Through the application of AI to perform more mundane tasks, professionals have the unique opportunity to address human capital issues such as job satisfaction, well-being, and work-life balance. This will in turn unlock time for professionals to focus on complex work that adds value to their client’s needs.”

View of video of CEO Steve Hasker speaking about the Future of Legal Professionals at this Link.

One interesting feature of this study is a use of sentiment analysis for measuring and representing the impact of AI. Here is an expample

Highlights:

• Optimism for productivity: 45% of professionals pin their biggest AI aspirations on improved productivity, expecting benefits for their talent, customers, and environment.Continue Reading Thomson Reuters Releases Report on Impact of AI of Future of Legal Professionals.