Session Description: Artificial intelligence is in mainstream and legal media headlines daily – and often with much hype. What’s real and what’s not? And what exactly is AI anyway? And are law firms really using it? Today, there are as many questions about AI as there are headlines. In this session, we will answer some of the key questions. These law firm use cases will illustrate what problems they are trying to solve and/or what benefits they create with AI. As well, the corresponding software providers will also explain how their products work and fit into the broader AI picture. Attendees of this session will also hear what it takes to create a working AI system, who might use it, how to encourage adoption, and where AI is likely headed within law firms.
- Jonathan Talbot, Director, IT Enterprise Systems, DLA Piper LLP,
- Marlene Gebauer, Director of Knowledge Solutions, Greenberg Traurig,
- Steve Obenski, CMO, Kira Systems,
- Ryan McClead, VP, Client Engagement & Strategy, Neota Logic
- Moderator: Ron Friedmann, Partner, Fireman & Company
[These are my notes from the 2016 Ark Group Conference: Knowledge Management in the Legal Profession. Since I’m publishing them as soon as possible after the end of a session, they may contain the occasional typographical or grammatical error. Please excuse those. To the extent I’ve made any editorial comments, I’ve shown those in brackets.]
- What led the law firms on the panel to AI?
- At Greenberg Traurig, they were looking for ways to automate processes and become more efficient. They wanted to adopt new technologies that would provide greater capability. This led them to Neota Logic.
- At DLA Piper, their due diligence group wanted to improve and automate their due diligence process. This led them to Kira Systems.
- They are using this across several practice groups.
- Clients are outsourcing due diligence work to DLA Piper. This is an expanded source of business for the firm. (They support this with their low-cost service centers.)
- At Norton Rose Fulbright, Ryan McLead used the platform as a prototyping tool. He could automate a process and show his internal clients a prototype in just a handful of days.
- What’s Kira Systems?
- It is a machine learning tool for taking unstructured content in contracts, and then structuring it in order to expedite document review.
- Their platform ingests contracts, OCRs them, analyzes them, does entity extraction, and then enables reporting.
- Some firms are using Kira to digest and analyze outside counsel guidelines.
- Kira encourages potential clients to compare the results of their own due diligence processes against the results from using Kira Systems.
- What’s Neota Logic?
- It is a platform upon which you can build algorithmic expert systems = knowledge builders. It is engine that produces repeatable, reliable and consistent results. It makes your knowledge exponentially scalable. It is no longer trapped in one head.
- It can do risk analysis.
- Some law firms use the platform for document automation — although they are not a document assembly tool.
- This is not magic! Humans need to put in the time and effort to create the models.
- Plus, both tools aim to provide some transparency regarding how they operate and make decisions. They are trying to dispel the anxiety of the “blackbox.”
- Who should be allowed to train these systems?
- Each firm needs to make this choice carefully. Do not simply give this job to the most junior person (on the theory that they are young and therefore must be the most tech-savvy???). It is wise to have an internal vetting process.
- The person who builds the expert system often becomes the expert.
- What are the related human issues?
- Help them understand the extent to which this new tool might (or might not) make them redundant.
- Help them understand the extent to which the tools augment what they do, allowing them to do more value-added work. “Kira does not practice law. YOU practice law.”
- Give them sensible incentives to participate.
- These tools leverage good process
- This means that you need to know and understand your processes.
- This also means that you need to ensure that your processes are smart ones. (Don’t automate a faulty process!)
- Key Lessons Learned
- If you understand the lawyers’ process, it is not hard to show the value of automation. And they will get it.
- Even the most entrepreneurial law firms are VERY conservative.