What being named as a Gartner Cool Vendor in AI means for us (and more importantly for the future of law)

Noory Bechor, CEO LawGeex

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We are incredibly proud to announce today that LawGeex has been selected as a Gartner Cool Vendor.

Every year, Gartner selects tech companies with a product or service that is “interesting, new and innovative”. More importantly, the global consultancy also flags to the business world major new disruptive sectors they need to know about.

The distinction of being Gartner Cool Vendor has been achieved in the past by names such as Box, Dropbox, Evernote, Cloudera, and Instagram—then operating in disruptive spaces they created, but which we now take for granted as obvious leaders and benchmarks.

This year for the first time ever Gartner recognized legal Artificial Intelligence (AI) companies making a “profound efficiency impact on the way legal services are delivered.” (Cool Vendors in AI for Legal Affairs, 2017). See the full press release here.

LawGeex is proud to be named in this first ever report, along with three other great legal AI companies: Neota Logic, Onna and Ravel Law. LawGeex was selected for its success in shortening contract approval processes, the innovation of our customized ‘playbooks’ and continuous improvement of our AI engine. Gartner points out the significance of these advances for businesses, including:

  • corporate compliance and legal teams (needing to manage many contracts);
  • procurement managers (requiring fast execution of contracts) and
  • contract review lawyers (needing reviewed based on standards imposed by their company, client or regulator).

Main takeaway: AI in Legal has now arrived

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More fundamentally, the inclusion of Legal AI into the canon by the world’s leading research and advisory company is a marker in the ground. The legal AI genie cannot be put back in the bottle. Gartner analysts adds that by 2020, the current amount of manual billable legal work will be reduced by 15%. Gartner recommends that to remain competitive, businesses need to take a good look at these “innovative solutions supporting contract analysis, legal research, knowledge management and case-predictive analytics.”

The amazing work being done by AI players changing these daily practices of law is echoed in  The In-House Counsel’s LegalTech Buyers Guide. Through research we found more than 100 must-know companies in LegalTech, 40 of which are AI solutions (shown in our infographic).

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Legal AI has arrived. So what next?

Having now helped bring legal AI into the bright shining lights of recognition, Gartner’s analysts will return to inspect this new sector in a year. They will assess, as they have done in these reports over the years what has changed—both in advances, new players, innovation and shifts in mindset. Gartner objectively points out that one of the main challenges for all companies in this new space is a “conservative audience” when it comes to new technology adoption.

In a year, I expect to see double or triple the number of players in legal AI. We will see remarkable advances, both from current players shown in our infographic, and yet unknown entrepreneurs arriving. There will be more shared knowhow, best practice and collaboration as highlighted recently as a major theme in the CLOC conference. The tech, such as AI, will only continue to advance and improve with greater adoption.

Gartner: be sure to start your journey

The Gartner report makes a powerful suggestion to its thousands of clients: start your LegalTech journey in a small way, but make sure to start. Gartner recommends: “Begin with the identification of a set of business problems and use cases. These projects should have clear statements on what they need to achieve in terms of business outcomes and how the goals will be measured. Early projects that were successful tended to focus on a small number of use cases or processes.”

We have seen some incredible results with clients adopting this approach (in our case for instance working with us as a first to automate the Big Five energy draining contracts (the top five most popular contracts run through LawGeex’s each day are NDA, service agreements, SaaS agreements, software Licenses and Purchase Order Contracts).Overall legal teams are in a much more excited than they were a year ago .Our clients  are working to change their processes and their mindset, seeing many  immediate enhancements, but recognizing the need to walk before they can run. I believe these ‘early’ adopter lawyers will see some major benefits now (savings in time and money), but will truly see the fruits of their labor exploding in the years to come when they are more competitive as a legal function and as a business.

The stamp of approval provided by the leading research and advisory firm today, may accelerate many more lawyers into seeing the power of these new and innovative solutions (our guide would be a great starting point for those looking at such solutions).

The hope is that Gartner will return to this space next year to find lawyers even more energized by the possibilities at their disposal and this exciting new chapter in legal services.  Now that really would be cool.

Noory Bechor CEO and Founder of LawGeex is a man on a mission: to revolutionize the legal world through innovative technology. Noory combines his entrepreneurial spirit and years of experience as an international commercial lawyer to help other lawyers #lovelegal again, making their work easy, efficient and impactful.

LawGeex Named a “Cool Vendor” by Gartner

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TEL AVIV, ISRAEL, May 23, 2017: LawGeex, the leading A.I. contract review platform for businesses, has been selected by Gartner, Inc. as a Cool Vendor in the inaugural Cool Vendors in AI for Legal Affairs, 2017 report.

Every year, Gartner selects tech companies with a product or service that is “interesting, new and innovative”. More importantly, the global consultancy also flags to the business world major new disruptive sectors they need to know about. This year for the first time ever Gartner recognized legal Artificial Intelligence (AI) companies making a “profound efficiency impact on the way legal services are delivered.”

LawGeex was selected for “driving technology advancement and delivering technologies that aim to further automate legal service delivery and provide new insight for better decision making”, according to the report.

The distinction of being Gartner Cool Vendor has been achieved in the past by names such as Box, Dropbox, Evernote, Cloudera, and Instagram—then operating in disruptive spaces they created, but which we now take for granted as obvious leaders and benchmarks.

LawGeex is proud to be named in this first ever report, along with three other legal AI companies: Neota Logic, Onna and Ravel Law. These companies are part of a rapidly expanding industry of legal technologies, recently chronicled by LawGeex in The In-House Counsel’s LegalTech Buyers Guide, featuring more than 100 LegalTech innovators and 40 Legal AI players.

Gartner subscribers can access the Cool Vendors in AI for Legal Affairs, 2017 report.

About Gartner Cool Vendors

Gartner is the world’s leading research and advisory company. Every year, Gartner identifies “Cool Vendors” based upon vendors with a technology or service that is innovative, impactful, and/or intriguing. In this year’s report, four vendors have been recognized. Gartner’s Cool Vendor reports identify technology vendors that have strong market vision and offer unique and innovative products and services that have genuine market impact.

Disclaimer from Gartner

Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in our research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose

About LawGeex

LawGeex (www.lawgeex.com) is transforming legal operations using artificial intelligence, and helping businesses save hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars reviewing and approving everyday contracts. Founded in 2014 by international lawyer Noory Bechor and leading AI expert Ilan Admon, LawGeex enables businesses to automate their contract approval process, improving consistency, operational efficiency and getting business moving faster. LawGeex combines machine learning algorithms, text analytics and the knowledge of expert lawyers to deliver in-depth contract reviews using the legal team’s pre-defined criteria. LawGeex removes the legal bottleneck, helping customers and their legal teams focus on the big picture without getting lost in the paperwork.

For more information, please visit http://www.lawgeex.com or tweet us @lawgeex_.

 

LawGeex Launches Legal Technology Buyers Guide for Businesses

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LawGeex, the leading AI contract review platform for businesses, has today launched The In-House Counsel’s LegalTech Buyers Guide – a free, downloadable guide that showcases more than 100 must-know technology solutions which solve the daily challenges faced by in-house lawyers.

The book includes practical advice based on dozens of interviews, real life experiences and personal recommendations from in-house lawyers and legal experts who have used technology to cut costs and reduce legal inefficiency. Lawyers came from companies including Pearson, AIG, TabTale, Travelocity, Vodafone, NetApp, Del Monte, Axalta Coating Systems, Tongal and Novartis.

The guide also provides jargon-free explanations of an in-house LegalTech buying journey, from barriers to adoption, savings and efficiencies law departments can expect, to establishing and monitoring Key Performance Indicators.

Explosion of Artificial Intelligence (AI) Players in Law

The guide also shows the traditional legal sector is facing disruption from 40 artificial intelligence companies using automation to solve daily legal tasks which have not changed in decades. These players are transforming nine sectors of daily law in categories of Contract review, Contract due diligence, Legal research, EDiscovery reviews, Intellectual Property, Expertise automation, e Billing, Legal Analytics, and Prediction Technology.

The analysis argues that legal is lagging as one of the last business areas to adopt technology, but lawyers are now embracing change, spurred by the dramatic increase in LegalTech products available.

Noory Bechor, CEO and Founder of LawGeex

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“We are publishing this guide at a time when in-house lawyers face multiple drivers to adopt new technologies. In-house teams are under pressure to produce evidence of higher efficiency and quality and provide better data and strategic input for their organization.”

Sterling Miller, former General Counsel of Travelocity and Sabre Corporation

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“One of the easiest ways to increase efficiency and reduce costs is through the use of technology. But, to be a successful in-house lawyer or general counsel you need to embrace technology and make sure your team does as well.”

Chrissie Lightfoot, entrepreneur, author, lawyer and co-founder and CEO

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“I would highly recommend GCs embrace the plethora of existing and new LegalTech software and tools available. I know from personal and professional experience that AI tools are beginning to benefit GCs, their clients and companies enormously.”

Download the full guide at lawgeex.com/buyersguide

 

Top 10 Tweets from CLOC 2017

It was a week in which Twitter announced the most retweeted post in its history (one man’s plea for a year’s supply of Wendy’s chicken nuggets accrued  3,433,000 retweets, beating that Oscars selfie in 2014). But in the legal world, Las Vegas and the Corporate Legal Operations Institute (#CLOC2017) was trending.

Following our top ten tweets roundup (from Codex and LegalWeek)  we provide the top 10 nuggets of wisdom from the globe’s biggest Legal Operations event.

1. Legal in Las Vegas at The Bellagio

Mary O’ Carroll head of legal ops at Google Legal operations, part of the executive leadership team at CLOC, fittingly got the tweets rolling. O’ Carroll has helped to develop the event, which celebrates legal operations,  a new position inside the majority of Fortune 500 companies, whose role is to ensure that the legal department functions more like a business. CLOC was welcomed by The Bellagio—famous for an iconic final scene in Oceans Eleven and its dancing fountains. CLOC explored  12 core competencies that underpin legal operations: Strategic planning;  Financial management; Vendor management; Data analytics;  Technology support; Alternative support models; Knowledge management;  Growth and development; Communications;   Global data governance/records management; Litigation support; and Cross-functional alignment.
2. More than 1000 people in attendance

Kunoor Chopra, Entrepreneur, legal process outsourcing professional, reflected on the size of the growing event which is only in its second year. In total, the 2017 CLOC featured 50 content sessions. The movement is only likely to grow: in the 2017 Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) CLO Survey, found 26% of general counsel delegated legal operations to an ops team or department , up from 16% just one year before.

3. Booking a date with law’s future 

In the words of Susan Hackett CEO of Legal Executive Leadership, LLC, Richard Susskind, “everyone’s favorite legal futurist“, took  750 books and “his crystal ball” to the key note speech. He signed plenty of books and set the tone for the three-day conference: “I often say that the only career decision you need to make as a lawyer and only strategy decision you need to make if you’re in the commercial world is, do you want to compete with machines or build the machines?” He added: “Surely our generation will redefine the way that law is practiced.”. Though surely there’s some AI automation possible for all that book-signing?

4.Hire A Robot, Get Sh*t Done 

Discussion about AI was everywhere, of course including LawGeex’s booth (read about the evolution of our booth here). One of the very first sessions of the conference, “Practical Applications of AI in Today’s Law Department,” attempted to answer questions on the practical use of AI. This included buying advice: define your problems and KPI first, ask providers what they mean by AI and request references. The panelists were three corporate legal operations experts giving their own experiences: Mary O’Carroll, Google; Steve Harmon, vice president and deputy general counsel, Cisco; Sylvie Stulic, Electronic Arts and Paul Lippe, former GC of Synopsys Inc. and currently with Elevate, who moderated the panel.

5.But AI is hard to define…

It was Paul Lippe, former GC of Snynopys, who put the definition of AI under the spotlight. It starts with the fact that AI isn’t particularly well-defined, Lippe noted in his opening remarks (for our explanation of AI in law see our recent post) . For many, there are three main descriptions of AI in legal departments. Panelists  not only explored ways to use AI as a complement to lawyers, but also how to practically implement it in legal departments. “Part of what we need to do as operations professionals is get people to adopt this technology, and that technology may be disruptive to their jobs,” Lippe explained.

6. No more Attorneys v The Rest thinking 

Going to the heart of the CLOC mandate, came this comment from Lucy Bassli, assistant general counsel of legal operations and contracts at Microsoft. This came as part of the Magna Carta session—an airing of grievances for the six key stakeholder groups of legal operations which CLOC unites: corporations, law firms, regulators, law schools, technology providers and outside service providers. Bassli said: “Lawyers need to embrace all the other professionals that are in this ecosystem because without them, we will not move forward. There is a fundamental problem with the fact that we still think of our profession as attorneys and everybody else.”

7. Show Me The Money: Salary negotiations for Legal Ops

It was not only about collaboration at CLOC—but also asking and getting what you deserve in compensation negotiations. Sonya Som and Mark Yacano from Major, Lindsey & Africa drew on their experience with legal search to provide a practical road map for how and when to raise compensation issues, how to use compensation discussions as a tool to set you up for success after you take the job and, how to prevent that offer from slipping away. Monica Zent tweet-warned: “don’t let that sweet smile fool you) @SonyaOldSom of @ doling out negotiation tactics of a tiger.”

8. Case studies of change

The conference drew on its all-star guest list to include case studies of legal ops leaders who are transforming their departments through tech. Susan Hacket here tweets the case of Kerry Phillip, Head of Legal at Vodafone. Fittingly in Vegas, Phillip talked about the data addiction lawyers should watch out for once they have new tech in place. Her advice: secure your funds, hang on to them tight, look for quick wins, select the right partners, take your team with you and do not underestimate the tasks. Other case studies  of legal process changes included Yahoo, DHL and Pfizer.

 

9. Inspiring closing 

Daniel W.Linna Jr, Law Professor and Director of LegalRnD at MSU Law, was among those wowed by the final closing of CLOC. Alma Asay Founder & CEO of Allegory Law quoted O’ Carroll’s comment: “Maybe it’s good to be a little crazy. Because maybe it’s going to take a little crazy to break down those walls.”

10. This story will run and run 

David Kinnear Founder and CEO of High Performance Counsel Media summed up the prevailing mood of the conference. In his fuller blog Kinnear concludes: “It takes a village, yes. It will take many participants and contributions to help this part of the industry achieve its extraordinary potential. It will take a lot of work conveying some of this to a still-reticent, conservative profession.”

He continued: “You couldn’t mistake the sense of momentum in the air and in the conversation around the halls of the Bellagio this week. The sense of opportunity and conviction drowning out even the twinkling slot machines on the floor.”

To see if LawGeex‘s artificial intelligence solution could help as part of your vision for a bright legal future, Get In Touch. We are helping legal teams automate the review and approval of contracts. We make in-house legal work easy, efficient and impactful, allowing our customers to focus on the big picture instead of getting lost in the paperwork.

 

A Lawyer’s guide to Artificial Intelligence; or Why I Joined an AI Startup?

Although us lawyers sometimes hate to admit it in front of our non-lawyer friends, we all know that the glamorous image of the profession is often a gross misrepresentation of reality.

It’s not that the litigation shark or the savvy corporate lawyer depicted in television shows and movies do not exist. They do. But the movies often rush to the exciting cross-examination scene in which the lawyer brilliantly manages to protect its innocent client, while skipping over the long hours spent tediously reading thousands of pages and analyzing complex contracts. The truth is that a real lawyer’s life wouldn’t make much of an interesting movie at all.

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The LawGeex Revolution

I think that is a big part of why I was so excited when I first met with LawGeex CEO and co-founder, Noory Bechor, and heard about some of the amazing work done here. I had just recently returned to Israel after earning an LL.M. degree at New York University and practicing in New York City when I met with Noory for the first time in late 2016. I immediately recognized that what LawGeex is offering is nothing short of a revolution in the way law is practiced. Since then I have been leading a team of senior attorneys and data scientists in tackling some of the most difficult challenges our company is facing.

Introduction to AI in the Law

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Before touching on what exactly these challenges are, I should probably introduce what LawGeex is doing and why it is already today one of the most exciting and cutting edge companies.

LawGeex uses cutting-edge Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology, in reviewing and automatically approving contracts, streamlining workflow, saving valuable lawyer-hours and avoiding unnecessary mistakes. Our AI is a human-like legal issues spotter providing relevant information on contract terms, therefore allowing lawyers to focus their review on the relevant segments of each contract, saving countless lawyer-hours. It can allow for automatic approval of a submitted contract, or where this is not possible, a detailed report on missing, problematic or rare clauses, within One Hour.

By employing sophisticated Machine Learning and Deep Learning algorithms (developed by LawGeex research team, led by CTO and co-founder, Ilan Admon) we are making legal practice for in-house counsel more enjoyable, accessible, and efficient.

What is AI anyway? 

AI algorithms were first theorized and developed all the way back in the 1950s, but it was only the computing power of the last decade that allowed us to widely implement them. These algorithms basically try to imitate the human brain so that rather than requiring a fixed set of convoluted rules to determine a result, they output a prediction based on examples. In other words, these are computers that learn by example, much like humans do.

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Let’s bring on the Pandas and Koalas 

LawGeex’s AI engine is programmed to solve what is called a classification problem, which basically means calculating the probability that certain information is either of type A or type B. Let’s take an overly simplified example in which a computer is taught to distinguish between pandas and koalas.

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As mentioned above, the algorithm learns by example, so we would first need to present the computer with samples of pandas and koalas. Collectively, these samples are called a training set.

Once enough samples have been collected, we can ask the algorithm to build a model, which can be understood as outlining a boundary between the koalas and the pandas. This is a resource intensive iterative process called training. Once the training is complete, we would show the computer new samples that were not included in the training set and test how well our algorithm learned to distinguish between pandas and koalas. A successful model would predict that the red question mark located left of the blue boundary line is a panda, and the one on the right is a koala. While the panda-koala example may look pretty straightforward and simple, our actual training set is far more complicated, as you can see in the terrifying-looking image below.

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You may think that this jungle of colorful dots is light-years away from your legal practice, but this is actually a visualization of how our AI tools perceive and analyze thousands of legal clauses included in thousands of contracts (our AI solution understands and interprets an exclusive corpus of 1000s of contracts). Our team inputs real contracts into our AI machines, which then “read” the contracts.

Since computers can’t actually read in the same sense as humans do, they basically convert the text into a numeric representation. Each dot in the image represents a specific segment of a contract included in the training set. The different colors represent different legal issues. The pink dots, for example, represent samples of non-compete clauses, and the purple ones represent governing law sections. Our brilliant algorithms allow us to make sense of this dot-jungle and solve the classification problem, but of course, these algorithms rely on good data and a good training set. This is where my team comes in.

Creating a good training set 

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Collecting training sets is a slow and expensive process, which even the largest technology companies struggle with. The problem is not only collecting the examples but mostly knowing if and when to stop. How do we know if enough samples were collected? Is our training set complete in the sense that it captures the entire scope of a legal concept? How do we find which samples are missing from the training set? These are all challenges we in the data team deal with on a daily basis, and solving them is crucial for building a really good AI.

Train AI Like a Lawyer

It is not enough to collect and label data if that data is just more of the same of what we already have. We strive to present our algorithms with a variety of examples that will allow it to distinguish between different legal concepts. Training an AI machine is very similar in this sense to training a new lawyer – exposure to different types of examples is crucial in developing a good understanding of the legal practice.

Hand labeling data is expensive and time-consuming, and we want our expert lawyers’ time to be well-spent labeling only quality samples that will make our AI smarter. In order to achieve that, we use a set of sophisticated processes for predicting which data (out of the enormous amount of text out there), might qualify to be included in our training set. We involve our expert lawyers in strategic junctions throughout the process to make sure we are being accurate.

Using AI to give Lawyers Back their time 

Our Machine Learning and Deep Learning technology is what gives us our competitive edge and sets us apart from other companies in the legal-tech world. Learning by example, rather than a fixed set of rules, allows us to analyze complex information with human-like precision and help our clients move swiftly from negotiation to signing. This allows lawyers to get their time back. With the routine drudge work gone, lawyers can become more like the glamorous lawyers on screen (such as Harvey Specter in Suits).

This is why we are committed to investing so much in good data, mixing the best of expert lawyers and the latest technology, consistently making our AI smarter, more accurate and more human-like every day. For me personally, it is making me love law again.
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Gil Rosenblum, Esq. is Data Team Leader at LawGeex. He trained as a lawyer in New York and currently lives in Tel Aviv. For more details or a demo get in touch.

 

Top 10 tweets and trends from CodeX 2017

CodeX, The Stanford Center for Legal Informatics hosted the FutureLaw 2017 conference on April 6. It saw a galaxy of legal technology speakers including Gillian Hadfield (professor of economics at the University of Southern California); Lucy Endel Bassli, Assistant General Counsel, Legal Operations at Microsoft; and Mary O Carroll, Head of Legal Operations at Google.

Following LawGeex’s highly popular top 10 Tweets and Trends from LegalWeek 2017, here are the top 10 Tweets and Trends from CodeX FutureLaw 2017.

1. Change can take time, even for the leading tech players (including Google). Joshua Lenon, Lawyer in Residence at management practice solution, Clio tweeted about the challenges faced by Google’s Head of Legal Operations, Mary O’ Carroll when she brought tech and data center stage for lawyers.

Mary O’Carroll says: “six years after starting, I could answer the question ‘are we getting value from our legal service providers.'” O’ Carroll says it is necessary to speak and learn from each other—a major part of her leadership of CLOC (Corporate Legal Operations Consortium). CLOC’s mission is to help legal operations professionals and other core corporate legal industry players. We will be at the CLOC Institute conference next month in Las Vegas (Join ) and would love to see you there.

 2. Lack of innovation in U.S courts. The lack of innovation in courts was shown powerfully in one slide at the conference, shared by Josh Becker, CEO of Lex Machina.  In the words of Jim Sandman of Legal Services Corp: “Courts are adopting “yesterday’s technology” tomorrow. Josh Becker tweeted: “Loved this quote. Needs to be fixed!”

3. (Positively) Law Schools  are becoming innovative. Lucy Bassli of Microsoft talked about the changes happening in law schools saying: “Evolution in law school training is crucial, affecting our recruiting”.

4. Laying of the legal gauntlet  

Professor Gillian K Hadfield gave what Nicole Shanahan, CEO of ClearAccess IP, called a bad ass keynote from the first female keynote speaker of FutureLaw.”

Margaret Hagan, Director of  the LegalDesign Lab at Stanford Law, said it “laid the gauntlet for legal innovation and empowerment.”  Discussing her new book Rules For a Flat World (which we will all be ordering now), Hadfield  looked at the rule systems that guide global integration-our legal infrastructure-and argues that existing approaches to making rules are no longer working.

5. Legal Chatbots: They are Coming. But is that good?

Mary Redzic reflects on Lenon’s case that bots may not be jurisdiction-based; they may give people false confidence in quality of the advice;  they are too linear and don’t allow people to go back and see how the conditions or answers change advice; and they might divert people away from seeking out higher quality resources.

6. The lawyer entrepreneur 

In a startup Bootcamp for Lawyers, designer, Jose Torres and Jay Mandal, co-founder of LawPivot gave a number of highly tweetable pieces of advice to think like a startup. These included: “Prototypes crash-test your ideas. 9/10 startups fails because they build something no one wants.” “How can lawyers take on the startup mentality? 1. Culture first. The #1 determinant for success for any team is founder dynamics.” Finally, “Lawyers hate creating a rough draft. But in startups, that’s the path to something insanely great.”

7. No more “anecdata”

The importance of capturing data in law generated a number of tweets. Lucy Bassli at Microsoft said: “We are not capturing good information about our own business. Our firms know our contracts better. That’s a problem”

8. OnPrem is over. Long Live The Cloud 

In a similar trend, from the top tweets at LegalWeek 2017, the decline and fall of On Premise installation continues.  Michael Lucas, the Chief Information Officer at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, told the conference: “Days are over that we, as CIOs at law firms, should be shaking in our boots over the cloud.” Lucy Bassli of Microsoft put it even more bluntly “OnPrem days are kind of over for us. She said: “The cloud is now a fact. Still getting lawyers who express their ‘concern’. However, competing today requires it.”

9. Communication

Monica Bay, who sets the gold standard for writing and debating legal technology (including her roundups of this conference) provided some powerful takeaways on communication. This included: Can you explain something so simply that an 8th grader can read it?

10. Adopt. Don’t fall back to resistance. Jim Sandman  president of the Legal Services Corporation was quoted by  Penn Dobsson an attorney and innovator Innovation without adoption is naught.” The fallback for some lawyers not adopting technology could be keeping things as they are. One key slide tweeted by Tomas VanderHeijden of Ross Intelligence, shows the traditional law practice model constrains innovation to provide legal services; the legal profession’s resistance to change can hinder additional innovation. It also shows that new providers of legal services are proliferating and creating additional chances for consumers and lawyers.”

To see if LawGeex‘s artificial intelligence solution could help as part of your vision for a bright legal future, Get In Touch. We are helping legal teams automate the review and approval of contracts. We make in-house legal work easy, efficient and impactful, allowing our customers to focus on the big picture instead of getting lost in the paperwork.

 

 

 

 

 

What Suits can teach us about AI Law

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In the opening episode of hit TV show Suits, Mike Ross finds himself in an interview for a legal associate position despite having no formal qualifications. Mike has never stepped into law school, yet wants a job in the most prestigious law firm in New York. The only thing, it turns out, is that he is a unique type of non-lawyer. Mike possesses a photographic memory,  and is able to comprehend and remember every legal case and clause that pretty much has ever existed. If a lawyer could give an interview to an automated AI associate to test their skills, the conversation would sound a lot like this (Suits Season 1 Episode 1):

HARVEY: Unfortunately, we only hire from Harvard. And you, not only did not go to Harvard Law School, you haven’t even gone to any law school.

MIKE: What if I told you I consume knowledge like no one you’ve ever met and I’ve actually passed the bar?

HARVEY: I’d say you’re full of crap.

MIKE: [Pointing at a book on the desk] That’s a BarBri Legal Handbook right there, right? Open it up. Read me something. Anything.

[Harvey picks up the book, he looks slightly intrigued, but also doubtful. He opens it up and starts reading.]

HARVEY: Civil liability associated with agency is based on several factors, including-

MIKE: Including the deviation of the agent from his path, the reasonable inference of agency on behalf of the plaintiff, and the nature of the damages themselves.

HARVEY: [Shocked] How did you know that?

MIKE: I learned it. When I studied. For the bar.

HARVEY: Okay, hotshot. Fire up this laptop. [Stands and walks to the other side of the desk as Mike sits in Harvey’s seat and fires up the laptop] I’m gonna show you what a Harvard attorney can do. Pick a topic.

MIKE: Stock option backdating.

HARVEY: Although backdating options is legal, violations arose related to disclosures under RIC section 409A.

MIKE: You forgot about Sarbanes-Oxley.

HARVEY: The statute of limitations render Sarbanes-Oxley mute post-2007.

MIKE: Well, not if you can find actions to cover up the violation as established in the Sixth Circuit May 2008.

HARVEY: [Stumped] That’s impressive, but you’re sitting at a computer.

MIKE: [Turning the laptop around] Playing cards. Sorry, if you want to beat me, you’re gonna have to do it at something else. [Closes the laptop.]

HARVEY: How can you know all that?

MIKE: I told you. I like to read. And once I read something, I understand it, and once I understand it, I never forget it.

From here on in (after Mike is hired) much of the dramatic tension of the show focuses on the relationship between the traditional ‘real’ law practitioner, Harvey, and the ‘fake’ lawyer, MIke. There are several times that the question of what it means to be a lawyer in today’s age are brought up. Though Mike never went to law school, he knows every aspect of clauses and contract and has passed The bar (the creators of IBM’s Watson have suggested their version of legal intelligence could pass the bar ‘without a second’s thought’).

Mark Rogowsky, writer and former communications lead at Uber (Uber is a big AI user) says that Mike’s abilities are not so far fetched—and superbly suited to law and contracts (of the type LawGeex Contract approval is trained in, based on a corpus of hundreds of thousands of contracts).

Rogowky says: “Mike Ross, a fictional character who never attended a day of law school as far as we know, has an eidetic (often called photographic) memory of a very advanced type. He can read large volumes of information and also process it.

“This makes him very well equipped, for example, to learn contract law, which is mostly about a lot of rules and their application in specific contexts. He similarly has the ability to read scores of existing briefs and other legal filings and rapidly understand what is in them. Since we are led to believe he is also intelligent, it shouldn’t be stunning that he can apply his (1) knowledge of the rules and regulations against (2) existing successful templates of the work product he is supposed to produce.”

Secondly, Rogowksy points out that both Mike and his mentor Harvey both have another more exciting ability, “Winning Cases via Interesting Strategies“. This is where AI is even more relevant. With LawGeex’s contract review and negotiation brain, our AI is constantly learning and finding ways to improve and enhance in ways humans could never do alone, learning and remembering preferences of our clients.  It is no surprise that in the show, Mike is also banned from playing poker in casinos. “Don’t play cards with a guy with a photographic memory,” Mike says in one episode. Recently another real-life AI version of Mike Ross, called Libratus out-Bluffed the Best Human poker players.

The deeper message of Suits targets those concerns about lawyers being replaced by Mike-style robots. Ultimately, Mike, an untrained lawyer practices law, overhauls a profession focused on precedent, tradition and credentials.

However something interesting happens. The main character, Harvey, an archetype of innovation, is improved by having this “artificial lawyer” on the team. Harvey is the biggest advocate of this brave new world. In a particularly hopeless junction, Harvey boasts he has one thing his opponents do not: his “superpower, Mike Ross”.

Through the ups and downs of Suits, and for all Mike’s genius and talent,  Harvey remains the “real lawyer”. He is in the driving seat of the show.Harvey has the best lines Harvey takes the credit for the efficiency and enhancements that Mike brings. Harvey is the mentor of his young talent (“I’ll help you school those Harvard douches, and I’ll be the best god-damn lawyer you’ve ever seen“). He has the reputation that holds the firm together. It is Harvey who everyone wants to meet, and whose name and swagger strikes awe into all who cross his path. He is clearly the dominant partner in this relationship. In the final analysis, he actually ‘knows’ much more about the realities of law in real life than Mike’s pure AI superpower brilliance. Harvey sets and signs off the game plan for most of their legal strategies (like, say, LawGeex does in the legal “playbook”, with our lawyer bosses guiding the processes they want to follow).

The comforting lesson of Suits is that the rise of an AI Mike Robot will not see lawyers lose their job. On the contrary it is enabling lawyers to look better, win more, and be relevant.

In the final reckoning, having a Mike on your team means you get to be Harvey.

 

Jonathan Marciano, Communications Director at LawGeex, is  originally from London. He is  currently in Tel Aviv,  helping to bring about the legal revolution, one press release at a time. Follow him on Twitter. @J_Marciano

LawGeex‘s artificial intelligence solution helps legal teams automate the review and approval of contracts. We make in-house legal work easy, efficient and impactful, allowing our customers to focus on the big picture instead of getting lost in the paperwork.

7 thoughts on Lawyers losing their jobs to Robots

Noory Bechor, CEO LawGeex

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In a detailed piece, The New York Times looked at the likelihood of robots taking lawyer jobs. It was not alone in raising this scenario. In the same week came different stories with similar headlines: “Fear not the Robot Lawyer,” I Robot Took Your Job,” and “The Robot Lawyers are Coming” (with a caveat in this last article, at least, that these Robots are here to help).

Whenever lawyers (and non-lawyers) find out about LawGeex, which provides AI contract approval, these same concerns are raised. Are lawyers about to lose their jobs to Robots?

Here are some thoughts:

1) Lawyering is not entirely automatable

The threat of legal jobs being lost is not entirely science fiction. JP Morgan has created software that does in seconds what it is claimed took lawyers 360,000 hours. With the launch of our One Hour Contract Approval through AI automation (and human lawyers quality review) it no longer makes sense to wait a week or longer to approve a contract. Most organizations are cutting lawyers’ hours on this task. They are retargeting lawyer resources to more strategic work. But lawyering is not like car manufacturing. It is not entirely automatable. To cite one other article on this subject in the same week, a data scientist at a top eDiscovery firm says: “While there are functions of AI that are very well-suited to replacing many of the more defined tasks, legal practice requires advanced cognitive abilities and problem-solving skills in environments of legal and factual uncertainty”.

2) Lawyers do not like the drudge work anyway

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Lawyers are smart people and do not enjoy doing robotic legal work. This is work junior lawyers hated doing in the first place. Reviewing NDAs is not what anyone went to law school for. Most of our in-house counsel clients are quite direct that they just want burdensome processes and simple contracts off their plates completely.

For me, it was mind-blowing that some of the biggest companies in the U.S still create contracts and review everyday contracts manually. I was feeling this pain every day as a corporate lawyer, and that’s what convinced me that a significant part of this could be automated.

It is no surprise that so many “robot lawyer” creators — from Andrew Arruda (AI legal research) at Ross to Michael Mills Neota Logic Inc (AI expertise automation)— left old-world law. They are enhancing the profession for a new generation of lawyers to better enjoy their work (which I frankly did not as a corporate lawyer) and get home at a reasonable time. This is the biggest promise of technology. As we have said in a previous post, lawyers want to hire a robot to focus on more strategic work (in short to hire a Robot to (finally) get sh*t done).

3) Lawyers will use robots much like pilots use autopilot

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In the 1940s, airline pilots were also worried about the rise of autopilot technology. They feared it would take away their jobs, much like lawyers have expressed concern about technology today. However, the successful pilots were those that realized this technology could tackle the mundane tasks, and it ultimately gave them more tools and better data. The pilots that embraced this new technology paved the way in their profession, resulting in better working conditions, safer travel, and a boon to the airline industry that has changed the world today as we know it.

4) Robots are  dependable employees when hired

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We have had in-house counsel coming to us after a junior lawyer — having mastered their contract review and approval process —decided to move on. Not only was a valuable employee lost because of drudgery, but all the experience she had obtained went with her.  For this level of work hiring a robot makes sense. It does not forget anything, makes far fewer mistakes – and unlike the coffee-powered human reviewer, it does not get tired.

5) The legal pie is actually likely to grow

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In one more AI jobs article this week (“Robots are Only The Latest in a Long Line of Job Killers”), Andrew Coyne said that despite automation the world now has the biggest employment it has ever seen. In contrast, the legal sector is almost untouched by technology and has hit a wall for employment. If we take online travel (perhaps the industry which has become most automated and online in our lifetime) something fascinating happened. Since the algorithms and automation of online booking, replacing the old world of travel agents, the travel industry has actually grown in players and in revenue.

From an already sizeable 475 billion U.S. dollar revenue in 2000, the travel sector more than doubled to generate more than one trillion dollars in 2014. Like with travel, so for law. Vodafone Global Enterprise overhauled its in-house legal team invested in an 18-month transformation project underpinned by time-saving technology. Kerry Phillip, legal director at Vodafone, used this new strategy to increase her team from 35 in 2014 to a wider team of 80 — around 50 of whom are lawyers.

6) The new type of lawyer powers revenue and employment  

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Lawyers powering growth will drive employment, enhancing the strategic status of the lawyer. The Association of Corporate Counsel’s Global Census finds that entrance to the C-suite is now based on the in-house lawyer defining and delivering maximum value. In particular, this means using technology to demonstrate efficiencies and realize promotion prospects. Uber General Counsel Salle Yoo encapsulates the right type of strategic legal being indispensable for a company. “I always tell my team, we are not here to solve legal problems, we are here to solve business problems. The law is our tool and it’s the specialty tool we have.” To counter the argument of job cuts, Uber’s legal team has risen from one (when Yoo arrived) to 220 today. In our own experience, we have found our fastest-growing number of customers come from sales-driven companies who require deals to go through quickly and are saying no to old ways of doing things. To quote Uber’s Salle Yoo one more time “I’ve stopped counting the number of times the answer to a problem has been ‘well, it’s never been done before, but let’s figure out a way to move forward!”. Tech is a means to this business end. Data and AI solutions can provide detailed data analysis for metrics, measurements, and benchmarks against competitors in the industry, arming lawyers with the power to grow their teams. Using legal data and their law specialty to promote business goals, lawyers in IP are using technology to deploy big data sets to more effectively analyze the brands they are protecting. These lawyers are spotting warning signals of upcoming issues, ultimately increasing the value of the brand portfolio.

 

7) Technology will sustain a new type of lawyer (millennial, and a leader!)

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The skillset requires of lawyers have already changed. We have lived through digitization in courts, the embracing of e-Discovery and analytics, and witnessed an increased reliance on data to resolve disputes. Legal teams have seen technology and data-driven decision-making happening now. Tellingly. in his first message as the inaugural chair of the legal operations membership section of the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC), Reese Arrowsmith said: “We have probably all read articles about how [AI] and other technology will reduce the number of lawyers needed. This truly fundamental change will require legal departments and the legal industry to rethink how they function, and the legal operations role will be instrumental in that transition. Companies are going to need to adopt, and will want to adopt, these new solutions.” This is a good thing for business and global economic growth.

The relationship with AI needs to be seen like switching to autopilot for certain low level tasks. This is quite different than submitting to new robot overlords. Embracing change will plot a flightpath for a resurgent, larger, smarter and more profitable legal profession.

For more information or a LawGeex demo Get In Touch.

Noory Bechor CEO and Founder of LawGeex is a man on a mission: to revolutionize the legal world through innovative technology. Noory combines his entrepreneurial spirit and years of experience as an international commercial lawyer to help other lawyers #lovelegal again, making their work easy, efficient and impactful.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The One Hour Contract Revolution

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One hour. It is something that still has meaning when it comes to speed and efficiency. The world’s most innovative company, Amazon has revolutionized shopping, offering One Hour delivery of goods. The online giant is even rushing steaming food from the best restaurants in cities to homes or workplaces within this sixty minute window.

Now, added to the list of One Hour advances, is contract approval.

For decades, contracts, despite being the cog of business, have not been processed anything close to fast. The Institute for Supply Management found that 60-80% of all business-to-business transactions are governed by some form of written agreement, with a typical Fortune 1000 company maintaining 20,000 to 40,000 active contracts at any given time. However a simple standard non-disclosure agreement takes companies a week or longer to approve. Pressed legal teams are undeservedly seen as a bottleneck. The majority of in-house legal departments at small and mid-sized companies spend 50% of their time reviewing contracts.

Introducing One Hour Contract Approval 

Today we can announce that in-house counsel and businesses can have The One Hour Amazon experience when it comes to approving contracts. While remaining in control, everyday contracts can be taken off the plates of organizations through automation. This is helping in-house lawyers, focus on more strategic tasks, improve consistency and ensure deals are sped up – making everyone from sales teams to the CEO happy.

How does this work?

Companies subscribing to LawGeex submit contracts via the platform. This is done simply via email, Slack, Salesforce, or drag and drop. LawGeex artificial intelligence engine reviews the contracts based on a legal team’s predefined criteria. Contracts that meet the criteria are approved automatically within the hour. Those that do not are escalated to the legal team with an interactive report which can be fixed on the spot.

There may be contracts (think IPOs or big deals) which will rightly need manpower and lawyers to pour over them. However, in an age of automation, everyday contracts are no longer something that lawyers should have to waste their expertise on (the top five most popular contracts run through LawGeex’s each day are NDA, service agreements, SaaS agreements, software Licenses and Purchase Order Contracts).

The One Hour Amazon Revolution is made possible by algorithms plotting seamless routes, and messengers traveling by bike, car, truck and subway to get your goods – or restaurant food – to you on time.

For LawGeex, One Hour contract approval involves us using AI to understand and interpret an exclusive corpus of more than 100,000 contracts. LawGeex follows a company’s legal playbook to make sure that it includes and excludes clauses based on a company’s individual preferences. Finally, the contract process is quality assured by top U.S attorneys.

Speed, accuracy and final checks are crucial when it comes to your dry cleaning or book and food deliveries. It is doubly important for businesses, where failure to review or approve contracts can make or break a deal. Some clients have told us that before using LawGeex they simply stopped reviewing certain contracts because of the volume, creating any number of unknown risks in an organization.

Companies deserve fast, affordable and effective contract approval delivered consistently with a great customer experience, as Amazon have done so successfully in revolutionizing shopping.

Like the leaders in other industries, we hail the powerful innovation of the One Hour Revolution.

Get in touch today for a demo to have One Hour Contract approval in your organization.

Jonathan Marciano, Communications Director at LawGeex, is  originally from London. He is  currently in Tel Aviv,  helping to bring about the legal revolution, one press release at a time. Follow him on Twitter. @J_Marciano

LawGeex‘s artificial intelligence solution helps legal teams automate the review and approval of contracts. We make in-house legal work easy, efficient and impactful, allowing our customers to focus on the big picture instead of getting lost in the paperwork.

What Our $7m funding means for LawGeex?

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The LawGeex team

Today we announced our new $7 million funding round which was led by a group of top-tier investors, including Japanese-based HR and information services company, Recruit Holdings, the owner of Indeed.com. See our full press release here.

This funding is a vote of confidence for our vision of “Automating the Legal World”. We plan to use the funds to further advance our product and technology, strengthen both our management and overall team, while continuing to promote LawGeex to businesses in the US market.

This is also a good time to focus on the progress we have made and major milestones achieved in the last few months.

There are several highlights and successes I would like to point to:

As a company, we have refined our product offering, focusing on helping legal departments automate their contract review process and shorten contract approval turnaround time.

In the past few months we have closed  major accounts with international brands, including leading U.S names in retail, finance and insurance.

We have also achieved major progress with our product, adding three killer features:

  • Playbooks – customers can set rules and parameters which incoming contracts are reviewed against.
  • Editor – customers can edit contracts directly in the LawGeex report without having to move to a different platform, like MS Word.
  • Smart Standard – allows customers to check external comments on their own template contracts.

We have enhanced our powerful AI technology, trained by leading U.S lawyers, engineers and global AI experts, to provide accuracy and efficiency for everyday contract approvals.

The market has also been moving rapidly in our direction, with AI established as a major buzzword, and businesses and in-house counsel actively searching for AI legal solutions for their contract needs.

Finally, on both a personal and professional level, I must say that these are exciting times. The legal market is rapidly changing and we are positioned to  take advantage of this opportunity by helping businesses enhance efficiency and slash time waiting for approval of contracts.  Our clients already report 80% time saved reviewing and approving contracts and 90% cost savings on manual review. I’m excited to see what additional improvements the future holds.

As always, the LawGeex team and I will continue doing our best to make you proud.

Noory and the LawGeex Team

_MG_4552 (1)Noory Bechor CEO and Founder of LawGeex is a man on a mission: to revolutionize the legal world through innovative technology. Noory combines his entrepreneurial spirit and years of experience as an international commercial lawyer to help other lawyers #lovelegal again, making their work easy, efficient and impactful.