Welcome to your Law Tech briefing for Aug 14th, 2023, covering what happened in legal tech recently.
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Have less than a 1 min? Three takeaways from yesterday
- Law firms and legal professionals should utilize AI tools to augment their abilities and increase productivity. AI in legal technology ranging from legal research to client-lawyer communication and specific law practice areas like immigration, is designed to assist and not replace humans in legal work processes. As such, the adoption of AI tools like Dentons and Gunderson's AI tools and ImmigrationAI should be seen as a strategic move to improve efficiency.
- Privacy and security should be top concerns when adopting AI technologies in law firms. With the ongoing appeals against the delay in privacy act enforcement, law firms need to be cautious of over-reliance on these tools. They should also seek ways to leverage AI without compromising data privacy and security.
- The increasing integration of AI into the legal industry necessitates the development of new legislation and regulatory frameworks. As law firms delve deeper into the digital world, they must stay compliant with regulations and guidelines regarding the use of AI in order to mitigate risks. Legal professionals should be updated with these legal frameworks as they navigate the evolving digital landscape of their practice.
Here's what happened in legal tech recently...
Global law firm Dentons, in partnership with Microsoft, launched an AI tool built on OpenAI's GPT-4 Large Language Model. The tool is created to assist legal professionals with research and content creation and does not use uploaded data for training. Elsewhere, Gunderson Dettmer, a Silicon Valley law firm, has developed an AI-powered chat application called ChatGD. Software provider Filevine also joined the AI fray, releasing ImmigrationAI, a tool designed to streamline immigration operations for law firms.
In regulatory news, the California Attorney General and the state's privacy agency are appealing a court's decision to delay enforcement of certain elements of the California Consumer Privacy Act until March 2023.
Law firms and legal tech solution providers are embracing AI to streamline operations, a trend seen in projects from Dentons, Gunderson Dettmer, and Filevine. While Dentons' AI assists with legal research, Dettmer's ChatGD supports client-lawyer communication, and Filevine's ImmigrationAI automates immigration case tasks. Beyond work process automation, there's a growing trend towards enhancing digital communication and task management within law firms, with Microsoft's Outlook update as a recent example. Law schools are also integrating AI resources into their curricula, reflecting the evolving landscape of the legal industry. These developments reflect the ongoing digital transformation in legal practice.
AI tools are becoming increasingly pivotal in the practice of law. Still, they don't exist to replace legal professionals but to augment their abilities and increase productivity. Over-reliance can lead to privacy and ethical concerns, as seen in the appeal against delay in privacy act enforcement. Compliance remains a key concern for law firms as they navigate the new digital landscape. Looking forward, firms are likely to seek ways to leverage AI without compromising data privacy and security. Additionally, the advancements in legal technology necessitate new legislation and regulatory frameworks to guide their application and mitigate risks. Providers continue to innovate, but the successful integration of AI into the legal industry relies not only on the technology itself but also on its acceptance and wise use by legal practitioners.
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Dentons, one of the world's largest law firms, has successfully launched its proprietary version of ChatGPT, based on OpenAI’s GPT-4 Large Language Model. The system facilitates legal research, generates content, and identifies relevant legal arguments. A second bot is capable of analyzing and querying key data from uploaded legal documents. Joe Cohen, Dentons’ UKIME head of innovation, affirmed the security of the data, stating that the information stored in Microsoft Azure cannot be accessed externally and gets erased after 30 days. The company is optimistic about the technology but insists it can only supplement, not substitute, lawyers. Dentons may sell the tool, but the onus remains on lawyers to validate its output.
The 17th International Conference on Substantive Technology in Legal Education and Practice (SubTech2022), held in Singapore, focused on the role of technology in legal education and practice. The topic of discussion revolved around how well law schools are preparing students for a tech-driven world. While some firms have initiated steps towards adopting technology, the question of law students being suitably prepared remains. Two primary viewpoints emerged during the discussions. One suggested that firms might be too burdened to include technology, noting the pressure faced by junior lawyers. The alternate argument asserted that the strain on lawyers necessitated a technological shift to automate and streamline tasks. The debate ended with considerations towards whether introducing students to legal technology at law school was more effective, thus ensuring that future lawyers are better equipped to navigate a tech-reliant legal landscape.
Microsoft's updated Outlook interface provides enhanced email and reminder management. Features include the ability to snooze emails, pin them to the inbox top, flag them as tasks, and create tasks or calendar appointments with reminders. It also integrates with Microsoft's To Do app, auto-populating flagged emails into the To Do list. The My Day panel facilitates quick task and appointment creation from emails.
Silicon Valley law firm, Gunderson Dettmer, has created an AI chat app, ChatGD, in response to the rapid advancements in legal tech. Law schools are also integrating AI resources into their curricula. In other developments, Meta has resolved a legal dispute with AI startup Neural Magic, and Google and Universal Music are in talks over a licensing deal that could impact how AI firms handle intellectual property. These events underscore the ongoing challenges the legal industry faces in defining the regulations and implications of AI technology.
Filevine, a top immigration case management software provider, has introduced ImmigrationAI, an AI-powered tool designed to streamline immigration operations for law firms. The tool assists in form completion, data extraction from documents, and tracking form statuses. It also includes a multilingual questionnaire and a feature for data inconsistency checks. By reducing errors and automating tasks, ImmigrationAI enables immigration attorneys to serve more clients effectively.
The California Attorney General and state's privacy agency are appealing a judge's ruling that delays enforcement of certain California Consumer Privacy Act aspects until March 2023. The ruling was a response to a lawsuit by the California Chamber of Commerce, arguing for a year's grace period before enforcement. The appeal contends that the ruling allows businesses to violate privacy protections and denies consumers the promised enforcement.
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