The Rise of Generative AI Tools in the Legal Profession
Generative AI tools, such as ChatGPT, have been making waves in the legal industry. The potential efficiency gains offered by these tools are truly mind-boggling and could potentially change the course of careers for legal professionals. It is predicted that generative AI will have a significant impact on various aspects of legal work, with some functions even being replaced in the coming years. The growing popularity of generative AI technology can be seen from the increase in news coverage of companies racing to release new generative AI products specifically designed for the legal industry.
One notable announcement came from Thomson Reuters just last month. The company revealed that it had entered into an agreement to acquire Casetext, a legal research software company, for a hefty sum of $650 million in cash. The driving force behind this acquisition was Casetext’s launch of CoCounsel, a state-of-the-art legal assistant chatbot that can assist with tasks such as document review and summarization, deposition preparation, database searches, legal research memos, and contract analysis. Following closely behind is LexisNexis, which announced the release of the beta version of Lexis+ AI. This generative AI tool boasts features such as conversational search, document summarization, and intelligent legal drafting capabilities. These developments, along with the speed at which major legal tech companies are entering the generative AI space, strongly indicate that AI will have a lasting impact on the practice of law.
Generative AI tools in the legal sector come in various forms, including contract analytics tools and AI legal assistant tools. Unlike contract analytics tools, AI legal assistant tools can be utilized by lawyers across all types of law practices and tasks. These tools are often powered by GPT-4 or a combination of other generative AI chatbot technologies such as Google’s Bard or Microsoft’s Bing. Some companies even rely on their proprietary AI technology. The functionalities of these tools typically include document analysis and review, document or case summaries, answering general questions, drafting templates and forms, and extracting contract data. LexisNexis and Thomson Reuters are just two examples of companies that have released generative AI tools in this category, but there are plenty of other solutions available in the market.
It is important to note that while generative AI tools have come a long way, they are not without limitations. In their current form, these tools can still produce responses that may contain inaccuracies and falsehoods. Therefore, it is crucial to have a solid foundation of knowledge in the topics and issues you are querying and to review all responses from the chatbot carefully to identify any errors. However, as generative AI technology continues to advance, the quality of results will undoubtedly improve, reducing the need for extensive oversight. Another important consideration when using these tools is the security and privacy of client information. Legal professionals have an ethical obligation to thoroughly understand how the technology provider handles, processes, hosts, and stores data. This involves being aware of the company’s data management processes, whether they use user input to improve future responses, the location of their servers, who has access to the data, and the backup procedures in place.
With that being said, let’s take a closer look at some of the generative AI tools available in the AI legal assistant category. It is worth noting that the list provided is not exhaustive, and more products are expected to be released in the near future.
1. Termi: This stand-alone conversational chatbot, powered by GPT-3.5, integrates with various legal software products and can provide answers to a wide range of questions related to cases and legal issues. Pricing information is not publicly available.
2. Copilot: Powered by CPT-3.5, this stand-alone chatbot specializes in answering queries about documents, drafting emails and other communications, and even provides translation services. It is set to be publicly available later this year. Early access to the beta program costs $5 monthly, and participants will receive a 50% discount off the annual plan once the beta program concludes, resulting in a savings of $300.
3. Midpage.ai: Designed to assist with legal research and document drafting, Midpage.ai integrates with popular legal research providers to provide comprehensive case summaries. While it is not currently available, you can join the waitlist to be notified of its release.
4. Visalaw.ai: This tool specifically caters to immigration lawyers. It offers legal research capabilities, document summarization, language translation, and more. Although it hasn’t been released yet, you can join the waitlist.
5. Dodan.ai: Featuring GPT-powered technology, Dodan.ai aids in deposition and document summaries, document drafting, and document search. While you can sign up now and take advantage of the free trial, pricing information is not available on the website.
The emergence of numerous AI-based legal assistant tools in such a short span of time signifies a significant shift in the legal profession. The rapid development of generative AI technology is expected to reshape legal workflows at an unprecedented pace. Within just a few years, the practice of law may look vastly different from what we’re familiar with today. Embracing this irreversible trend and preparing for the changes ahead is crucial. Lawyers who stay informed, understand the advantages of AI, and are well-equipped to address its ethical and practical implications will be able to streamline their law firms, increase efficiencies, and gain a competitive edge. There’s no better time than now to take steps towards becoming one of these future-facing lawyers.
Nicole Black, an attorney, author, and journalist based in Rochester, New York, is a prime example of a legal professional who recognizes the importance of staying at the forefront of technological advancements. As the senior director of subject matter expertise and external education at MyCase, a legal practice management software company, she is deeply involved in exploring the intersection of law and emerging technologies. Nicole is the author of Cloud Computing for Lawyers and co-author of Social Media for Lawyers: The Next Frontier, both published by the American Bar Association. She regularly contributes articles to ABAJournal.com and Above the Law, in addition to speaking at conferences. Follow Nicole on Twitter @nikiblack or reach out to her at [email protected]
The impact of generative AI tools in the legal profession cannot be overstated. The rise of these technologies has the potential to revolutionize the way legal professionals work, making their lives easier and more efficient. The acquisition of Casetext by Thomson Reuters and the release of LexisNexis’ Lexis+ AI are just the tip of the iceberg. The number of generative AI tools available in the market is set to increase in the coming months, offering legal professionals even more options to enhance their practices.
It’s crucial for legal professionals to stay informed about the latest technological advancements and embrace the changes brought about by generative AI. By understanding the advantages of AI and addressing its ethical and practical implications, lawyers can position themselves for success in the ever-evolving legal landscape. Investing in the right generative AI tools can help streamline law firms, increase productivity, and give legal professionals a competitive edge.
To stay updated on the latest news and developments in AI and technology, check out GPT News Room. It’s a comprehensive resource that offers insights and analysis on various topics, including AI, machine learning, and more. Visit the GPT News Room website at https://gptnewsroom.com for the latest AI news and trends.