Recap: #LegalTechChat Twitter Chat with NetDocuments' Peter Buck & Artificial Lawyer's Richard Tromans
Earlier this month, Diligen hosted our fourth #LegalTechChat Twitter Chat on Legal AI: "Everything you always wanted to know but were afraid to ask". The chat was co-hosted by Peter Buck (@backofthenapkin; NetDocuments' VP of Product Strategy) and Richard Tromans (@artificiallawya; founder of Artificial Lawyer). Legal professionals from across Twitter joined the chat, sparking great conversations and introducing compelling new ideas.
Here's a collection of our favourite responses. If you're interested in joining the next #LegalTechChat on Twitter, follow us at @diligensoftware for updates on our next Q&A session.
Q1: Why even use AI in your law firm? Where do you start?
You start with people and process. I wouldn't add anything AI or #legaltech until you know what's actually happening in the firm. Adding good tech over a bad process is the kiss of death. #LegalTechChat— Kelli Proia 🦖 (@lawducate) May 2, 2019
1/2: I'd start with mapping the flow of the practices and the people in the firm. From there, identify redundancies, tension points, and other inefficiencies. With an understanding of what those are, start looking for a solution to automate those flows and tasks.— Natalie Anne Knowlton (@natalalleycat) May 2, 2019
2/2: By streamlining work flows, you can create a more efficient office. And lawyers can do more lawyering. On the flip side, AI is essential to creating a decent client experience. Attorneys and firms have never been known for their excellent bedside manner. Tech tools can help.— Natalie Anne Knowlton (@natalalleycat) May 2, 2019
Q2: The controversial question: when will reasoning be replaced by machines - 1 year, 2 years, never?
If this is ever to happen, it is way off in the future. I prefer to think of AI in legal now as giving lawyers an robotically enhanced exoskeleton -- it makes them more powerful, but we still need the lawyers' brains to drive the effort.— Bob Ambrogi (@bobambrogi) May 2, 2019
it 'depends' how we define reasoning. Spell check on MS Word is 'reasoning' correct spellings from one perspective. I guess the issue is the complexity level of reasoning.— Richard Tromans (@ArtificialLawya) May 2, 2019
Most of the times it is not about replacing human with machine but augmenting humans' work with machine intelligent. It will a very long time before we see human reasoning is replaced by machines. Look at auto industry , the setbacks are unexpected. We have long way to go.— Mou Nandi (@mounandi) May 2, 2019
To come back to Q#2 on singularity, we first have to even walk. I like this framework to think about what green field to start your walk. Thoughts @bobambrogi or @computational #LegalTechChat pic.twitter.com/0RjotkFUYt— Peter Buck (@backofthenapkin) May 2, 2019
Q3: Speaking of machine reasoning, what does success look like when using AI systems?
A3: Success depends on the goal and the problem people are trying to solve IMHO. #LegalTechChat.— Nick Rishwain, JD (@expertsdotcomvp) May 2, 2019
Success looks no different than human-derived success; the difference is cost and efficiency.— mbaltusavich (@mbaltusavich) May 2, 2019
It might be as simple as an internal branding acknowledgment ... “we do AI, that is something to be proud of and find out more about” #legaltechchat— Jobst Elster (@InsideLegal) May 2, 2019
A3: Happier clients, saving costs, using fewer resources. If any of the above, you're doing great. #LegalTechChat— Madaline Zannes (@zanneslaw) May 2, 2019
Q4: What about the upfront cost and training time vs benefits of AI? What are some AI project management tips/best practices?
Best case scenario is AI tools come pre-trained for the task you are looking to do AND has the flexibility for you to easily train it yourself. #LegalTechChat— Laura van Wyngaarden (@lauravanwyn) May 2, 2019
This is one of the problems of partnership law firms. No permanent capital, just debt. Thats why ABS and the like crucial. Law needs long term investment to deliver change. Or disruptors will bypass them.— Crispin Passmore (@CrispinPassmore) May 2, 2019
On Q4: costs and time. Keeping the Three-legged Stool Balanced: Operations + Technology + Change Management. The tech is only 33% of the challenge #LegalTechChat— Peter Buck (@backofthenapkin) May 2, 2019
There's no one answer to that question. Depends on which AI product, the purpose for which it's used, and the firm. But AI vendors should be doing a lot of hand-holding with firms.— Bob Ambrogi (@bobambrogi) May 2, 2019
Q5: How do you charge AI-assisted work to clients? What does the future hold in this regard?
Everyone I speak to gives a slightly different answer. Some just swallow it. Some pass on as a 'tech charge', others simply add it to the bill as if was any other standard cost.— Richard Tromans (@ArtificialLawya) May 2, 2019
I'm sure in time all sorts of AI-related AFAs will come to light too.
Hate to keep answering, "It depends," but it does. If AI for large-scale contract review, then pass off the cost to the client. If AI for more "routine" contract review or legal research, then absorb it as a cost of practicing law in the 21st Century.— Bob Ambrogi (@bobambrogi) May 2, 2019
I've seen disbursements becoming common. The right answer will depend on a client's priorities, but typically clients are happy to pay for tech that speeds up the process and reduces their bill. Especially if it's that instead of a per-page printing fee. #legaltechchat— Hannah Brennen (@hannahlbrennen) May 2, 2019
Q6: Which law firms are using AI effectively right now? Tag them in your response.
The big challenge I see now is really scaling up across the whole firm, wherever it's useful.— Richard Tromans (@ArtificialLawya) May 2, 2019
Q6: who is doing good work in legal AI: it ranges from experimentation to reality. Experimentation with time entry historical classification @SheppardMullin Ali Shahidi #LegalTechChat pic.twitter.com/9fReSOaJdE— Peter Buck (@backofthenapkin) May 2, 2019
Well....this will be a long list......you can easily count most of the top City firms in London to a greater or lesser degree.— Richard Tromans (@ArtificialLawya) May 2, 2019
The challenge is internal scale of use, i.e. one practice uses AI a lot for M&A review...but that's one practice in one office in a global firm.