The Future Of Law: ILTACON 2023’s Legal Tech Innovations

The Future Of Law: ILTACON 2023’s Legal Tech Innovations

The Future Of Law: ILTACON 2023’s Legal Tech InnovationsLast week, I attended ILTACON 2023, and from the very start, it was clear that this is a pivotal time in legal technology. Excitement about the future was palpable as industry leaders presented innovative solutions designed to revolutionize the practice of law. Whether in the exhibit hall, over lunch, or during late-night parties, discussions converged on the incredible potential — and the challenges — of integrating generative AI into legal workflows.

No matter where I went, there were lots of great conversations -= too many to recount. So instead, here’s a round-up of some of my learning, which include newly released or beta technologies along with notable survey insights that provide a glimpse into the future of legal tech.

Ready Or Not, Generative AI Is Here

According to the LexisNexis Global Legal Generative AI Survey released at ILTACON 2023, 65% of global lawyers identified research as the primary utility for generative AI tools. Drafting documents (56%), analyzing documents (44%), and email writing (35%) followed closely. Notably, 86% of legal professionals are aware of generative AI, but awareness among consumers stands at 57%.

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The Everlaw Ediscovery Innovation Report, also released at the conference, provides a more cautious perspective. A mere 6% of respondents believe the legal industry is prepared for generative AI, with 72% disagreeing or strongly disagreeing that it’s prepared for what will come. Only 21% were undecided. However, a significant 40% are either already using or plan to use generative AI in their practice. The primary concern was accuracy, cited by 46% of respondents.

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In other words, a top reservation is fallout from the types of errors generated by current versions of generative AI, which are often referred to as “hallucinations.”

Generative AI (And More) Announcements

Of course, as LexisNexis Chief Product Officer Jeff Pfeiffer shared, there’s no such thing as perfection or perfect results, and as one of their customers, a partner in a law firm, told him: “My first-year associate also hallucinates a lot.” In other words, regardless of who — or what — generated a draft of work product, the supervising attorney has an obligation to carefully review it for errors.

During our conversation, Jeff also shared news of a generative AI product that is currently in beta release, Lexis + AI, which is expected to be commercially available at the end of September. It will include the ability to answer legal questions (conversational search), summarize case opinions, and draft documents such as emails, argument clauses, and advisory notes to a client.

I also spoke with Chuck Kellner, strategic discovery advisor at Everlaw, and he updated me on the generative AI functionality that is in beta and will soon be available in Everlaw AI Assistant. Using it, customers will be able to summarize documents, ask a question when reviewing documents, and obtain writing assistance to, among other things, generate a statement of facts or write counterarguments.

DISCO also revealed a noteworthy feature, AI Timelines in DISCO Case Builder. Katie DeBord, VP of product and strategy, explained how this new tool is designed to autonomously construct timelines from uploaded legal documents, such as formal complaints, review protocols, and internal memos.

I also learned that LiquidText, a platform specializing in an incredibly user-friendly interface that provides document analysis, reading, and note-taking capabilities, is strategically aligning with iManage Work, a leading platform for work product management. According to founder and CEO Craig Tashman, this integration combines LiquidText’s capabilities in advanced reading, document analysis, and annotation with iManage’s strengths, which include document and email management, thereby offering a streamlined and seamless workflow.

Lastly, NetDocuments announced the expansion of its AI-equipped app suite in the ndMAX Studio, a resource and application library available to its clientele. These ready-to-deploy apps, designed for users of PatternBuilder MAX, offer efficient solutions for common legal tasks. The new AI features include content summarization (Summarizer), agreement revision (Contract Playbook), and document information extraction (Auto-Profiler), among others.

The Future Is Now

There were so many fantastic announcements and connections made at ILTACON this year. All in all, it was a great conference, and no matter who you talked to, one thing was certain: there was a palpable sense of excitement and optimism this year in the face of major shifts on the horizon. Everywhere you looked, people were talking about generative AI and the promise it holds for revolutionizing the legal profession. It’s an exciting time for legaltech, and I, for one, can’t wait to see what the future holds!

Nicole Black is a Rochester, New York attorney and Director of Business and Community Relations at MyCase, web-based law practice management software. She’s been blogging since 2005, has written a weekly column for the Daily Record since 2007, is the author of Cloud Computing for Lawyers, co-authors Social Media for Lawyers: the Next Frontier, and co-authors Criminal Law in New York. She’s easily distracted by the potential of bright and shiny tech gadgets, along with good food and wine. You can follow her on Twitter at @nikiblack and she can be reached at [email protected].

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