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Using Generative AI to Provide Greater Client Value


By Ari Kaplan, Greg Coates & Kennan Samman


Ari Kaplan speaks with Greg Coates (l) and Kennan Samman (r), the Vice President for Generative AI and the Vice President for Global Product Sales, respectively, at Litera, a software company that provides document lifecycle, deal management, and firm intelligence solutions to the legal profession.


Ari Kaplan

Greg, tell us about your background and why Litera created the new role of Vice President for Generative AI.


Greg Coates

I joined Litera six weeks ago and previously sat on the board of the business as a principal at Hg, the private equity firm that invested in Litera, among other legal tech companies. Along with spending a long time in legal tech learning about many businesses, I have a long history with Litera and understand how it has evolved over the last four years. In our effort to create a dedicated team that has room to think about its future trajectory, including disrupting the business, if necessary, and evaluate the potential of generative AI for each component of the entire company prompted the creation of this role. My goal is to accelerate and execute on what we want to achieve.


Ari Kaplan

Kennan, tell us about your background and how Litera is integrating AI into the company's portfolio of products?


Kennan Samman

I've been in legal tech for over 10 years and eight of them has been in AI. My career in legal and enterprise technology began at Practical Law Company, where I advised major US and global law firms on the acquisition of legal know-how and how-to solutions. In early 2015, I joined a Toronto-based AI startup called Diligence Engine, which rebranded to Kira Systems, where I helped develop and take to market the global sales and customer success. In 2021, Litera acquired Kira and I now lead a team of professionals, who focus on equipping law firms, professional services organizations, and corporations with a suite of firm intelligence, governance, finance, talent, and workflow products across all segments, verticals, and jurisdictions. There is unique potential for generative AI and large language models to enhance the UI and UX of our current portfolio of tools so we are evaluating ways that these technologies can add value to our already established offerings. Of course, Kira was the first AI product in the contract analysis legal tech category and we are continuing to invest in that space, but it is not just about dropping a chatbot into a platform and pausing. Our solutions are enterprise grade and tested heavily for scalability to handle the volume of documents and data our customers manage. Given our user-centered approach to innovation, we conduct rigorous testing and our legal and object knowledge engineering team, as well as our outside team of lawyers ensure the highest quality before we go to market and launch anything. Litera firmly believes that AI will augment and enhance the quality of work that legal and business professionals do daily.


Ari Kaplan

Greg, how does AI serve as a resource to give lawyers the chance to provide more value to their clients?


Greg Coates

Legal work often falls into one of two buckets.

Things that clients want done quicker and things that clients would like done better. For example, clients want an NDA review done faster and by association cheaper. When negotiating a term sheet with a tricky founder, they want that job done better and would rather take time to get the best legal advice in a situation that has high stakes. AI can help you get that first draft quicker, amend it faster, and perform due diligence more rapidly. Clients are paying for the knowledge and intelligence of the firms they hire, but knowledge and intelligence tends to reside haphazardly with individuals and not in a structured, accessible repository. Generative AI has the potential to finally solve that knowledge management problem and allow lawyers to leverage the value of their firm’s intellectual property to be better advisors.

Ari Kaplan

Kennan, where is AI best deployed in legal and what are its limitations?


Kennan Samman

This is an ever-evolving landscape. Technology's advancing faster than ever before and any output that AI provides depends on the data that it analyzes and interprets. Without solutions in place to collect the data that you are interested in understanding, it would be tremendously difficult to extract and generate meaningful insights. AI will allow firms to amplify and unlock the value of their legal expertise, but it needs to be fit for purpose. AI is less about time savings or billable hours, and more about giving top value lawyers resources to provide better service to clients or enabling them to work smarter, better, and faster. AI is a tool to augment tasks and make you better. AI will not replace lawyers. Rather, it will make them better. So the ones who embrace this faster will understand and realize the value quicker. We have found that human plus AI is better than human or AI alone.


Ari Kaplan

Greg, what steps should law firms and their leaders take to prepare for increased usage of AI?


Greg Coates

Customers seem really excited about using AI based on their firm’s knowledge to draft content like a second-year associate, while firms need to balance the ethics and security of doing so because law firms need to examine how clients feel about their work product training an algorithm. To prepare, law firms should consider three factors. First, firms that have embraced and migrated to the cloud are in a better position to move quickly with AI. Second, AI is only as good as the context you put into it so having the right metadata and knowledge taxonomies are critical to producing the most accurate results. Third, adoption is the biggest headache for every innovation leader so law firms with the strongest adoption processes and quickest approval protocols will move quicker.


Ari Kaplan

Kennan, where do you see the use of generative AI headed?


Kennan Samman

A large language model is an AI model trained on an immense amount of text and data. Generative AI refers to AI algorithms that can generate new and original content. So large language models and generative AI represent a massive leap in natural language processing, which can be a very powerful tool in the legal space if used correctly. The potential use cases may include extracting and classifying concepts, among other data, from contracts for due diligence or other types of contract review, research or case law specific queries, producing citations, generating memos, reading depositions, drafting contracts, and summarizing or translating documents. They can also compare terms in policies and playbooks, as well as generate edits and capture deal points. Ultimately, the purpose of AI depends on the use case and business priorities.

 

About the Author

Ari Kaplan (http://www.AriKaplanAdvisors.com) regularly interviews leaders in the legal industry and in the broader professional services community to share perspective, highlight transformative change, and introduce new technology at http://www.ReinventingProfessionals.com and his series at Legal Business World


Listen to his conversation with Greg Coates and Kennan Samman here:



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