Report from the Legal Innovators Conference

The Legal Innovators conference, held on November 8 and 9 in London and created by Artificial Lawyer, and organized by Cosmonauts, showcased a pivotal shift in the legal industry’s embrace of artificial intelligence (AI). With a focus on AI, the conference shed light on how this technology is reshaping the legal tech landscape and prompting lawyers to become more tech-savvy.

The conference kicked off with Zack Abramowitz, founder of Killer Whale Strategies, delivering a keynote that emphasized the transformative impact of AI on legal tech. He provocatively stated, “AI will eat the legal tech software before eating lawyers,” signifying the monumental shift toward AI-centric legal solutions. The release of ChatGPT on November 30, 2022, marked a turning point, reaching one million users within five days and an astonishing 100 million users within two months.

Contrary to the traditional image of lawyers as non-tech-savvy, the legal community is now wholeheartedly embracing AI. Matthew Leopold from LexisNexis presented data revealing that lawyers are more aware of general AI than the general consumer population. This awareness has led law firms to initiate AI projects, exploring ways to leverage AI for the benefit of their clients. Clients are also expecting more from lawyers in terms of AI integration than they are currently aware of.

A notable observation is the acknowledgment by lawyers that AI solutions are not replacements but augmentations. This realization has prompted law firms to actively explore implementations, encouraging lawyers to experiment with AI solutions and subsequently build business cases.

The changing landscape has turned legal conferences into global networking events, bringing legal professionals from around the world. Many lawyers from Sweden joined, and even attorneys from the Lahore Bar Association in Pakistan attended the conference, looking for ideas on using technology in their work.

However, amidst the AI frenzy, there’s a growing emphasis on understanding the limitations of AI solutions. Richard Robinson, founder and CEO of Robin AI, highlighted the importance of validating responses from solutions based on LLM like ChatGPT, emphasizing the need for accuracy and control.

Raisa Popa, Senior Manager Technology & Contract Management Solutions at the law department of Johnson & Johnson, cautioned against an excessive focus on diverse solutions. Instead, she urged a shift toward initiating projects based on business needs, emphasizing the importance of clear business cases.

With an emphasis on business needs and a clear business case, Ilan Sherr, Executive Director at Ascension.AI DLA Piper, delivered an excellent presentation, demonstrating their solutions for identifying cartels and bribes in corporations. They have combined different AI models and also pre-trained a model to detect issues in a way a lawyer would. This collaborative effort between data analysts and lawyers made it possible to build a process model that was further improved by the use of AI.

Ian Gosling, Chief Product Officer of Tangible Global, together with James Grice and Gemma Richards from Eversheds Sutherland LLP, showcased a new tool that transforms global diversity data into actionable strategies and processes.

The Legal Innovators conference showcased a crucial shift in the legal industry, where AI is more than just hype—it’s a game-changer. The key lesson? The 21st-century legal arena, as illustrated by Gosling and the team, demands a united front of legal expertise, process & design, and technology. However, let us not forget to involve humans in the loop (H.I.T.L) together with AI.

In essence, the conference underlined the need for a holistic approach, where these components are equally indispensable. The challenge now is clear: develop tools that not only meet the real needs of clients but also turn these solutions into products. The burning question: When will we witness the Airbnb for legal services?

Kudos to Richard Tromans for yet another engaging conference!