Richard Tromans is fond of saying, “It’s a game changer when the game has changed.” NetDocuments’ new generative AI products may be the game changer.
When I was practicing law full-time, we often had discussions and dreamed about a dynamic “past efforts file.” The idea was that we should save documents that others could later use as templates for future work. We all realized how beneficial and efficient that would be. The problem, of course, was twofold. Getting people to place work in the file, in the first place, was a challenge. They had to spend nonbillable time inputting the material. And it was often only addressed once a case ended when they weren’t interesting. A second problem: figuring out how to easily access the documents in the files.
With the advent of digital and the cloud, getting the documents in the file became easier since they were often stored there already. But access to them was still an issue. How to search for them? What keywords could and should be used to find the documents? It often took more time than it was to just start from scratch. The result was a lot of unused knowledge for a lack of management.
But of course, this lack of use led to substantial inefficiencies as documents were recreated time and time again. Also, quality was impacted. Well-crafted documents by senior people in the firm couldn’t be easily accessed, so you started over. The result inevitability was poorer quality documents. And there needed to be a way to ensure that documents conformed with the firm’s best practices and were standardized. It would be great if someone outside the firm could look at a document and know it met its standards.
But there seemed to be no solution. No viable way to enable robust past action files could be found. Until now. NetDocuments, a native cloud content management and productivity platform, today released ndMAX. NetDocuments claims ndMAX is a series of generative AI-powered products designed to streamline legal workflow. In other words,enable the kind of “past efforts file” we all wanted. Easy to input and easy to secure the documents with a conversational ChatGPT type search with decreased risks of hallucination and breach of confidentiality. The products are or will be embedded throughout the NetDocuments platform. NetDocuments says it will enable law firms and legal teams to securely and responsibly apply generative AI to their own documents.
AndMAX will enable legal professionals to pull documents from past efforts and actually generate content
If it does what NetDocument claims, the product will enable firms to create custom generative AI automation tailored to the needs of specific practice areas and lawyers. ndMAX will enable legal professionals to pull documents from past efforts and actually create content based on those past efforts. Hallucinations should be reduced since it is not a public system and draws its content from a known and variable data set.
And NetDocuments assure privacy and confidence. Only firm members and personnel can access the content. NetDocuments promises that its products will protect client confidentiality. The product will ensure that client data is excluded from the LLM’s model training which addresses a huge concern with law firm use of generative AI. The products will also employ existing security controls to manage the availability and use of AI inside the organization(I.e. protect firm ethical walls between and among clients).
Says Josh Baxter, CEO NetDocuments. “This unique combination will enable legal professionals to leverage AI responsibly – conforming to a firm’s security, compliance, and best practice regimes – and integrate seamlessly with the workflows and productivity tools that firms rely on every day.”
What kind of things can it do, according to NetDpucments?
- Generate draft documents based on internal precedents and playbooks.
- Extract information from documents—including discrete entities, as well as insights—and save extracted data to a database.
- Run contract playbooks to compare third-party contracts against a firm’s own contracting policies and standards.
- Summarize documents like depositions and complaints and save those summaries in a workspace.
- Undertake document review and editing directly inside of Microsoft Word.
Says Josh Baxter, CEO NetDocuments. “This unique combination will enable legal professionals to leverage AI responsibly. The AI can be made to conform to a firm’s security, compliance, and best practice regimes – and integrate seamlessly with the workflows and productivity tools that firms rely on every day.”
This may be the tool we have been waiting for. It may be the proverbial game changer
This may be the tool we have been waiting for. It may be the proverbial game changer. Assuming it works as NetDocuments says, it will bring generative AI into law firm mainstream use. When you can confidentially pull stuff from your own firm files easily and quickly, you get a treasure trove of information. And since you can do it in the conversation chat mode and then save it, the use of these products will multiply. Lawyers will use generative AI more. And the more comfortable they get via use, the more they will use. More efficiencies will occur, and quality will go up.
The only downside maybe with associate training. Like all of us, associates learn by trial and error. Draft a document, get a partner to give feedback, and learn. Generative AI tools have the potential to take away this feedback loop to a large extent. So we need to think about how we will train associates to ensure continued and future quality. Another downside: busy lawyers may rely on the content created without focusing on how the unique aspects of their case should change the content.
But good lawyers will learn. Good law firms will figure out how to train the associates. And the clients of these good law firms will be the ultimate beneficiaries.
NetDocuments is a cloud-based content management and productivity platform. NetDocuments offers an end-to-end platform for document and email organization and management. It provides security and research capabilities, automation, collaboration, and search technologies.