The two previous Build-A-Bot programmes saw Australia’s Josef, and also Los Angeles-based Documate, chosen for the annual project. Contract Mill has a strong focus on having a highly visual approach to contract automation that is easy to use and learn. The summer associates ‘will conceptualise and build their own document automation workflows’.
Cherie Conrad Beffa, Director, Attorney Recruiting, Wilson Sonsini, told Artificial Lawyer: ‘We believe that attorneys need to analyse, communicate, write and present their findings clearly in order to do their jobs effectively. As such, we have incorporated a ‘Summer Associate Requirement’ into the summer programme.
‘Because we pride ourselves as being one of the most innovative law firms in the world, completion of our Build-A-Bot programme is one means to satisfy that requirement, others are participation in the Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Project or Written Work Product submissions. This programme reflects our commitment to innovation by providing our summer associates with the kinds of hand-on, technological innovation experience that they will need to be successful in the legal industry of the future.’
At the end of the summer programme, all of the workflows that have been made will be reviewed and considered for real-world implementation at the firm. Use cases from prior years have been put into production through their automation pipeline, the firm noted.
David Wang, Chief Innovation Officer, Wilson Sonsini, also told this site: ‘The programme has been constantly evolving, and we have been able to use three very different tools in the last three years (from three different continents) in a search around the world for the best technology. Last year we partnered with Documate, which was very focused on no-code concepts, and the year before that we worked with Joseph, where we tested the pros and cons of a chatbot approach. We are excited to work this year with Contract Mill.’
Kaisa Kromhof, co-founder and CEO of Contract Mill, added that they had got to know Wilson Sonsini after reaching out to US law firms as part of their widening market focus.
‘We connected with Wilson Sonsini, as they are known as both a leading firm representing technology companies, as well as an acknowledged leader in legal technology,’ she said.
She added: ‘The Bay Area is known to consider design as one of the most important factors in products. There our vision is fully in line, meaning that with being a design-powered company we ‘see the world through the customer’s eyes’ in everything we do.”
‘We look forward to collaborating closely in the Build-A-Bot programme to teach Wilson Sonsini summer associates how to use automation. The start has been just wonderful, in being able to cooperate with very intelligent and highly professional people who are also easy and fun to work with.’
Is this a big deal? This is a programme that’s now into its third year, so clearly the law firm is seeing value in it. And as mentioned, some of the products they’ve built eventually get taken on inside the firm. It’s also a rapid way of getting junior lawyers familiarised with legal automation.
While for Contract Mill, it’s a very valuable step for a company seeking to broaden out into the US. Selection by one of the world’s leading tech-focused law firms certainly gives them plenty of kudos.