LegalMation Is On A Mission: Attacking Litigation Inefficiency

LegalMation has been a pioneer in using AI to generate documents – and long before many legal tech companies got hold of GPT4. Their focus has been on auto-generating written responses for litigation matters and Artificial Lawyer caught up with co-founders James Lee and Thomas Suh (above left and right) to hear about where they’re heading now, how genAI will change things, and attacking the inefficiency challenges within the litigation lifecycle.

While they work with several law firms, such as Ogletree Deakins and Baker Donelson, Lee quickly notes that their latest feature – automatic response letters to employment claims (see here) – is aimed at corporates.

Law firms will remain part of the picture, but the big push now is toward large corporates and insurance companies, i.e. businesses that really want to embrace doing routine legal and compliance tasks more quickly and can see the immediate benefits for their legal functions by doing so.

They’ve also gained $15m recently in fresh funding and that will go toward driving growth in this area.

Moreover, the funding has come after they already started to break even, which happened in 2023 – and you don’t always see that in the legal tech world.

The GenAI Aspect

So, let’s talk about AI and how the company is using it. Many might assume that a legal tech company that automatically generates whole documents has just discovered LLMs, but not so in this case. LegalMation didn’t use generative AI at their start back in 2018, they built their own tech. But, they are now testing out what LLMs can do for their product.

That said, Lee remains wary of relying totally on an LLM approach, noting that the more variables you add to an automated task, the more challenges you face. And if you are going to generate legal letters used in a dispute then they need a very high consistency and accuracy.

That said, he has an optimistic view of genAI over the long-term in the legal world. Lee notes by way of comparison the development of software-based spreadsheets in the 1990s in the accounting world.

These did indeed replace a lot of physical bookkeeping, which accountants were not happy about initially, but it also allowed the development of new fields such as modern inventory management. Plus, one could add that the accounting industry is still going strong – with the US market seeing on average a 4% increase in the number of accountants each year.  

‘LLMs will be the same, there will be new industries, new sectors, that will pop up in the future because of this technology,’ he explains.

So, he has a balanced view here, he’s just not ready to throw out all the tech they’ve already developed to bring in LLMs entirely tomorrow, but the company will embrace what’s useful.

He also stresses: ‘The AI is only 20% of the value (of LegalMation).’ The rest is in the workflows, their preparation and analysis of how responses should be made for very specific use cases, the user interface and user experience. One could say the AI is the engine in a much larger, carefully designed vehicle.

The Big Picture

Regardless of whether they use LLMs or what they have built themselves already, the overall aim of LegalMation is ‘to attack the litigation lifecycle’.

Lee and Suh return to the example of the employment claim responses, which refers to letters companies get from the US EEOC.

For this, a company uploads the EEOC claim and the evidence that is included with it, and a draft response is returned in ‘nearly final form’. He notes that it would take an inhouse lawyer up to three hours to get to this point. With their system you can get to a first draft in two minutes, with a lawyer then perhaps adding another 30 minutes of effort before that task is all done.

‘The product cuts the brute force work,’ they say.

And for a very large company with 1,000s of staff, maybe even 10,000s of employees, this may really add up.

‘We want to handle the workflows that companies want to solve,’ they conclude.

Once again, LegalMation should be pushing on an open door, whether it’s EEOC letters, or a myriad of other legal and compliance responses that are repetitive, frequent, and necessary – which bog down inhouse legal teams and are clearly open to improvement.

With a renewed focus on corporates and perhaps a greater focus now among inhouse teams on driving efficiency on automatable work streams, there seems to be no better time for LegalMation to achieve its goal of addressing the bottlenecks within the litigation lifecycle.

If this subject is of interest then come along to the Legal Innovators California conference on June 4 and 5 in San Francisco – tickets are available now.

Legal Innovators California conference, June 4 + 5. 

The event will take place in San Francisco with Day One focused on law firms, and Day Two on inhouse and legal ops. We have many great speakers, along with a group of pioneering legal tech companies and service providers – you can see some more about our speakers here. It will be two great days of education and inspiration! Join us! 

For ticket information, please see here. Don’t miss out on what will be a great event in the heart of America’s tech world.