Pablo Arredondo, vice president of CoCounsel at Thomson Reuters and co-founder of Casetext, has been making the rounds on legal tech and AI podcasts, celebrating the one-year anniversary of CoCounsel. Legal Current shares highlights from his conversations on 3 Geeks and a Law Blog and The Cognitive Revolution. 

Arredondo talked with The Cognitive Revolution’s Nathan Labenz about the evolution of legal research, how GPT-4 has changed legal practices, and security and privacy in AI-driven legal services. Also, Arredondo spoke with Greg Lambert and Marlene Gebauer on 3 Geeks and a Law Blog about the strides and challenges of developing and implementing generative AI in legal research. 

Pioneering generative AI in the legal space 

Talking with Labenz, Arredondo recalled Casetext’s first exposure to GPT-4 on Sept. 16, 2022. 

“For the next 72 hours, I felt like I was going to burn a hole in my brain from how many things we tried,” Arredondo said. “It was just incredible to see what it could do. And so we [Arredondo and Casetext Co-Founder Jake Heller] pivoted the entire company around it.” 

He noted how the nuance of the law made it important to prioritize accuracy and reliability from the start.

“From the very earliest days, we understood you have to use Retrieval Augmented Generation,” Arredondo said. “You have to anchor the system in a search engine that will retrieve real results and then force GPT-4 to answer based on what it’s seeing in front of it – the real case law, not freestyling an answer.” 

He acknowledged that “getting lawyers to adopt new technology is a hard fight,” but said the legal profession has shown “fervor and excitement” around the potential for generative AI and large language models (LLMs). He pointed to CoCounsel’s debut on MSNBC’s Morning Joe talk show as well as the reactions he earned at law firms during CoCounsel demos, when partners would assemble in the room to check it out. 

Redefining the future of work 

Arredondo noted that becoming part of Thomson Reuters has helped Casetext accelerate breakthroughs in generative AI.  

“These are the best partners we could have because there’s just nobody better at ensuring that you can trust the output,” he said. “We were brought on to join forces with what they’re [Thomson Reuters] already doing, which is to create as much value as possible for our clients and our customers.” 

He said leveraging the Thomson Reuters quality-control processes, content, and editorial excellence is helping CoCounsel realize “how quickly you can go from user need to something you can put out there and trust,” noting recent rollouts in the UK, Canada, and Australia. 

Transforming the legal profession 

Lambert and Gebauer talked with Arredondo about law firms and legal departments’ adoption of generative AI and how they’re leveraging it to enhance their research capabilities and workflow efficiencies. They asked Arredondo what he expects to see with advancements in legal technology and legal research tools. 

“You’re going to see entirely new client offerings, things that law firms never used to do, perhaps, to compensate for erosion of certain billing around certain tasks.” 

Arredondo also discussed the current and future state of generative AI in the legal space with Labenz. 

“This is a time to rejoice if you’re a lawyer,” he said. “This is profoundly useful technology that will help us do our craft in a much better, more sane, and frankly, more enjoyable way.” 

Yet he noted there’s still room for improvement. 

“It’s not near human level for legal reasoning; it has a ways to go,” Arredondo said. “I think we’ll see a lot of adoption, and it will start to make processes faster and less expensive, and even increase the quality of the pursuit of justice.” 

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