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Innovation

2018 InnovAction Award Winners More Than Just the Latest Buzz

By Patrick Lamb

Innovation is all the buzz these days. And many, inside and outside the legal industry, claim to be innovators. There is so much buzz it is hard to separate signal from noise, the true innovators from the clamoring wannabes. As a result, judging this year’s College of Law Practice Management InnovAction Awards was a special challenge.

In the end, though, the InnovAction Award judges found that two of the many entries stood above the others as examples of true innovation. As the chair of the COLPM InnovAction Awards, now in its 14th year, I am pleased to announce the winners.

LawGeex: Contract Review Automation

LawGeex is based in Tel Aviv, Israel, which illustrates the global reach of the InnovAction Awards. LawGeex developed an artificial intelligence engine that reads and analyzes contracts, suggesting edits based on a company’s predefined legal policies. Contracts that meet the policies are approved, and contracts that don’t are escalated for guided editing before approval. Not content to just believe its artificial intelligence was superior to human review, LawGeex did the “scientific” thing — it conducted a study. In one corner, LawGeex; in the other, 20 U.S.-trained corporate lawyers with decades of experience including with Goldman Sachs, Cisco and global law firms. The result: LawGeex’ AI tool had a 94 percent accuracy rate, while the lawyers achieved an average of 85 percent.

It took the lawyers an average of 92 minutes to complete assigned reviews. LawGeex reviews took all of 26 seconds.

The study was judged and evaluated by leading U.S. academics and veteran corporate lawyers. LawGeex published its “AI vs. Lawyers” study, available here. The InnovAction award recognizes not only the AI (which is impressive) but the study and its publication.

NetApp: Process Automation Bot

NetApp, Inc., is based in Sunnyvale, Calif. The NetApp legal department beta-tested new technology developed by NetApp’s IT department, a “bot” that leverages robotic process automation. The bot, named “Botticelli,” simplifies a high-volume contract management process by logging into multiple applications, accessing email attachments, extracting pertinent information related to partnership agreements and uploading the information into the appropriate database.

Botticelli is 600 percent faster than former methods and requires virtually no user intervention, freeing up human capital for other tasks. Botticelli also has reduced email traffic and provides an output log, facilitating seamless reporting.

The Ultimate Goal

I am fond of reminding people that technology that helps us do the wrong thing better is not good technology, but both of these winners achieve the ultimate end — better performance and reduced human involvement. In that manner, both winners accomplish one of the critical objectives of innovation.

That, to paraphrase College Fellow and Strategic Legal Technology blogger Ron Friedmann, is #DoLessLaw.

Congratulations to LawGeex and NetApp for their impressive accomplishments! And thanks to the InnovAction Award judges, who spent considerable time analyzing all submissions, debating the merits of the submissions, and selecting those worthy of recognition.

To learn more about the winners and the 2018 Futures Conference, visit the COLPM site, here.

About the InnovAction Awards

The InnovAction Awards are presented annually by the College of Law Practice Management after an annual, worldwide search for lawyers, law firms, technologists and other deliverers of legal services pursuing interesting and meaningful innovations. The goal is to demonstrate to the legal community what can be created when passionate people with big ideas and strong convictions determine to make a difference. Each year, the College presents the coveted InnovAction Award to those unsung heroes and rising stars who dare to think differently and improve the delivery of legal services.

Attorney at Work is proud to sponsor the Futures Conference, “Cybersecurity: This Way There Be Dragons,” Oct. 25-26 in Boston.

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Patrick Lamb

Patrick Lamb is a Fellow in the College of Law Practice Management, a member of the Board of Trustees and Chair of the InnovAction Awards. Pat is recognized as the founder of Valorem Law Group and, more recently, ElevateNext Law, LLP. He is the author of “Alternative Fees for Litigators and Their Clients” and a frequent speaker on the effective use of alternative fees and innovation in the business of practicing law. He blogs at In Search of Perfect Client Service. Follow Pat @ElevateLamb.

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