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Artificial Intelligence

How GenAI can enhance your legal work without compromising ethics

· 5 minute read

· 5 minute read

We’ve all seen how using a non-legal artificial intelligence (AI) platform like ChatGPT to write a court document could land you in hot water with judges, your client, and the State Bar.  

But it turns out there is a place for generative AI in the practice of law 

With the right human-interpreted content, AI can save lawyers a tremendous amount of time as they research and craft their legal position, using draft language and arguments generated by the system.  

Trusted legal content and accuracy are critical in any product legal professionals use. This is the foundation of Thomson Reuters CoCounsel generative AI (GenAI). Westlaw, Practical Law, and CoCounsel Drafting are built on 150 years of human insight, categorization like the Key Number System, and editorial enhancements that ensure the quality and structure of the source material. Thomson Reuters CoCounsel Core searches and analyzes your own trusted documents and delivers insights you can verify. 

Having humans in the loop as the AI is trained, deployed, and used is the way to ensure that work product has the integrity and accuracy clients need.  

For Thomson Reuters, “human in the loop” means that knowledgeable attorney editors work with technologists to train the system and reduce hallucinations. It means human designers work with end users and attorney editors to ensure that the system understands prompts the way a legal researcher is likely to write them. And it means that a human attorney reads and validates every result and suggested text before using it in a brief or contract.  


Generative AI in Westlaw Precision

GenAI will help legal researchers using Westlaw Precision. In addition to searching Westlaw Precision with Boolean and natural language searches, legal researchers are now able to engage with Westlaw Precision in a conversational manner, much like they would with a colleague. 

AI-Assisted Research on Westlaw Precision can read and synthesize content across databases to bring back a clear answer to a question like, “Can social media publicity prove that a trademark is famous for a dilution claim?” It also provides the authority the answer relies on so users can verify the response and understand the nuance of the law.  

Providing the authority for the answer is one way the GenAI features from Thomson Reuters minimize hallucinations. When you can see the reasons for the response, you can verify for yourself that the answer makes sense and is based in fact.  


AI-Assisted Research GIF showing legal question field with references AI-Assisted Research on Westlaw Precision 

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Generative AI in Practical Law

Thomson Reuters Practical Law also incorporates GenAI. The Practical Law team has been providing know-how for decades, with content developed by attorneys who are experts in their practice areas. Legal practitioners rely on it to help them get started on new matters and new areas of law. With the more chat-like experience that GenAI enables, that experience will be even better.  

Ask Practical Law AI will help attorneys get to the answers they need faster. For example, if you have a question about how to get started drafting an indemnification provision, you can simply type your question, without filtering to a practice area or sorting through practice notes. The model will return the answer after consulting the trusted Practical Law resources. It will also provide the sources for the answer and steps for further research.  


Blog preview about Ask PL AI Ask Practical Law AI

Introducing Ask Practical Law AI on Practical Law: Generative AI meets legal how-to

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CoCounsel Core from Thomson Reuters

CoCounsel Core is a package of GenAI skills from Casetext, part of Thomson Reuters. The one-year-old product does document review, deposition preparation, contract analysis, and timeline creation in minutes. It uses GPT-4 from OpenAI to analyze your document set.  

For instance, you can upload a set of contracts to CoCounsel Core and ask the tool specific questions like, “What are the payment terms?”, “Do these contracts comply with company policy?”, or “Where are disputes brought?” CoCounsel Core will give you an answer and show you which language it relied on to develop that answer.  


Using GenAI to draft legal documents

CoCounsel Drafting is an end-to-end drafting solution, that pairs GenAI capabilities with trusted Thomson Reuters content. It enables you to easily find the best starting point, use content from Practical Law and your contract repository to improve your contract language, create, manage, and compare playbooks with 3rd party contracts, and draft with confidence using a seamless integration with Microsoft Word. 

CoCounsel Drafting reimagines the drafting workflow. Eliminate the pains that come with every day drafting using secure generative AI capabilities trusted by legal professionals. 


GenAI grounded in truth

There’s still a lot of hype surrounding GenAI. Many people are excited about how these capabilities can streamline their work. At the same time, there’s a fair bit of skepticism about tools that function as a black box. It can seem almost too good to be true. 

So, what’s the key to empowering your legal team with the efficiency and insight of AI while protecting the integrity of their work? Making sure your answers are coming from a model that is grounded in content you know is truthful. 

Thomson Reuters has invested greatly in content, technology, and data organization over the last 150 years. That investment and expertise make it possible to embed AI capabilities in foundational products like Westlaw to create incredible efficiencies that legal professionals can trust.  


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