A Note by Lee Walter

Download the full note here.

Over the past several months, advanced machine learning algorithms called “large language models” (LLMs) have led to the creation of a variety of AI-powered legal software services.[1] LegalZoom leverages a simple LLM to interpret user responses to online questionnaires and generate boilerplate forms for estate planning and new business registration.[2] EU-based LegalAi uses the technology to provide prelitigation assessments of lawsuit validity to consumers.[3] And Casetext provides document drafting and review for attorneys.[4] But by far the buzziest and highest profile of these large language models is Open AI’s ChatGPT (short for “generative pre-trained transformer”). Launched in 2015, ChatGPT has rapidly become synonymous with LLMs, and many legal tech companies have already integrated ChatGPT into their platforms.[5] Most recently, Casetext announced a contract with Am Law 20 firm DLA Piper to provide a ChatGPT-powered … Read the rest

Extortion and Professional Irresponsibility


Most people often have the misconception that being a member of the legal profession automatically affords one a “get-out-of-jail-free” card. Needless to say, such a privilege has not and will not, ever be available to any member of society, including those who make, shape and enforce the law. A lesson which two Tennessee lawyers chose to learn the hard way, instead of in a Professional Responsibility course.  “Two Tennessee lawyers have been indicted by a grand jury [on March 12, 2014] in an extortion case . . . They are accused of pressuring a client [Michelle Langolis] several years ago to pay $50,000 in probate case legal fees she had not agreed to pay by threatening her with arrest.” [1]   Additionally, attorneys Carrie Gasaway,  and Fletcher Long, who once worked together as law partners, did go on to have Langolis arrested on a theft-of-services charge, alleging Read the rest

Non-Lawyers Owning Law Firms

Associate classes are smaller. Partners are leaving firms. Equity partnerships are off the table for promoted associates. Mid-size firms only want laterals. Law firm hiring is not looking great these days. As the recession wages on law firms, and clients for that matter, are tightening up. Firms don’t have the work available to hire new associates. For the associates there, firms can’t afford to provide partnership, let alone equity partnership. Perhaps part of the problem is the model by which law firms have operated. Unlike most other businesses (and the practice of law for-profit is as much a business as anything else), law firms are not open for outside ownership and investment. Rather firms’ own principals are their owners. With dwindling work, it stands to reason new equity partners might not see returns on their initial investments, hence limitations on equity partnerships. Outside of America, other countries like England and Read the rest