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March 22, 2023 Legal Rebels

How Casetext utilized the latest GPT technology to create an AI legal assistant

By Victor Li

In November, when OpenAI unleashed the newest, most advanced version of its chatbot, ChatGPT, it immediately captured the imagination. As we’ve covered on this podcast, ChatGPT represents a major leap forward for generative artificial intelligence in that it can converse with and respond to users in a natural, almost humanlike way. So far, it’s been a hit.

ChatGPT boasts 100 million active monthly users after only two months, making it one of the fastest-growing applications ever, according to the Guardian. On March 14, OpenAI unveiled GPT-4—a more advanced version of the AI language model that was unveiled in November, according to the New York Times.

Meanwhile, others have quickly entered the field, as Google announced an advanced chatbot, Bard, last month, according to CNN; while several former OpenAI engineers have announced Claude, according to TechCrunch. The arms race in the advanced chatbot field has begun.

Some lawyers and law professionals have seen the potential for advanced chatbots to help supplement their work, allowing them to perform tasks more efficiently. One such area is legal research.

In that vein, Casetext launched CoCounsel earlier this month.

CoCounsel does not utilize the commercially available ChatGPT. Instead, its customized model was developed in a partnership with OpenAI and trained on the latest version of its GPT large language model—which means GPT4—as well as Casetext’s proprietary legal database and search system. CoCounsel functions as a legal assistant, helping users draft all sorts of legal documents. Users can utilize CoCounsel to help draft briefs, compose research memos, draw up contracts and analyze them, and write correspondence—all by typing their questions or requests into a prompt.

In this episode of the Legal Rebels Podcast, Jake Heller, the CEO and co-founder of Casetext, talks with the ABA Journal’s Victor Li about CoCounsel, as well as the potential of advanced chatbots to change the legal industry.

Heller, Pablo Arredondo and Laura Safdie, founded Casetext in 2013 and were 2017 ABA Journal Legal Rebels.

In This Podcast

Jake Heller

Jake Heller is the CEO and co-founder of Casetext. Heller was a litigator at Ropes & Gray before co-founding Casetext. He trained at Stanford Law School, where he was president of the Stanford Law Review, and clerked for Judge Michael Boudin in the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at Boston.