Harvey AI Explained (for Lawyers)

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Have you met Harvey (AI)?

Every week, another AI tool seems poised to take the legal profession by storm—Harvey AI, described as “unprecedented legal AI”, is an especially-exciting offering in law firm AI.

Designed specifically for law firms, Harvey AI provides a suite of AI products tailored to lawyers and law firms across practice areas and workflows.

With Harvey AI moving out of its early access phase and releasing more affordable versions of its custom AI models for law firms, many are wondering: what does this technology means for the future of law?

In this blog post, we’ll cover what we know about Harvey AI—and its potential to revolutionize legal practice.

Be sure to read our comprehensive guide on AI for lawyers.

What is Harvey AI?

Harvey AI is a legal AI platform designed for legal professionals. This tool can help lawyers draft, analyze, and answer questions, conduct legal research, identify issues, and much more.

What does Harvey AI do?

Amongst these exciting developments, you might be wondering: what does Harvey AI do?

Like ChatGPT, Harvey AI is built on a version of Open.AI’s GPT AI. Unlike ChatGPT, Harvey AI supports legal work.

How? Starting with general internet data from the GPT model, Harvey AI was further trained with general legal data (including case law and reference materials). When engaged by a firm, Harvey AI is then trained by the firm’s own work products and templates (much like a new employee’s onboarding when joining a law firm!). The right prompts go a long way when it comes to the effectiveness of generative AI.

Harvey AI assists with contract analysis, due diligence, litigation, and regulatory compliance and can help generate insights, recommendations, and predictions based on data. As a result, lawyers can deliver faster and more cost-effective solutions for client issues.

Harvey AI partners with major law firms

In February 2023, Allen & Overy, one of the world’s largest law firms, announced its partnership with Harvey AI. Since November 2022, the London-based law firm reported that over 3,500 of their lawyers have already tested Harvey AI by asking 40,000 questions during their day-to-day work.

The results sound promising. As David Wakeling, the head of Allen & Overy’s Markets Innovation Group said: “…I have never seen anything like Harvey … Harvey can work in multiple languages and across diverse practice areas, delivering unprecedented efficiency and intelligence. In our trial, we saw some amazing results.”

While Allen & Overy is the first law firm to partner with Harvey AI, it won’t be the last. Harvey AI is working with other law firms to develop custom tools and, on March 15, 2023, PwC announced a strategic partnership with Harvey AI to develop custom built models for tax, legal, and human resources.

In addition to working with lawyers to help vet and improve the tool, Harvey AI is now looking to hire lawyers to join their team. These lawyers will not act as in-house lawyers for the startup; according to co-founder and CEO Winston Weinberg, they will be doing all sorts of different things in unique, interdisciplinary roles.

Legal professional using Harvey AI

Harvey launches on Microsoft Azure

In March of 2024, Harvey launched on Microsoft’s Azure Marketplace, releasing a more affordable version of its services for legal professionals. Harvey on Azure provides a legal assistant, workflow and research automation, and virtual data rooms. Users can also take advantage of specialized models for specific types of work.

Previously, Harvey AI focused on building highly-customized models for global law firms. This new offering will improve accessibility and offer more law firms the opportunity to harness Harvey AI’s capabilities.

Coming soon: commercial access to Harvey AI

Later this year, Harvey AI intends to offer commercial access to some of its products, including case law models and discounted bundles.

How AI can help firms (and their clients)

The potential benefits of legal AI like Harvey are clear: using AI to assist with research, drafting, and other routine legal tasks could help save law firms time—and cut down on their clients’ bills.

Technology plays a critical part in law firm success. For example, as we noted in the 2022 Legal Trends Report, lawyers using cloud-based legal practice management software were more likely to report:

  • Greater satisfaction in their personal and professional lives
  • Better relationships with clients and colleagues
  • Good performance in their jobs

Likewise, clients benefit. The 2022 Legal Trends Report found that lawyers using cloud-based legal practice management software were more likely to have satisfied clients. Responsiveness is also a key factor for client satisfaction—they want answers, and they want them quickly.

These statistics suggest AI, like legal practice management software, offers benefits to modern law firms—by streamlining tasks and cutting down on response times, lawyers can minimize the time spent on routine tasks while providing a high level of service to clients.

Risks associated with artificial intelligence

Despite the excitement surrounding AI, we also know AI isn’t a complete replacement for a lawyer’s experience and wisdom. Harvey AI is still in beta. As we’ve previously mentioned, programs like ChatGPT have been known to provide incorrect information—to say nothing of the ethical considerations involved, along with security, client privacy, and privilege issues arising through transmitting sensitive information.

If you’re considering AI tools for your law firm, be sure to consult your state’s Rules of Professional Conduct and vet prospective AI vendors carefully. Once you’ve settled on a particular tool, it’s essential to use AI responsibly.

Remember: AI is not a replacement for a lawyer’s experience and wisdom, and any responses and work products should be checked carefully.

Final notes on Harvey AI

It’s an exciting time to be a lawyer—with so many AI advancements standing ready to change how we work, the possibilities seem endless. On the flip side, with new options arising, it’s never been more crucial to think critically about embracing technology responsibly to amplify your impact.

If you’re eager to learn more about the impact of AI on the legal industry, be sure to secure your spot at ClioCon 2024, where we’ll be covering, among other things, artificial intelligence and the future of law.

Categorized in: Technology

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