Hello, Harvey: How AI is shaping the legal industry

If you’re a lawyer, you might think that artificial intelligence has nothing to do with your profession. After all, you deal with complex legal issues that require human judgment, critical thinking and creativity, not algorithms and data.

But what if we told you that AI can, and will, help you become a better lawyer, saving you time and money, and improve your level of client satisfaction? Sounds too good to be true, right? Well, it’s not – but you’re not alone in thinking that, with only half of lawyers believing that their practice will be significantly transformed by AI.

It’s time to introduce Harvey.

What is Harvey?

Microsoft has invested more than $10 Billion in Open.AI as this is part of a long-term partnership aimed at advancing AI research. This has led to the development of some market leading products, such as Microsoft Copilot, but part of Open.AI’s mission statement is to invest $100 million into small, early-stage AI startups. This is where Harvey comes in.

Harvey AI, a legal-focussed artificial intelligence model, received $5 million funding from Open.AI and, by mid-2023, had raised over $21 million in funding led by Sequoia Capital.

This sector-specific AI-powered platform helps lawyers with various tasks such as research, drafting, analysis, and document reviews. It uses natural language processing and machine learning to understand legal documents, find relevant information, generate summaries, suggest edits, and more, capabilities that have all been trained and developed specifically within legal contexts.

Harvey AI can also integrate with other software and databases, such as LexisNexis, Westlaw, and Google Scholar, to provide you with comprehensive and accurate results.

How can Harvey AI help your legal work?

Increased productivity

You can save time and effort by letting Harvey do the tedious and repetitive tasks for you. For example, it could scan thousands of documents in minutes, extract key facts and arguments, and create a concise report for your case, cutting out hours of reading time. You can also use Harvey to draft contracts, motions, briefs, and other documents based on templates and best practices from past examples. This way, you can focus on the strategic and creative aspects of your work.

Quality and consistency

You can improve the quality and consistency of your work by using Harvey’s feedback and suggestions, check your documents for errors, inconsistencies and ambiguities, and ensure that you are using the appropriate terminology and tone of voice. You can also use Harvey to compare your documents with similar ones from other sources, such as previous cases, statutes, regulations, and precedents. This way, you can ensure that your work meets the highest standards of professionalism and accuracy.

Knowledge and skills

You can enhance your knowledge and skills by using the platform’s learning resources. For example, you can use Harvey to access a vast library of legal content such as articles, books, podcasts, videos, and courses, or test your knowledge and get personalised feedback and recommendations. It provides everything you need to stay updated on the latest developments and trends in your field and expand your expertise.

Harvey in action

On November 2022, Allen & Overy, one of the UK’s largest law firms, started the trial phase with Harvey, with more than 3,500 of their lawyers testing it with some 40,000 questions during their working day.

“I have been at the forefront of legal tech for 15 years but I have never seen anything like Harvey,” said David Wakeling, Head of the Markets Innovation Group at Allen & Overy. “It is a game-changer that unleashes the power of generative AI into the legal industry. Harvey can work in multiple languages and across diverse practice areas, delivering unprecedented efficiency and intelligence. In our trial, we saw some amazing results.”

PwC then announced a strategic partnership with Harvey on March 2023. The aim is for Harvey to help provide PwC clients with enhanced insights, transparency and quality. Harvey has been trained on UK tax riles, law, legislation and PwC’s intellectual property.

Carol Stubbings, PwC Global Tax & Legal Services Leader, PwC UK, said: “Harvey’s AI solution marks a huge shift in the way that tax and legal services will be delivered and consumed across the industry. Access to Harvey will be a game-changer for our people and for our clients, and I’m incredibly excited about the problem-solving capability that will be generated by combining PwC’s technical capabilities and deep market insights.”

AI Risks

It’s impossible not to feel even the slightest bit of excitement with the new innovations like Harvey – after all, they’re here to make our lives easier. However, it’s crucial to recognise that AI isn’t going to replace lawyers. It’s important to note that platforms such as ChatGPT are still known to provide incorrect information, and while Harvey AI is an exciting, sector-specific model, it remains in beta and it will need to continue its rigorous testing process before reaching general availability.

If your law firm is thinking about adopting AI in the future, you need to make sure that you have the right foundations in place. Our Cloud Evangelist, Leon Godwin is running an interactive workshop for law firms looking to understand how to adopt Data and AI and apply it to their specific business case. Sign-up to our Data and AI Innovation Workshop to learn more.