Paul L. Caron

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Harvard, BYU Law Students Launch 'Google For Contracts,' 'Turbo Tax For Debt Collection'

EvisortHarvard Press Release, HLS Students Harness Artificial Intelligence to Revolutionize How Lawyers Draft and Manage Contracts:

Four Harvard Law students have their heads in the cloud—and they think the rest of the legal profession should join them. With their powerful new search engine called Evisort that harnesses cloud storage and artificial intelligence, they hope to revolutionize the costly and labor-intensive way that lawyers currently handle contracts and other transactional work, liberating them for more creative and interesting tasks.

Developed by the students over the past two years, Evisort is “like Google for legal contracts,” says Jerry Ting ’18, co-founder and CEO, who came up with the idea as an undergraduate. While artificial intelligence is the cutting-edge of automating labor-intensive tasks such as document review, it hasn’t yet been widely applied to contracts. Evisort jumps into that gap by enabling lawyers to quickly sort through thousands of contracts and other documents to unlock key insights for transactional work. It has the potential to greatly enhance efficiency, improve accuracy, and save millions of dollars a year, the students and their supporters agree.

SoloSuitBYU Press Release, BYU Law Develops Free Online Tool to Address Debt Collection:

BYU Law School, a leading national law school focused on innovation in the legal field, today announced the development of SoloSuit – a free online tool that helps Utahns who cannot afford legal services to respond to debt collection lawsuits. SoloSuit is the first product designed by LawX, a legal design lab at BYU Law School with the ambitious goal to solve one legal challenge each fall semester.

“Early in the semester, we realized that debt collection was a legal crisis in Utah,” said Kimball Dean Parker, LawX co-founder and class instructor. “In the last five years, debt collectors in Utah filed over 330,000 lawsuits; 98.5 percent of those sued do not hire an attorney. And in some years, over 80 percent of those sued did not respond, causing them to automatically lose their case. SoloSuit provides a simple platform for debtors to respond to a lawsuit in as little as 10 minutes.”

LawX, which debuted this past fall for second- and third-year BYU Law students, was conceived by BYU Law Dean Gordon Smith and Parker, an attorney at Parsons Behle & Latimer who teaches the LawX course. LawX is structured as a design-thinking process in which students find the best solution to social legal issues, whether it is a change in policy, process or product. LawX participants have fast-paced deadlines and responsibilities that are much like being in a startup. As part of the class, students received a crash course in design thinking and support from IBM designers, while also collaborating with students and professors in other departments at BYU, as well as alumni, local businesses, legal professionals and organizations.

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