INTELLLEX: Harnessing the Power of Knowledge in Law Firms
The three major assets that underpin all legal firms are their lawyers, clients, and knowledge. While law firms know that they need to train up their lawyers and cultivate their clients, little has been done to manage their collective knowledge, which they have amassed from their lawyers through the years. “Lawyers must recognize that knowledge management is not merely systematic storage of documents, but rather an entire ecosystem where knowledge is continuously created, managed, consumed, and distributed,” says Chang Zi Qian, co-founder and CEO of INTELLLEX. Chang, an erudite lawyer and entrepreneur, well perceives the gravity of unused knowledge and the multiple avenues it opens up for lawyers. Singapore-based INTELLLEX is governed by the mission of creating an intelligent platform that allows lawyers to manage knowledge assets that can help firms save costs and drive revenue. INTELLLEX ENTERPRISE, the company’s flagship product, focuses on two major aspects of knowledge management: (1) utilizing AI to automate the creation of the personalized library that comprises textbooks, cases, and previous work done by lawyers and (2) creating tools for lawyers to catalog knowledge created in their course of work. This removes the need for lawyers within the same firm to start everything from scratch every time there is a new piece of work. This allows lawyers to improve efficiency, generate more revenue, and respond faster to clients.
A good catalog of knowledge is only the first step of knowledge management, and most traditional systems stop at this step. However, INTELLLEX has pushed the boundaries by building up a proprietary legal ontology and information retrieval technology to help lawyers better identify relevant documents for their purpose. The result is a search engine that understands how lawyers think. Users on the INTELLLEX ENTERPRISE platform may choose to browse documents by legal topic trees, query in natural language or legalese, or search in Boolean.
The INTELLLEX ENTERPRISE platform contains two products, STACKS and SOURCE. The products are separated according to the kind of content which a lawyer can find, and the search engine described above is optimised for the different content types. For a law firm’s previously generated work or precedents, users would use STACKS to access them; as for publicly available content, users would use SOURCE to find them.
Utilizing AI, STACKS consolidates and intelligently organizes an organization’s knowledge products by document types and legal concepts. Once the task is completed, the AI operates in the background to learn the preferences of clients to suggest tailored results in future. SOURCE aggregates external documents such as judgments, commentaries, or legislations, from various common law jurisdictions. “Our AI treats dormant work product as a valuable fuel for training an AI platform to become a better curator of the firm’s knowledge library,” remarks Chang.
INTELLLEX is a front-runner in the application of AI in legal technology solutions in Singapore. There is a strong emphasis on deploying various artificial intelligence techniques such as machine learning and natural language processing in its products since the early days of the company in 2016.
Lawyers must recognize that knowledge management is not merely systematic storage of documents, but rather an entire ecosystem where knowledge is continuously created, managed, consumed, and distributed
“Our legal knowledge engineering team explores the latest AI research and thinks about their possible applications in law. Engineering and AI tech have been core to our company’s growth story,” says Chang.
Cloud SaaS provides a lot of opportunities in legal tech. With the cloud, lawyers get to benefit from the fruits of machine learning quickly. Lawyers are getting more knowledgeable about cloud services and there is a higher willingness to try out Cloud SaaS products such as INTELLLEX. Through the Cloud, INTELLLEX can ensure that the improvements in its AI algorithms and features are efficiently delivered to users. Additionally, for clients who are more sensitive to their confidentiality and security requirements, INTELLLEX offers a private server option as well.
INTELLLEX is a firm believer of the fact that technology is not a one-size-fits-all solution. The company first helps its prospective clients properly define their problem, gives them sufficient information to decide if INTELLLEX’s solution best suits their needs, and then guides them through the implementation process. Over and above, INTELLLEX suggests best practices to its clients, including how INTELLLEX ENTERPRISE can work with their current technological infrastructure. INTELLLEX’s product and sales team work closely together from the product design phase all the way to the customer engagement phase. The two teams share a common set of goals and support each other to reach their respective objectives and key results.
Chang recounts an instance where INTELLLEX assisted one of its earliest clients, a five-men boutique litigation firm when they went up against one of the big firms of the town. INTELLLEX’s client represented a company whose premises caught fire when cardboard boxes placed by a neighboring company at the common corridor went up in flames. While the opponent had more resources at disposal, INTELLLEX helped the client with its state-of-the-art platform, leveraging which they quickly discovered relevant cases from multiple jurisdictions along with a prior piece of client advice. With the main legal research points tied down, the lawyer could secure a good settlement for his client.
In the immediate future, INTELLLEX plans to integrate with major Document Management Systems to deliver greater convenience for lawyers to turn their dormant documents into knowledge. INTELLLEX is also exploring collaborations with various academic institutions to build out a comprehensive ontology of legal issues (commonly referred by Chang as “map of the world's law”). This legal ontology will continue to improve INTELLLEX’s ability to better match information to users’ query.
Chang thinks that INTELLLEX is still in its second inning. He says, “INTELLLEX wants to be the ideal technology platform for law firms to create, manage, consume, and distribute knowledge. Until we hit the home run, we will not rest on our laurels.”