Tag Archives: Artificial Intelligence

How to Distinguish Hype Versus Reality Around Artificial Intelligence

With all the hype around Artificial Intelligence (AI), I’m reminded of a time when I was immersed in selling and building cloud solutions in 2009. A technology that was relatively new, “cloud” became the term du jour, finding its way into every offering and presentation. Does that sound familiar? Upon scrutinizing these presentations, it was apparent that the term “Web 2.0” was simply replaced with “Cloud,” previously the next big thing.

To educate potential customers about the cloud, our team developed a punch list of the five characteristics of cloud computing. This list was derived straight from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and their definition of cloud computing. If an offering answered no to any of the characteristics, it was not cloud computing.

AI, tracing its roots back to the 1950s, presents a broader and more complex scenario than cloud computing. What we can do is attempt to create our own checklist of characteristics of AI, helping to discern whether a product that claims to be AI truly is.

Defining Artificial Intelligence

AI is fundamentally an emulation of human-like intelligence, with the capability to learn, adapt, and autonomously execute tasks within machine constructs. In essence, it weaves together various fields such as computer science, data analytics, and statistics to develop algorithms capable of mimicking human intellect. The ambition of AI is to create machines that can perceptively learn from experiences, adapt to new inputs, and autonomously perform tasks without human interference.

Mechanics of AI: A Glimpse into Machine and Deep Learning

Machine Learning (ML), a subset of AI, enables computers to refine their operations without explicit programming by learning from data. It uses algorithms to predict future outputs by analyzing historical data, forming a foundation for deep learning (DL).

DL, an intricate branch of ML, leverages artificial neural networks, often modeled to emulate human brain functionalities. These networks contain complex layers of interconnected nodes that meticulously process and transform data. Notably, DL has the ability to autonomously learn and enhance its performance from extensive data inputs, gradually improving its accuracy over time.

Navigating through applications, DL has carved substantial paths in fields such as image recognition, natural language processing, speech recognition, and recommendation systems. This technology permeates various industries, steering the evolution of innovations like self-driving cars, speech-to-text transcription, and personalized recommendation engines.

haistack.ai: Pioneering AI in Legal Recruiting

In the legal recruiting realm, haistack.ai emerges as a notable example of AI application. This AI-driven platform integrates publicly accessible data, esteemed industry legal rankings, and accumulated data from years in the lateral recruiting market, seamlessly matching candidates with premier firms.

haistack.ai, fueled by the aforementioned ML and DL techniques, scrutinizes data, identifying and correlating patterns of successful candidate placements to adeptly match candidates with suitable firms, thereby refining the recruitment process.

The merits of utilizing haistack.ai in legal recruiting are multifold:

  • Efficiency: The platform rapidly sifts through extensive data to pinpoint ideal candidates, rendering the recruitment process proficient.
  • Accuracy: Algorithms correlate patterns in successful candidate placements, ensuring ideal candidates are matched with fitting firms.
  • Diversity and Inclusion: Notably, haistack.ai minimizes bias in legal recruiting, promoting diversity and inclusion by selecting candidates based on skills and experience rather than demographic factors.

An AI Checklist for Authenticity

To discern genuine AI applications, a checklist proves useful:

  • Data: Utilizes extensive data for training and applies learned insights to analyze live data, identifying correlations, patterns, and predictive analytics.
  • Algorithms: Employs algorithms that rely on data training to recognize patterns and make predictions or decisions.
  • Automation: Operates autonomously, acting based on rules or learned knowledge without human intervention.
  • Learning: Modifies results or decisions adaptively in response to changes in underlying data.

If a solution lacks any of these characteristics, it likely falls short of genuine AI.

Artificial Intelligence is a rapidly evolving field with transformative potential across various aspects of our lives and industries. Through its deployment of intricate algorithms designed to eschew bias and optimize legal recruiting, haistack.ai exemplifies the future trajectory of AI in legal spheres, driving efficient, accurate, and inclusive recruitment processes.

Meet the CTO of haistack.ai and creator of Haistack – Law Firm: A Q&A with Michael Heise

Am Law 200 firms will soon have access to an innovative new AI-powered recruiting tool called Haistack – Law Firm. Michael Heise has led development of the product, in partnership with Lateral Link. Ahead of the official launch on September 18, Lateral Link sat down with Mike to talk about the path that led him to develop Haistack – Law Firm.

LL: Let’s start with a quick description of Haistack – Law Firm. Why should firms be interested?

MH: Haistack – Law Firm uses machine learning to identify the best candidates for a specific attorney role. We aggregate publicly available attorney, firm, and law firm job data from across the internet, and we enrich it with proprietary Lateral Link data. From this data, we illustrate connections between a candidate and a firm and estimate the strength of the fit. These connections also suggest the most effective avenues for reaching out to a candidate who has not yet applied. In addition, we show firms which members of their current attorney pool have profiles that are in high demand in the broader lateral market. This enables firms to take affirmative steps to retain the most scarce talent.

LL: You worked for years in software development before you entered the legal field. How did you first get into software? 

MH: I graduated from the University of Maryland in 1997 with a Business Information Systems degree. I was in the Marine Corps Reserves, so I had a connection to the government. I combined those interests by joining a government contractor out of college, writing software. Over the next 15 years, I worked for both government and private sector clients, everything from the State Department to the NASDAQ. That variety was great because I was able to take lessons from one sector and cross-pollinate them into the next. In 2009 I earned my MBA from Maryland with a focus in Entrepreneurship. And then in 2013 I took a full-time software development program manager role with the DC Police Department, where I spent nearly three years.

LL: What do you like best about working in software?

MH: I love making cumbersome processes more efficient. With software you can take a task that previously took days to complete and reduce that time to seconds. I also enjoy solving the puzzles that you confront when writing software. There’s no shortage of hard problems to tackle.

LL: What brought you into the world of law firms?

MH: I was thinking about getting back into the private sector, and in 2016 my wife was a law student, so that made me curious about law firms. I applied for a role at an Am Law 30 firm and spent nearly three years there as an Application Development Manager, followed by three years as a Senior Manager of Software Development at an Am Law 20 firm. Meanwhile, my wife now practices at an Am Law 50 firm, so in a way law has become a family business for us.

LL: What did your time at Am Law firms teach you about their software needs?

MH: First, security and data privacy are critical. Law firms have a reputation for being slow to adopt technology, but it makes sense after you’ve come to appreciate the liability risk of the information they hold. My other big takeaway came from working on system implementations that were 12- or 18-month projects costing millions of dollars. They involved intricate work to export data, massage it, and then import the data into the new system. Those projects reinforced for me the value of turnkey solutions that streamline the user experience. I decided that if I was going to develop software for law firm customers in the future, I would put a premium on making it as turnkey as possible.

LL: And that’s exactly what you’ve done with Haistack – Law Firm, right?

MH: Yes! Users can log in with LinkedIn, Google or Microsoft credentials tied to their firm email. You don’t even have to remember a password. Haistack will recognize which firm you belong to and will automatically display data customized to that firm.

LL: Why were you the perfect person to develop this product?

MH: Certainly I’ve had significant exposure to major law firms, learning not only about their software preferences and constraints but also gaining an understanding of the broader culture. My prior familiarity with the industry is only part of the story. I’ve learned a huge amount about the recruiting process through my collaboration with Lateral Link in developing Haistack – Law Firm. And I’ve had the distinct advantage of being able to draw on 15 years of Lateral Link data. For example, where we know that a firm has considered and rejected a candidate in the past, Haistack is not going to suggest that candidate to the same firm again. So the core strength isn’t just my background, it’s really the complementary assets that have come together to form the Haistack partnership.

In a rapidly evolving legal landscape, the alignment of technology with the intricacies of the legal sector remains pivotal. Michael Heise’s unique journey—from software development in various industries to the heart of law firms—has equipped him to pioneer solutions like Haistack – Law Firm. With its impending launch, Am Law 200 firms are on the cusp of an AI-driven revolution in recruitment. Drawing upon a rich blend of Heise’s software expertise, firsthand insights from top-tier law firms, and the robust data of Lateral Link, Haistack promises to redefine how firms identify, recruit, and retain the brightest legal talents. As law becomes increasingly tech-driven, innovators like Heise are ushering in a new era of efficiency, precision, and excellence.

Legal Tech Meets Recruitment: Navigating Tomorrow’s Legal Landscape

In the evolving world of legal services, the confluence of technology and talent acquisition has revolutionized the very core of operational efficiency. As industry vanguards, we’ve witnessed firsthand the transformative power of this fusion—bringing both Haistack – Law Firm’s AI capabilities and Lateral Link’s deep-rooted industry insights into play.

Efficiency-driven Evolution in Law Practice

Modern legal operations are now migrating from traditional, manual processes to embracing a data-centric, efficiency-first approach. Studies validate that integrating advanced legal tech solutions has resulted in a striking 20% reduction in administrative overheads. It’s not just innovation—it’s a necessity for future-ready law firms.

Pioneering the Future: Automation in Legal Processes

Here’s where automation stands as a beacon. The days of tedious document reviews and prolonged recruitment processes are being overshadowed by platforms like haistack.ai. Such tools aren’t mere conveniences; they signify a strategic pivot in legal practices, intertwining data analytics and deep learning to yield unprecedented outcomes.

Marrying Haistack – Law Firm’s transformative AI with Lateral Link’s recruitment acumen, the synergy crafts a unique edge for law firms—recruitment intelligence meets actionable market insights. Our combined strengths deliver both the right candidate profiles and the tools to understand their place and potential within a firm.

Unlocking Economic Value through Legal Tech

Beyond streamlining, the real value emerges in economic gains. Adopting such advanced tools doesn’t just refine operations—it reshapes financial landscapes. Drawing from our extensive analysis, the economic implications are clear: strategic recruitment backed by tech can propel profitability, with proper attorney placement translating into significant daily profit margins. Yet, potential revenue losses from unfilled positions loom large. With platforms like haistack.ai, these pitfalls are no longer inevitable, offering solutions to rapidly match attorneys with fitting roles.

Crafting Tomorrow’s Legal Landscape

While the appeal of legal tech remains strong, its astute application is paramount. At Lateral Link, we champion an adaptive technological approach, ensuring alignment with industry benchmarks.

In the nexus of legal services, the fusion of expert recruitment and legal tech, as exemplified by our partnership with haistack.ai, paves the way. Firms aligning with such visionary benchmarks don’t just adapt—they lead, shaping the very contours of the legal world’s future.