Hello and welcome back to the Fides Weekly Update. Here is your weekly round up of news moves and developments in the legal sector.
Riverview Law grants AI technology to Legal Aid
Riverview Law has made its Artificial Intelligence tool KIM available for pro bono purposes through the Jeanie Project, a pilot that will apply the technology within a legal advice centre in Tower Hamlets.
The crowd-funded project, led by lawyers Lucy Scott-Moncrieff, Richard Miller and Martin Barnes, aims to test how the technology could support pro bono work and act as an example of how commercial law firms could offer technological solutions to solve problems faced in the legal aid sector.
KIM is Riverview’s ‘virtual assistant’ that it uses with commercial clients. It helps in-house legal teams ensure that the right work is being done by the right person, for the right price, by managing instructions coming into the function, triaging it to the appropriate individual, and automatically delivering real-time management information through the platform’s dashboard.
However, this technology is equally applicable to the legal aid space, where information can be quickly and efficiently gathered for vulnerable people in need of legal advice, and forwarded to a pro-bono lawyer for assessment and referral.
Lucy Scott-Moncrieff, one of the founders of the project, says implementing AI technology in this way has two benefits: “firstly, the people in need do not get referral fatigue from being passed around endless people only to be told no one can help them.” She says. “Secondly, the lawyers have more time to concentrate on cases, employing their specialist expertise rather than spending an initial two hours working out if they can help or not.”
The initial pilot will begin in September, with Toynbee Hall Legal Advice Centre in Tower Hamlets being used as the test centre. There are 16 different advice pathways the technology can handle, but the pilot will initially concentrate on immigration.
At larger commercial firms, The Jeanie Project should be able to assist more senior lawyers who want to do more pro bono work but who struggle with time constraints.
“The big thing is that is it enables people who are not experts to provide that initial client engagement, and collect the information that is needed in a structured way so that it can be easily passed on in a format that lawyers can deal with from the comfort of their desk or even their sofa,” Dr Simon Davey, who is project managing the pilot.
“One of the big barriers for pro bono support is around travel and capacity. If we can give lawyers all the information they need to solve a problem in 15 or 20 minutes without leaving their desk then – without wanting to underplay the complexity of some of these issues – it really offers them the chance to do ‘bite-size pro bono’.”
To learn more about The Jeanie Project click here.
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Movers & Shakers of the week
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer high-yield star Ward McKimm is leaving to return to Shearman & Sterling three years after he moved from Kirkland.
Data protection and privacy head Nicola Fulford set to join the London privacy and cybersecurity practice of Hogan Lovells
Construction partner Tom Duncan joins Ashurst’s city office
Shane McDonald set to join the City banking practice of White & Case as a partner
NRF partner Elizabeth Brenner joins CMS
Mergers & Alliances
Office Openings & Closings