Diligen: Modernizing the Field of Law through AI

February 2, 2018 0 comments

The Artificial Intelligence industry is at an important inflection point in its lifecycle. After many years of fear, uncertainty, and doubt, consumers and enterprises alike are beginning to see over the horizon to the possibilities that AI will unlock for the future of work. Key to continuing this trend is effectively positioning AI tools as ‘accelerators’ – solutions that augment or extend the capability of modern employees. AI isn’t replacing workers but working with them to increase their capacity or the quality of their work compared to what they can accomplish on their own. With this approach in mind, AI companies should consider positioning AI as the ‘engine under the hood’ that makes their solution possible instead of leading with AI as the crux of their message.

Diligen is an AI contract assistant that gives individual attorneys and the world’s largest law firms faster, higher quality contract review, helping them stay one step ahead in the changing legal landscape. Diligen uses AI to eliminate the tedious work tied to project management and contract analysis. Using Diligen, lawyers can quickly sort and summarize contracts, plus find and flag critical provisions resulting in contract reviews 50% faster and 80% more accurate than when done manually.


Journey of Diligen

Over the last ten years, client expectations around the delivery of legal services have changed leading lawyers and law firms in search of new, more efficient ways to deliver higher quality outputs and remain competitive. In looking at the legal workflow, Diligen’s Co-founders observed that contract management was tedious, repetitive, and consuming time better spent on higher value tasks that use lawyers’ judgment and creativity. With firsthand experience in the field of law, they knew that attorneys would love it if they could cut down the time it takes to sort documents, summarize contracts and identify key issues – all without compromising thoroughness. Out of this insight, Diligen was born to make a higher standard of law accessible to lawyers and businesses alike.

Over the last 12 months, Diligen has been focusing on extending the power of AI to contract review in many different areas of the law. Today, Diligen comes pre-populated with over 70 of the most common clauses found in legal contracts, and can also be trained to identify clauses and provisions specific to a given firm or company with easy to use machine learning.


Proud Moments for Diligen

In less than a year, hundreds of lawyers have adopted Diligen ranging from independent practices to some of the largest firms in North America.

Feedback from attorneys at law firms and in-house counsels demonstrates that the legal profession is more ready today than ever before to adopt technology that augments the work already being done by lawyers. In-house legal teams love Diligen because it allows them to speed up the review of contracts for internal stakeholders like sales teams – making legal more valuable to an organization. Law firms find value in Diligen helping them to be more competitive with fixed rate engagements and allowing them to stay ahead of the curve by minimizing client risk while at the same time increasing their bottom line.


About the Leaders Redefining the Industry

Diligen was co-founded by Konrad Pola, CEO; and Laura van Wyngaarden, COO. Pola, a corporate lawyer at one of the world’s largest law firms, saw firsthand the impact of inefficient contract review processes, particularly due diligence. He and Laura teamed up to apply the emerging field of Artificial Intelligence to streamline the end-to-end process of sorting documents, summarizing contracts and spotting critical provisions. To capitalize on the opportunity they saw before them, Pola taught himself to code on the subway as he commuted to and from the law firm he was practicing at. Meanwhile, Laura began to build out the go-to-market capabilities of the business including sales, marketing, and business development. Together through Diligen, Pola and van Wyngaarden are introducing practical applications of AI to the field of law and are leading voices promoting the promise of AI in the Canadian startup ecosystem.


 Client Benefits from the Desk of Diligen

As with any early technology looking to ‘cross the chasm’ and become broadly accepted by enterprises, AI needs to demonstrate how it will have a material impact on business outcomes while also mitigating concerns from skeptics. Diligen is bringing awareness to the power of AI as well as making it practical to apply in real-world scenarios – with measurable impacts on productivity and accuracy. Through speaking engagements, education and mentoring, Diligen is a champion for the AI industry with businesses and is inspiring the next generation of AI startups. Their powerful, yet easy to deploy and simple to use contract assistant brings a practical application of AI to attorneys and other professionals so they can experience the benefits of AI first hand. The results speak for themselves; Diligen cuts contract review time in half and works with attorneys to increase the accuracy of contract analysis by 80% compared to a lawyer manually reviewing contracts alone.


Major Challenges Acknowledged by Diligen during their Business Days

The legal environment that Diligen serves is resistant to change. It’s characterized by a culture that’s rich in tradition, slow to react and based on precedent. These defining characteristics are barriers to the adoption of AI and other technologies. Fortunately, Diligen has been developed by lawyers, for lawyers. With a deep understanding of the legal workflow and a firsthand knowledge of the technology adoption process at law firms, Diligen has been able to develop an easy to use product that complements a firm’s existing processes without extra work for lawyers.


Future Moves of Diligen

At Diligen, they believe that AI holds the power to change the future of work. The company is working hard on delivering against a roadmap that extends the possibilities for AI and raises the bar on the quality and efficiency of legal services. To that end they are introducing new capabilities that make it easy to train their system to recognize any contract clause, allowing it to be better tailored to the specific needs and focuses of different firms.

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