Spotlight on ApprentAI

Spotlight on ApprentAI

Or Bar and Matan-Yah Ben Zion are the founders of Israeli-based ApprentAI, a generative AI document review platform that uses an algorithmic approach to case and document analysis, helping litigators to find meaningful insights and evidence in cases to gain deeper understanding.

Or started his professional journey in the Israeli Defense Forces’ Military Advocate General, serving as a criminal prosecutor for six years, handling a multitude of cases and legal counsel on international public law matters. Matan worked as a researcher in the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office as well as Chicago University, the Weitzman Institute and gained a Ph.D. in Physics from NYU

What motivated you to start ApprentAI?

As a trial attorney, especially a junior one, I spent much of my time reviewing evidence, preparing for trial, and drafting court materials. Even though I enjoyed the court performance part of litigation and building the case’s strategy, the document review was exhausting.

While handling an investigation involving a public company with loads of documents to review, I took part in an entrepreneurship course and met Matan.

Sitting in the bar, Matan asked me, “What are the pains you feel in your job?” And I replied, “document review”. Matan continued questioning me about the process of building a case to understand what is so tedious about this process. We started a process called “market discovery”, in which we interviewed dozens of legal professionals to clarify the problems they face in litigation.

After a couple of weeks of research, we identified that the current E-Discovery and Technology Assisted Review solutions are generally limited to speeding up the review process and not to surfacing insights or assisting in building the factual grounds of a legal argument.

We learned that lawyers go through three general phases in handling a case – learning the cases fundamentals and identifying the relevant aspects of it, investigating deeper into the data they found relevant, and building the factual foundations of their legal arguments by connecting various data points.

apprentAI is doing just that, acting as a compass in the learning phase, as a forensic tool in the investigating phase, and as a sketching board in the last phase.

How do you see your product fitting in within the legal industry?

Today, the entire legal field is undergoing significant disruption, with new solutions on the horizon. The next era of solutions will rely on Large Language Models (LLMs) to bring unimaginable capabilities to the average attorney five years ago, like Generative AI and strong semantic analysis.

However, solutions that rely only on LLMs have major caveats, given that their “answers” are unexplainable. This explanation is not a major issue when drafting a contract, but it is in litigation.

apprentAI utilizes the most sophisticated next-era solutions. Our solution generates insights that are impactful and explainable, with a workflow that is native to the process lawyers go through in building their cases.

How has your product evolved since you started?

Like every other startup, we have had countless iterations and revisions on every aspect of the business – product development, target market, business model, and growing use cases.

On the product side, we initially wanted to provide an end-to-end solution for litigation teams by gathering the documents at the litigants’ computers through analysing the materials and attaching evidence to the relevant legal issues that the system identified.

On the business side, we initially aimed to target small to medium sized law firms because we believed that, unlike the large law firms, they had the highest incentive to become more effective in their Litigation practices.

Eventually, we understood that the pain is in the large, document-heavy cases, that are usually handled by larger law firms and that developing  an end-to-end solution in-house would be too expensive and complex for them due to the fact that the law varies across international jurisdictions. So we adapted and expanded our target market parameters.

What is your long-term goal for ApprentAI?

We aim to be a “one-stop-shop” go-to solution for any litigation case. Small to large, complex, and simple. After which, we would approach the transactional type of work in the legal field.

What achievements and challenges have you seen so far?

We currently have several relationships with large law firms, giving us access to a wide range of users over the span of four months. We are now in the process of engaging new law firms in our network while increasing our capacity.

Our main challenge has been mitigating our resources to grow as fast as we can while continuing to deliver high-quality services to each user.

What advice would you give to those starting out in the legal tech industry? 

  1. Entrepreneurship books have invaluable insights. Our recommendations are “The Hard Things About The Hard Things” and “Shoe Dog”.
  2. Learn to differentiate valuable and invaluable feedback. The first can elevate you, and the second can send you down a rabbit hole.
  3. The legal sector is conservative to change but has a herd mentality. Success leads to another success. Take lawyers on the journey with you.