Build or buy legal GenAI? Why the American Arbitration Association chose Josef Q

  • Organization

    American Arbitration Association

  • Employees

    550+

  • Josef Q tools

    Internal operations, plus products and services

Watch the full interview with Bridget McCormack and Diana Didia.

 

Easy governance, a simple setup, and Josef Q’s legal-centric features sit at the top of the list for the AAA team.

In this fireside chat, American Arbitration Association (AAA) President and CEO Bridget McCormack and Chief Innovation Officer Diana Didia sit down with Josef Co-founder and COO Sam Flynn.

Together, the trio discuss a recent GenAI bakeoff at the AAA where the organization pitted an internally built GenAI-powered tool against one built on Josef Q.

Watch Bridget and Diana explain why they chose Josef Q, discover how the AAA believes GenAI will revolutionize access to justice, and listen for the two leaders’ tips for implementing the technology at scale.

Catch the full interview above or read our top takeaways below.

 

#1 GenAI presents a breakthrough for equal access to justice

The AAA was founded in 1926 to provide arbitration services and has since expanded to offer mediation and other alternative dispute resolution services.

Today, with platforms like Josef Q, they have “the potential to change the world,” Bridget says.

“Despite many excellent intentions and hard work on behalf of lawyers, judges, and others who work in the legal industry to address what is a massive market failure—the civil justice system—92% of Americans still can’t get help with their civil legal problems,” Bridget explains.

“The possibility of building plain language support for individuals and small to medium businesses presents a breakthrough for delivering equal access to justice.”

 

#2 Deploying GenAI requires optimism, Bridget says

“This technology didn’t come with any manual,” Bridget notes.

“There’s no handbook for how to use it. So Diana and myself both felt like we had to empower our own teams to discover ways in which we could improve both operations as well as the AAA’s products and services.”

Maintaining momentum also required strategic focus.

Bridget explains, “There are lots of discussions out there in the legal profession about the ethics and biases surrounding GenAI and I definitely am part of most of those conversations. They’re important, but we’re not going to waste time between now and when lawyers figure it all out because then it’s going to be too late.”

“Where it made sense for us to buy Josef Q was in terms of governance. At Josef, you’re repeatedly testing the models utilized in your tools. That, plus the middle console that enables users to make multiple tools has a lot of value that we want to take advantage of.”
– Bridget McCormack, President and CEO, American Arbitration Association

#3 Following a build vs. buy GenAI bakeoff, Josef Q came out on top. Why?

For Diana, it came down to bandwidth, governance, and features.

Diana explains, “Fundamentally as a CIO, you only have so much development bandwidth and you want to use that bandwidth in the most strategic ways.”

“Typically you’d want to be putting programmers in service of building things that are very bespoke to our strategy or processes, or what have you.”

“Where it made sense for us to buy Josef Q was in terms of governance.”

Speaking with Sam, Diana says, “At Josef, you’re repeatedly testing the models that are utilized in tools. Open AI’s dropping releases all the time and, for us, we have to consider what this might mean for our customers. We’re not quite far enough along on our journey here to have built up that kind of extra governance competency.”

Feature-wise, the added ability for business users to create multiple Q&A tools on Josef Q made a big impression on the AAA team.

“Josef Q has this nice layer where you can actually go and deploy multiple tools. That’s extra coding that, frankly, we could build ourselves, but I’m not sure if that’s where I want to put my strategic dev hours.”

“That middle console where users can make multiple tools has a lot of value that we want to take advantage of,” Diana adds.

 

#4 The AAA’s advice? GenAI change must come from above

Your C-suite has to be invested in what this particular transformation looks like, or it’s never going to happen,” Bridget says.

“Everybody has to be using it too. You know, I use our tools every day which always helps when figuring out what comes next.”

“The question surrounding how to strategically deploy your in-house dev teams versus whether you partner with Josef Q… this is five levels up, right? You can’t get to those sets of questions until you, as a leader, understand what the possibilities are for your internal ops and your core products and services.”

Bridget elaborates, “As a leader, think of those two buckets and figure out where this technology is going to have a tremendous impact. It’s going to have an impact on both. It’s probably a threat and an opportunity in both. But until you get your arms around those things, which you’re not going to do until you start using the technology, it’s going to be hard to get to the more strategic questions.”

 

Learn more

Why is it that legal services are so ripe for disruption by GenAI? Watch Professor Dan Hunter from King’s College London dig into this question, and discover why he thinks more legal teams should jump on GenAI fast.

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