#LegalTechLives with Noory Bechor, CEO and Founder of LawGeex

Ava Chisling
July 5, 2017

Noory Bechor is the CEO and Founder of LawGeex and a man on a mission to revolutionize the legal world through innovative technology. Noory passionately combines his entrepreneurial spirit and years of experience as an international commercial lawyer to help other lawyers #lovelegal again, making their work easy, efficient and impactful.

You are based in Tel Aviv, which is not only a leader in technology, but also in science, engineering, aerospace, and so on. The question is: why Tel Aviv?

Tel Aviv is one of the major tech-hubs in Israel, a country known globally as the “startup nation.” Israel has innovation at its very core, with the highest number of startups per capita in the world. It also has some of the best R&D in the world, as seen through the presence of R&D centers located here from the top multinational companies, including Intel, HP, IBM, Google and Microsoft. This research and development strength is a particularly powerful incentive to set up a technology company here. Israel is also a melting pot of cultures and people, and we can, therefore, harness some of the world’s best talent all in one place, including top quality US lawyers.

You founded LawGeex in 2014, a company that uses AI to automate dealings with contracts. Why do you think there is a need for this kind of service?

For many years, I was an international corporate lawyer at Israel’s top law firm. During that time, I realized that many aspects of law could be done more efficiently. For me, it remains mind-blowing that some of the biggest companies in the U.S still review everyday contracts manually — some even have teams of people doing this full time.

I experienced this first-hand as a corporate lawyer, having to manually review documents line by line, looking for hidden or missing clauses that the business didn’t accept. I quickly recognized the routine and mundane nature of what I was doing and thought to myself, ‘No lawyer goes through law school to do this type of tedious work — it’s robotic.’ Surely a robot can do it, and do it more accurately! That’s what convinced me that automation is the only way forward in reviewing and approving everyday contracts.

I started looking for an artificial intelligence expert and found Ilan Admon, who became our Co-Founder and CTO. After meeting with him, it was clear that a technology solution to this everyday challenge is not only necessary but possible. The harder part will be educating the lawyers and businesses that they no longer have to accept the old way of doing things, that they can use their time for more meaningful work. I really believe we can help in-house counsel clear their inboxes and help other departments quickly answer the simple question ‘Can I sign this?’ without waiting days and weeks.

Of course, we here at ROSS also use AI to help lawyers save time and money. Where do you see AI moving in the future, for lawyers, and for the general public?

I think that AI and better technology are going to enhance the legal profession in many ways, as it already has for the general public. The legal space is one of the last frontiers in adopting even basic technology and so I believe it’s a ripe ground for enormous improvement. We’re just now scratching the surface and I’m very excited about the future of legaltech. It’s really a case of consumer-first innovation, where consumer needs are driving change, and business is now catching up.

“To grow this industry, we need more legal in-house leaders who embrace change like this. This is happening, we’re at the start of a boom, and those that don’t jump on board will be left behind.”

Lawyers are smart people and do not enjoy doing robotic and repetitive legal work. This is what technology is best at, following commands, looking for patterns. For this level of work, hiring a robot makes perfect sense. It does not forget anything, makes no human errors — and unlike the coffee-powered human reviewer, it does not get tired. Most of our in-house counsel customers, who are leading the way with AI implementation in their fields, are quite direct that they just want burdensome processes and simple contracts off their plates.

This also enhances the strategic status of the lawyer within their businesses. They will have more clout to join the C-suite if they can embrace change and deliver maximum business value. To grow this industry, we need more legal in-house leaders who embrace change like this. This is happening, we’re at the start of a boom, and those that don’t jump on board will be left behind.

Elon Musk has some out-there ideas about AI taking over humans, especially our brains. Why do you think people are so afraid of artificial intelligence? Is it all about movies?

It will be a while until we get overtaken by robots, particularly in legal, but that is not to say it is just science fiction. With all our scientific and medical advancements, the human brain is still largely a black box. There are still enormous amounts we don’t know, and therefore we are a long way off from mimicking its processes. While there are functions of AI that are well suited to replacing defined tasks, legal practice requires advanced cognitive abilities and problem-solving skills in environments of legal and factual uncertainty.

From what we know now, legal practice is not entirely automatable anyway. Baby steps are important to reduce the fear and see that basic AI technology can empower businesses and help them run more efficiently. Let’s focus on what is possible and beneficial today, and let Elon and the movies hypothesize about the future.

Tell me what makes for a successful start-up?

First and foremost, it’s about the people — find the best and most talented people for the job and make them work together as one unit. At LawGeex we are investing a lot of time and resources in making sure we have the best people working for us and that they work together as a team and not as a group of individuals.

What are you most known for — in the office and at home?

Both at office and at home I would say that I’m a bit of a control freak. I have very strong opinions on practically everything and I voice them all the time. The challenge for me is to always take a step back and let things unroll without me — especially that I have a wonderful team around me.

And finally, here’s something I ask everyone: What is the one thing not yet invented you’d like right now? (not work related). So far, I’ve heard robot sous-chef, teleportation, driverless car, a robot motorcycle mechanic and so on.

I would love to have a hoverboard that actually works. When I was in 6th grade, my best friend told me that he used to have one and I fell for it. Ever since then I’ve waited for someone to actually build a proper hoverboard so I can get closure on this. Come on Elon, I’m waiting!

I am with you all the way on the hoverboard! Preferably one that does not explode. Thank you for taking the time to chat with me. We are in this together, as we make people’s lives easier and better with AI, one firm at a time.

Ava Chisling

Ava is an award-winning lawyer and editor who counsels creative types, writes about pop culture/tech+law and sometimes creates ad campaigns. She is Quebec counsel for Momentum Law.