New York-founded startup Lega today (31 May) formally announced the launch of a LLM provisioning and governance platform that will enable law firms and other organisations put guard rails around the way employees explore new technologies.
The SaaS offering, founded by former Reynen Court president Christian Lang and built on no-code platform Betty Blocks, enables firms to explore LLMs through a single enterprise platform and build and configure API-driven solutions in ‘a few clicks.’ Firms can provide access via a single sign on and apply policies that govern usage within the platform, as well as analyse usage across different solutions. Am Law 100 law firm Womble Bond Dickinson is among Lega’s early adopters.
Whereas organisations are currently faced with the possibility that employees will be using LLMs such as ChatGPT on their own devices, the ambition is that Lega will provide a way to facilitate but regulate, monitor and analyse – rather than attempt to prevent – the way they access new technologies.
Speaking to Legal IT Insider about the launch of Lega, Lang, a former Davis Polk corporate lawyer, said: “This is an extraordinary technological moment, and everyone gets why it’s going to be so wildly important for knowledge workers, including within the legal industry specifically. But we have a huge amount to learn.
“Because of how popular ChatGPT became so quickly, it’s already a part of the public zeitgeist. There’s no controlled rollout of new technology and firms have hundreds if not thousands of users doing goodness knows what in personal accounts outside the visibility of the firm.
“We’ve seen through Bard and Claude and others, we’re having a flood of new models come to market that are going to be good at different things and it’s going to be really important for firms to quickly get their hands on these tools, start playing with them and figuring out what they can do and what the use cases are. But they need to find a way to do that safely. There is no putting a dam in this river, we need to find a way to channel the water and make it as safe as possible.”
Firms will bring their own API keys to any LLM model they want to explore, and Lang said: “Out of the gate, firms are going to want to use OpenAI first, maybe through Azure OpenAI Service. But alongside that they are going to want to test Bard, and Claude from Anthropic. They will want to test a bunch of things side by side. So they bring their API keys, and instead of having to build apps to try and test these things, our platform does it for them. They can click a few buttons and configure solutions through our platform instead of having to build their own UI.”
In terms of the governance piece, Lang said: “No matter how easy it is to build the apps, you’re not going to want to manage the governance layer through that application layer that’s changing. You’re going to want to distil it out and have that be unchanging. So through the Lega platform it’s just dead simple. We’re giving them the ability to provide secure access to those solutions across their user base in the way that they want through SSO – so the way they already manage their enterprise applications, they can manage their LLMs.
“We also empower them to create kind of a configurable compliance checkpoint, telling the user in that moment what they can and can’t do, and soliciting whatever acknowledgements they need from that user at that moment.
“Third and most importantly, you’re controlling the traffic to and from these LLMs and can see that people are using it in a way that’s compliant with the polices – or intervene if they are not.”
Lega has been in stealth mode for a while and working with a number of firms to develop its offering. One of those firms is Womble Bond Dickinson, where chief knowledge & innovation officer Bill Koch said: “Not only does Lega provide us with the enterprise guardrails we need to feel confident exploring LLMs and their use cases, it provides a powerful set of tools to capture critical learning about where our professionals are inspired to use these models and then quickly scale the lessons learned throughout the enterprise so all of our users can benefit from breakthroughs.”
On Lega’s board and acting as company consultants are Doxly-founder and former Litera head of M&A Haley Altman and Theory & Principle founder Nicole Bradick. Bradick said: “Generative AI offers a world of opportunities, but in the short term also creates real risk that Lega elegantly reduces for the enterprise. I’m pleased to be advising an early mover that can demonstrate a practical, simple solution that is easy to adopt and implement.” Altman added: “Given the explosion of consumer-facing generative AI tools, it’s critical that enterprises like law firms quickly provide their lawyers with safe exploration pathways. Lega strikes just the right balance between facilitating critical LLM learning while providing the governance tools to help firms ensure their confidential data doesn’t end up in the wrong places.”