Zuva and Litera develop Legal Taxonomy

Zuva and Litera are partnering with the Standards Advancement for the Legal Industry (SALI) Alliance to release an open-source document classification taxonomy.

This project to build an enhanced multi-level document classifier is the culmination of nearly a decade of work started at Kira in 2014, evolving into a collaboration as Kira was acquired by Litera in 2021 and Zuva spun off into a separate corporation.

Zuva and Litera have announced their partnership with SALI to provide open-source document classification taxonomy in the hopes that the legal industry and the tech industry can come together to provide cleaner data and standardization to firms and legal professionals. This comes alongside the launch of an enhanced document classifier, which automatically identifies 225 document types, based on the thorough taxonomy.

The enhanced document classifier is available immediately via Zuva’s API offering.

Zuva and Litera’s journey to reach this announcement was extensive. Beyond the years spent crafting and refining the taxonomy, the teams of lawyers, paralegals, and research scientists also sourced and curated tens of thousands of documents, honed the AI, refined its capabilities, and implemented a number of technical enhancements.

In today’s legal and document management technology industry, businesses will often employ multiple, even competing, systems. For example, a single company or law firm might use three different contract analysis AIs, plus another document management repository, potentially with its own AI, and perhaps three further contract management systems.

Herein lies the challenge: How can data from one system be seamlessly integrated with another when private taxonomies diverge? This issue drove Zuva and Litera’s decision to open-source their advanced document classification taxonomy to the SALI (Standards Advancement for the Legal Industry) Alliance™.

The SALI Alliance, a reputed global non-profit, has been pivotal in steering the legal industry towards standardized data practices. Their Legal Matter Standard Specification (LMSS) has already set benchmarks for uniform data categorization.

In the new era of AI-driven legal technology, document classification and data standardization are more crucial than ever. Document management systems at law firms and corporations can contain millions of documents.

This is where automatic classification comes in. By correctly and granularly identifying document type, users can more easily find documents they need. Not only that, but documents can be automatically routed to the right place for further review.

Toby Brown, president of the board of The SALI Alliance commented on the collaboration: “Legal data standards are critical for optimizing efficiency and nurturing global collaborations. Zuva and Litera’s contribution is an exciting addition to the standards we’ve established, further paving the way for vast opportunities across the legal spectrum.”

SALI leader Damien Riehl adds “For Large Language Models (LLMs), an important method of increasing accuracy and reducing hallucinations is Retrieval Augmented Generation (RAG), and SALI’s 13,000+ tags can helpfully curate that document subset — for LLMs to summarize, analyze, and synthesize.”

Noah Waisberg, Zuva’s Co-Founder and CEO, commented: “We’re thrilled to offer our multi-level classifier to our customers today. Our document type taxonomy is likely to be more comprehensive than that of many other vendors, and while keeping it to ourselves could create a competitive advantage for Zuva, we think our customers are a lot better off if others use our taxonomy too, or if competitor systems’ taxonomies can be translated to ours.”

“Standardizing document classification ensures consistency in how contracts are categorized and processed, making contract review and analysis more reliable and reducing the risk of oversight and errors in those workflows,” said Corinne Geller, Director, Legal Knowledge Engineering at Litera.

“Organizations are faced with an ever-growing volume of contracts; moving towards uniform document type classification both enables scalability and facilitates collaboration, allowing legal teams to develop better insights on larger sets of documents with accuracy and confidence.”

Learn more about the API version of Zuva’s Multi-Level Document Classifier or review the 225 document types.


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