2024-05-31-EB-12: The CEO’s Advocate

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EB-12: The CEO’s Advocate


And I’m (self) doxxed. Anyway, this is me (LinkedIn). The account just got so much bigger than anything I expected, and I ended up feeling I had a duty to tell people who I spoke to and about, and a responsibility to take the heat for the words which I do express. Will write more on this later, but anyway 👋


Cecilia Ziniti (LinkedIn), founder and CEO of GC AI, an AI platform specifically designed for in-house legal counsel. A former lawyer herself, she served as a general counsel for 10 years before founding GCAI. Ziniti's legal background, combined with her passion for AI, fuels her drive to empower lawyers with cutting-edge technology.


  • Ziniti highlights GCAI as a tool that can automate routine legal tasks, like drafting contracts and analyzing legal documents, enabling lawyers to focus on higher-level strategic thinking.

Relevant information retrieval and document generation

  • We explore the evolving roles of lawyers, the complexities of AI liability, and the ethical dilemmas surrounding training data.

  • The conversation also navigates the challenging landscape of AI regulation, with its inherent difficulties in balancing innovation with ethical considerations and societal impact.


May 26th, 2024


  • On the evolving role of General Counsel: "They are considered to be really the strategic advisor to the CEO, right? So anything to do with risk, anything to do with law, public policy, they get into a lot of PR considerations. But essentially, it's the company's lawyer."

  • On how GC AI transforms user workflows: "We had a user who’s the solo General Counsel of a company with eight holding companies. She says it's like having a legal associate for each of my companies."

  • On AI creating new ways of breaking old laws. "Artificial intelligence is great for litigators as a source of cases."

  • On the automation of routine legal work. "When you saw the rise of Excel, the profession of bookkeeper… went away."

  • On the assumed tacit knowledge in the legal process: "On doctrine, there should be no difference between a marriage lawyer in San Francisco and a marriage lawyer in Southern California. But in Southern California, you litigate first and you ask questions later. They go straight to court."

  • On AI as a forcing function for increased compliance and reduced leeway: “For the Securities Exchange Commission, if AI would make your compliance filings perfect, then there will be no excuse to have mistakes. There's no reason that you should have numbers that are wrong or statements that are incorrect. And so the bar is gonna go up."

  • On whether companies will become more compliant under AI scrutiny: "Bezzle will find a way. The human ingenuity is amazing. I think it will find a way."

  • On training data and fair use “Fruit of the poisoned tree? There is this inextricable chain, where there is a commerce and the ability to make money eventually finds a way”

  • On AI's potential to democratize legal access. "People who are unlawyered now who will get lawyered. Research out of Stanford that showed if you give ChatGPT to people who are not lawyers and ask them to review a residential lease, they will essentially find a threshold level of legal issues that is comparable to a lawyer."

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EB-12, the twelfth episode of our podcast, dropped this week. Before I continue, the rules of the game are:

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  • Cecilia Ziniti founded GCAI to bridge the gap between the legal profession and the transformative power of AI. She firmly believes that AI can empower lawyers, making them more efficient and effective, ultimately leading to a more just and equitable legal system.

  • GC aims to address the apprehensions surrounding AI's role in law by creating a platform that works in tandem with lawyers, enhancing their skills rather than replacing them.


  • GCAI utilizes cutting-edge AI technology, including natural language processing and machine learning, to understand and process legal language effectively.

  • The platform functions as an "AI intern," trained on vast amounts of legal data to provide accurate insights, generate legal documents, and analyze complex legal scenarios.

  • GCAI's strength lies in its ability to adapt to the specific needs and workflows of in-house legal teams, providing tailored support and insights based on their unique requirements.

Limitations and What's Next

  • GCAI, like any AI system, faces challenges in replicating the nuanced judgment and human understanding crucial for complex legal decision-making.

  • GCAI acknowledges the ongoing need to refine AI's ability to grasp the "tacit knowledge" inherent in legal practice, particularly when dealing with human emotions and unpredictable situations.

  • The future of GCAI involves constant iteration and expansion of its capabilities, with a focus on seamlessly integrating more advanced features like agent-based systems and predictive analytics to further enhance its value to legal professionals.

Why It Matters

  • GCAI's emergence signifies a pivotal moment in the evolution of the legal profession, highlighting AI's growing influence and the legal industry's willingness to adapt.

  • This technology has the potential to democratize access to legal services by streamlining processes and reducing costs, making legal counsel more accessible to individuals and small businesses.

  • As AI becomes more sophisticated, its interaction with the law raises critical questions about ethics, liability, and the future of work, making discussions like this crucial for navigating the evolving legal landscape responsibly.


The post that started off this round of drama

Long discussion with senior partner at major Bay Area law firm today

> expects legal AI to decimate profession

> law firms charge by hour, and gen AI specifically cuts time for many many tasks

> unimpressed by most specific legal AI offerings

> chatGPT with some prompting is still superior than specific tools

> 10-20% error rate is acceptable -> “ 😂 you should see how dumb associates are, partners have to correct everything anyway and don’t trust associates fully”

> feels lots of work will transition to in-house counsel. No need to hire external firms that charge by the hour when twenty minutes with chatGPT can get you decent results

> personally looking to move in-house

> good for areas of law where services were too expensive for many to afford for eg divorces

> terrible for juniors entering the profession

Of one large legal AI player

> tested product in January, was useless. Just simple prompting directly with chatGPT gave better results

> founders were like what first year associates? They don’t understand how law is practiced

> they’re very well funded but law firms are struggling to use them

> heard most of their revenue is coming from PWC, audit and compliance work rather than legal


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