LegalSifter wants to take the headache out of legal services, one AI-reviewed contract at a time

Evergreen legal advice is to never sign a contract without reading it, but some legally binding documents are more complicated for a person with a JD than others. That’s where McCandless-based LegalSifter comes in, with a service and software its leaders promise can take the pain out of understanding and signing contracts.

“Contracts are the most important document in global commerce and they’re just a universal pain for everyone,” the artificial intelligence-driven legal tech company’s CEO, Kevin Miller, told “They’re a pain to read and negotiate. And they’re a pain to keep track of, but natural language processing and machine learning, specifically, are uniquely suited to react to the novel language that befuddles us all on contracts.”

LegalSifter users can upload their contracts, let the company’s tools comb over the documents, and get an AI-powered review of the contract with advice on possible changes and negotiation potential. Depending on the level of service the user purchases, they could even have a lawyer from LegalSifter’s staff look over the document after the software.

Although the software uses AI to review the contracts submitted, Miller said that the Carnegie Mellon University-born company sees its approach to helping people make sense of their contracts as “combined intelligence” — meaning at LegalSifter, humans and technology, are working side by side to bring affordable legal services to the company’s users.

“We cannot, even with some of the latest technologies that have come in the last six months, create a robot lawyer. But what we can do is arm our clients with this technology.”Kevin Miller LegalSifter

This “combined” strategy has been backed by several Pittsburgh AI pros and institutions recently, albeit in different words.

“We are a big believer in a human-in-the-loop strategy here,” Miller said. “We cannot, even with some of the latest technologies come in the last six months, create a robot lawyer. But what we can do is arm our clients with this technology.”

The company is poised for growth: A March 2023 investment of an undisclosed amount from a California-based software-focused investment firm Carrick Capital Partners will go toward expanding LegalSifters operations and staff.

Since the company was founded in 2013, it has served roughly 450 clients consisting mostly of companies in 18 countries around the world, per Miller. In the US, LegalSifter employs a staff of between 50 and 60 spanning 10 states, including lawyers, paralegals, software engineers and data scientists. The company counts just five or six Pittsburgh employees; as Miller explained, previously, they could be found in an office in the Strip District, but like many companies in March 2020, LegalSifter went virtual and remains that way.

Looking forward, “what we’re likely to do is rent a space that allows us to come together a couple of times a month, as a group, and then remote folks will come in a couple of times a year,” Miller said. “We like a lot of companies [are] trying to figure out this new world.”

By the end of the year, LegalSifter plans to grow its staff to as many as 100 employees. If you’re looking for a new entry on your LinkedIn, note that Miller says the company is looking for people who can further its mission.

“What we’re really looking for is people that align with our core values,” the CEO said. “We have a mission to bring affordable legal services to the world [and] we need people who have humility, who are lifelong learners and can work inside a structured framework with [an] aligned vision, strategy, plan and budget.

Atiya Irvin-Mitchell is a 2022-2023 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Heinz Endowments.


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