Troutman Pepper Launches GPT-Powered AI Assistant
USA/Canada News

Troutman Pepper logoTroutman Pepper announced today the firmwide release of Athena, a firm-approved, ChatGPT application to help attorneys and business professionals safely and effectively use generative AI to improve workflows and enhance overall user and client experiences. Within the first 24 hours of firmwide release on August 14, more than 125 different users, including users from all the firm’s practice and administrative departments, engaged the platform in nearly 300 conversations.

The firm’s Generative AI Task Force partnered with Microsoft to leverage OpenAI’s large language model (LLM) in the firm’s private cloud to provide these capabilities. Athena uses nuanced and advanced extensions of the LLM through system prompts allowing outcomes to be more directed and accurate. Over the past few years, Troutman Pepper’s IT and Innovation teams worked with its long-time strategic partner Framework Consulting, an award-winning AI development group, to research and build the platform. Early adopters tested, piloted, and provided feedback.


“The launch of Athena represents the next step in our exploration and adoption of generative AI and large language models,” said Will Gaus, Troutman Pepper’s Chief Innovation Officer and Task Force lead. “The ability to streamline internal processes quickly and effectively is crucial to delivering more value to clients. The use cases we identified and thoroughly tested during the pilot phase showed incredible results. This custom AI solution will positively impact our attorneys, business professionals, and clients, and we have plans to extend this model across the firm.”

As early as June 2021, members of the Task Force were collaborating with Troutman Pepper’s Office of General Counsel and Information Security teams to ensure efforts to research and, ultimately, build GPT-powered solutions were undertaken safely, securely, and ethically. While Athena is available to everyone at the firm, mandatory ethics training is required before they begin, to ensure they understand the risks, benefits, and ethical responsibilities associated with this technology.

In addition to that mandatory training, the Task Force developed an educational series for attorneys and staff with award-winning strategist and law professor, Josh Kubicki, most recently from the University of Richmond School of Law. The course was designed to help participants understand the hands-on, pragmatic application of generative AI to real-world legal issues.

Since May, Troutman Pepper’s Marketing department has been using Athena to create first drafts of marketing materials, including press releases, social media captions, and attorney bios.

“Our team has been very impressed with the results. We closely review everything for accuracy and completeness, and the outputs have been tremendous and have allowed us to more efficiently and proactively support our attorneys’ and clients’ needs,” said Dan Pulka, Troutman Pepper’s Chief Business Development and Marketing Officer.

Looking ahead, Athena has been approved to assist with legal work that is done in accordance with the firm’s – and clients’ – policies and procedures regarding the use of generative AI. The Task Force is also actively working to develop other generative AI solutions for internal and client use, as well as exploring powerful new generative AI capabilities within the firm’s existing application base, such as Relativity, Kira, Westlaw, and LexisNexis.

Troutman Pepper’s Generative AI Task Force was officially announced in May 2023. The team was assembled to help the firm and its clients successfully but safely use these disruptive tools and technologies.

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