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Harvey Eyes ‘All Sorts’ of Lawyers in AI Legal Hiring Spree

Bloomberg: Harvey, a generative artificial intelligence startup that quadrupled in value last year, has spent the first quarter of 2024 embarking on an expansion spree that shows no signs of slowing. “The privately held company, which has 82 employees, wants to double that number by year’s end, said its 29-year-old co-founder and CEO Winston Weinberg in one of the few interviews he’s given since Harvey surfaced on the legal technology scene a year ago. “We do very little press,” he said. Weinberg attributed his and Harvey’s desire to stay quiet to a policy of letting its new clients speak for themselves, as well as to a personal bandwidth issue for him as he sought to create a company from scratch. The San Francisco-based startup, which just opened an office in New York, is currently looking to fill nearly 50 job openings, many of them for lawyers. “Normally, at a tech company, you hire lawyers to be in-house lawyers,” he said. “We’re looking at them to fill a unique, interdisciplinary type of role. We want them to do all sorts of different things.” Harvey, whose official name is Counsel AI Corp., derived its brand name from an “amalgamation” of things, not just the fictitious corporate lawyer Harvey Specter from the legal drama “Suits,” Weinberg said.Whatever the moniker’s origin, Harvey quickly made a name for itself. The company was valued at $715 million in December after raising $80 million from investors such as the startup fund affiliated with generative artificial intelligence unicorn OpenAI and venture capital firms Kleiner Perkins and Sequoia Capital.Harvey, which straddles the larger generative artificial intelligence market, has drawn much hype by touting a time-saving technology that it and a growing number of other legal technology companies are offering to various clients.

In recent weeks Harvey has brought on lawyers who have worked at firms such as Gunderson Dettmer; Katten Muchin Rosenman; Latham & Watkins; O’Melveny & Myers; Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison; Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom; and White & Case…Ralph Baxter, a veteran legal industry innovator and former leader of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe who now advises firms and legal technology companies, said how Harvey fares going forward will be a good gauge for how generative artificial intelligence applications permeate into private practice.

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