Case Study

Steno helps attorneys find the critical insights in legal transcripts with Claude

Steno logo image

Steno uses Claude 3 Opus to streamline deposition preparation for attorneys. Claude helps lawyers quickly find relevant information across vast transcripts, saving them from manually gathering and reading thousands of pages at a time.

Analyzing long legal transcripts

Steno provides legal support services, such as court reporting and remote depositions, to more than 1200 law firms across the United States. These legal proceedings are captured in transcripts. Attorneys often look at previous transcripts to understand, for example, how an expert witness responds to certain types of questions or whether a witness has been inconsistent in their testimony in the past.

For firms that don’t use Steno, these transcripts are often stored on attorneys’ desktops or Google Drives. Finding a transcript requires sending an email to colleagues (“Has anyone deposed this expert witness before?”). Then, someone must scour several individual transcripts—each of which might be hundreds of pages long—for relevant information.

Steno solved this problem by offering firms centralized storage for all of their Steno transcripts. But founders Dan Anderson, Greg Hong, and Dylan Ruga saw an opportunity to go much further with generative AI.

"When we asked attorneys what other technology we could build for a better litigation experience, they frequently mentioned the time-consuming and tedious nature of reading and analyzing transcripts,” explains Co-Founder Greg Hong. “When we saw what Claude could do, building Transcript Genius was a no-brainer.”

Legal analysis requires crucial context

Steno chose Claude 3 Opus to drive Transcript Genius, its AI-powered transcript analysis platform. Steno had explored AI solutions in the past, but at first, legal transcripts were too long for the available LLMs to handle. Once Claude’s 200K context window hit the market, the team knew they had the tools they needed to realize their product vision.

“We had a proof of concept up within a week,” says Dan Anderson, Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer at Steno, noting that they were able to build everything needed with one and a half engineers on the project.

App screen from Steno platform

A solution attorneys can trust

With Transcript Genius, attorneys can easily search, analyze, and interrogate their firm’s entire repository of transcripts.

“I’m litigating a legal malpractice case right now, and I asked the model to find all evidence of legal malpractice in a particular transcript,” says Dylan Ruga, President and Chief Legal Officer at Steno. “The model was able to understand four things you need to prove legal malpractice and find specific evidence relevant to those four things, which is super impressive, because there was nothing in the transcript itself that talked about the elements of proving a legal malpractice case.”

App screen of the Steno platform

In the legal world, attorneys need to trust in a system before they can rely on it, and the legal world has been rightfully skeptical of many players in the generative AI space. “We’ve heard horror stories of other models citing cases that don’t actually exist. We want to build trust with our customers, and working with a high-integrity model like Claude helps preserve that trust,” Dan says.

Steno used prompt engineering to ensure that Transcript Genius gives accurate results and provides a hyperlink to the exact location it’s citing within a transcript. This is especially useful to legal professionals, as formatting is inconsistent across different types of transcripts. By giving Claude plenty of guidance on how different transcripts were formatted, Steno was able to achieve the level of accuracy that attorneys demand.

Exposing attorneys to the power of AI

Transcript Genius streamlines a previously time-consuming, error-prone workflow. Historically, attorneys have been limited by their own capacity to find and read transcripts. Thanks to Claude and the Steno engineering team, attorneys can bypass searching and analysis and focus their attention on building the strongest case possible.

“Most attorneys aren’t following the latest advancements in the AI world,” Dan adds. “For a lot of them, this is their first time being exposed to a model of Claude’s caliber. And it’s kind of mind-blowing for them.”