How can I use CoCounsel to summarize documents?

Instructions for using the Summarize skill, sample prompts to illustrate potential use cases, and information about limits for file uploads.

Rhyan Downing avatar
Written by Rhyan Downing
Updated over a week ago

In this article

Summary and video

CoCounsel's “Summarize” skill will prepare a succinct summary of any long, complicated document, like a dense regulation or piece of legislation, a complex contract, a wordy email, or even a lengthy law review article.

Step-by-step instructions

(1) Select "Summarize"

To get started, go to the skills menu and select “Summarize."

(2) Select the information CoCounsel will summarize

CoCounsel summarizes real sources of information. Upload documents, or click "See other upload options" to select information in other formats.

Upload documents

Use the drop down to select previously uploaded files, or upload or drag and drop files. Then click "Summarize."

Tip: Consider separating long documents from their attached exhibits. For example, separate a motion from its attached judicial opinions.

See other upload options

After clicking "See other upload options," select documents from an AllSearch database, or enter a text passage from another source. Select "Upload" to return to the prior upload screen.

Select from AllSearch

Use Casetext's AllSearch technology to create databases of large datasets of hundreds of thousands of documents, like internal brief banks, litigation records, contracts, or emails and transcripts for an e-discovery project. Learn more about AllSearch

  1. After clicking "Select from AllSearch," then select the database with documents to summarize.

  2. Use checkboxes to select specific documents, or all documents on a page. Use arrows to navigate between pages. Then click "Summarize."

Enter a text passage

CoCounsel can summarize text that is not in a document. After clicking "Enter a text passage," then type or paste text copied from another source into the box "Enter text." Then click "Summarize."

(3) Select the summary length

CoCounsel can provide summaries with different levels of detail. Select the summary length, then click "Summarize."

(4) Review CoCounsel's response

CoCounsel shows its work with a research memo. Begin reviewing CoCounsel’s response from the chat, or open the full response.

From the chat

From the chat, mouse over the response to expand the full response, download the response, or copy the response to paste somewhere else.

The full response

In the full response, navigate results by collapsing and expanding document title headings, and clicking a page reference to open the document at that page. Continue working by choosing a "Follow-up Skill," like Review Documents or other summary lengths. Download the response as a Word document or copy it to use somewhere else.

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Input limits

File type

.doc, .docx, .pdf, .txt, and .zip folders

Files within a .zip folder must comply with file size and type limitations.

File size

500 MB .pdfs

20 MB text files

File amount

200 files

Text passages

15,000 characters (a warning appears when 5,000 characters remain)


Various summary lengths, as selected in step (3).

TIP: If you have files that exceed the size limit, CoCounsel will reject the file. Divide the files into batches of 100 files or less before uploading.

Output limits

CoCounsel's summaries will be limited by the selected length in step (3).

Sample prompts to illustrate use cases:

Franchise disclosure documents

Summarize these long, complicated documents to help clients understand their obligations under the agreement, to help clients prepare to give testimony, or to aid clients as they gather evidence.

Client statements to the police

Summarize police reports to quickly understand exactly what a client said, and to identify potential Miranda or voluntariness issues.


Summarize pleadings to quickly review important information, like allegations and causes of action. Provide this summary to clients to help them understand the case, and so they can begin gathering evidence.

Get the most out of CoCounsel

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