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New Speech Recognition Software Specifically for Law Firms

By Jonathan R. Tung, Esq. | Last updated on

Do you remember way back in the day when Dragon NaturallySpeaking ver. 1 was pretty much the only game in town when it came to speech recognition software? This was in the early 2000s when speech recognition was still just a fantasy that people could live out vicariously through Star Trek.

Well, times have changed. Speech recognition is so ubiquitous now that it's pretty much standard fare with all the major operating systems on our smartphones. But what about speech software tailored specifically for lawyers? This is the niche that Dragon Legal seeks to attack with its 13th version of NaturallySpeaking, Legal.

Tremendous Need

Efficiency has long been the bane of lawyering, yet it was only very recently that lawyers would consistently use templates in writing what should have been standard motions, pleadings, and other documents filed with the court. For some papers, there is simply no reason to re-invent the wheel. If it works, don't fix it.

By now, legal software suites come with pre-formatted legal documents as standard. Sure, there are a number of firms that insist on authoring entirely new motions from scratch, but these are the weirdos of the industry.

Writing With Voice ... Literally

Nuance's Dragon is to PC voice recognition software as Xerox once was to copying -- another invaluable lawyer tool. It's much easier to speak than it is to write, and one speaks much faster than even some of the best typists.

What's New and Better?

Initial reactions to the software have so far been positive. The legal edition has a few legs up over the standard version. One of the most enticing is the feature that help the program automatically format proper legal citations. Although some jurisdictions have been lax on this issue, proper citation is still technically needed for a real legal brief.

Additionally, the software features imports of specific language for each particular area of practice. This will cut down the frustration for those people who feel the burning need to write down the term 'de minimus non curat lex'.

There seems to be full compatibility with your wireless devices and with Bluetooth, so you can talk gobbledy-gook on the train while other riders stare at you wide-eyed. Remember client confidences.

Nuance claims that the accuracy rate is about 99 percent with at 160 words per minute -- extremely impressive. It would seem, then, that for the time being, this is an excellent time to invest in Dragon NaturallySpeaking 13 Legal Edition. At $799, it's not cheap, but who can say no to a faster, sleeker, and more legal version of Siri?

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