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Dragon NaturallySpeaking for the Legal Industry

The Verdict is In

The time and cost involved in documenting case and client information, contracts, briefs and other legal materials is staggering. Traditional reliance on administrative support staff and outside transcription services drags down productivity and eats into profits.

Thousands of legal professionals now leverage speech recognition technology to dramatically reduce the time it takes to create everything from briefs and contracts to case documentation and correspondence. Law firms and legal departments can deploy speech solutions broadly to speed document turnaround, reduce transcription costs, and streamline repetitive workflows — without having to change current business processes or existing information systems.

Dragon NaturallySpeaking can help law firms and corporate legal departments to:

  • Speed Document Creation You can turn your voice into text with up to 99 percent accuracy using virtually any Windows-based application. Speech recognition delivers results three times faster than most people type.
  • Eliminate Document Development Bottlenecks Streamline the editing and correction process with speech recognition to dramatically decrease turnaround time and reduce dependencies on support staff. Lawyers, legal secretaries and paralegals can become more productive if they're free to focus more on billable work.
  • Increase Efficiency and Profitability A law firm — large or small — can increase billings without increasing staff support costs, just as corporate legal departments can become more efficient and effective in their daily work.
  • Eliminate Legal Transcription Bottlenecks with Speech Recognition
    The time and cost involved in documenting case and client information, contracts, briefs and other legal materials is staggering. Traditional reliance on administrative support staff and outside transcription services drags down productivity and eats into profits. This whitepaper examines how speech recognition can be used to speed document creation, eliminate document development bottlenecks, and increase efficiency/profitability.

  • Dragon Solutions: Transcription Workflow
    With its tedious and time-consuming dictate-transcribe-review-edit cycle, this outdated approach to document creation takes a heavy toll on firm efficiency, productivity, and profitability. This paper outlines the Auto-Transcribe Folder Agent (ATFA)feature of Dragon NaturallySpeaking Legal. The ATFA manages text and synchronized audio flow across an enterprise network to streamline the process of third-party review and correction.

  • Dragon Solutions: Enterprise Profile Management
    This whitepaper details the Dragon “Roaming User” feature which dramatically simplifies administration and profile management for enterprise desktop dictation deployments. The convenient enterprise profile management capabilities delivered by the Roaming User feature address many of the challenges faced by system administrators responsible for managing enterprise desktop dictation deployments.

  • Dragon Solutions: Using a Digital Voice Recorder
    This paper explains how Dragon enables field professionals to dictate notes, reports, and other documents into a portable digital voice recorder for automatic transcription when they connect to a PC back at their home or office.

  • Legal: Before and After
    This short video depicts the frustrations faced by a typical law firm and identifies the productivity benefits offered by speech recognition, resulting in increased billable hours.

  • User Testimonial – Dragon in a Law Firm
    This short video clip explains how one customer uses Dragon as his “assistant” to increase his productivity at a law firm.


“Lawyers take an enormous amount of notes. We also read volumes of "stuff." There are many ways I use Dragon NaturallySpeaking, but two applications of the software that have saved me a ton of time are as follows: 1. when researching for a case, I will read a book with Dragon NaturallySpeaking loaded. I'll dictate notes from particular cases. For example, I recently made this note from a book: "Look at page 76 for a chart that lays out all the elements for the evidentiary foundation." 2. During depositions, and when interviewing clients or witnesses, I take handwritten notes. Later, in my office, I'll sit down and dictate those notes into Dragon NaturallySpeaking, adding some comments and perceptions that I've had from the deposition, or interview.”

A public defender in Alaska:

“I have used Dragon for more than ten years, and expect I will continue to use it for as long as I use a computer. For me, the most remarkable thing about Dragon is that I seem to use a different part of my brain when I write by speaking, rather than manually - and so writing is transformed from a painstaking, study-each-word-three-times-before-you-choose-it to a seamless act of composition, one which flows as naturally as saying something to a friend. There is something about dictating that eliminates the feedback circles between my original thought and my product. This means that my dictated writing is much faster, much fresher, and often much more creative. The other reason I couldn't do without Dragon is for creating chronologies of historical fact, because I can use both hands to move from one document to another, and dictate brief notes on the facts at the same time, without moving from document-to-keyboard-to-document. Since the process of creating notes is so effortless and so fast, I tend to record a lot more information about each document than I would if I were writing manually, and so my notes are much more valuable than they would otherwise be. I use Dragon for many other purposes, as well. There's no better way to make a fast, complete, and accurate memo of a telephone conversation or a contact. I use it to write long emails, both personal and professional. I use Dragon for drafting legal briefs and memoranda of law, as well - and find that the pleadings I have written through dictation are more lively and more readable than the others.”

JP Evans:

“I am an attorney, and producing written product is key to my profession. I have always had excellent keyboard skills, and the ability to type fast enough to make the most seasoned of word-processing secretaries blush. Unfortunately, however, I developed severe tendinitis in my left arm and long bouts of typing began to leave me in significant discomfort for days. Dragon NaturallySpeaking has afforded me the ability to continue to perform by producing copious amounts of material on a daily basis, without having to be disabled with pain and discomfort over a series of weeks thereafter. I simply would be unable to do what I do without this product, and I am grateful for it. The improvements made to version 10 have been of sufficient help to me and have greatly improved my accuracy and productivity.”

A Contract Analyst with the University of California:

“My job involves contract preparation, legal analysis, and communicating with a wide variety of people in California and elsewhere. I use Dragon to sketch out ideas, legal analyses, and narrative in draft form, mostly. I use it as an aid to thinking; sometimes words and phrases come out as a jumbled pile, but there they are, and I am able to select what is useful and valuable, and move on to the next idea. Sometimes ideas arrive in complete sentences, needing only an occasional snipping and pruning here and there to make a finished product. Other times in the course of a dictation session, the same idea will come out in several different ways, and then I get to choose the most effective way to move forward. I still go through numerous drafts, but the overall quality of the work has measurably improved. My enthusiasm for Dragon is unbounded. In the more than 20 years that I have used computers for writing legal pleadings, briefs and legal memoranda, and written communication of every sort, it is one of the few products I would recommend to anyone. The more I use it, the more I want to perfect my skills. I am not one to whom oral presentation came naturally; but Dragon is helping me with that, too. I still write with pen and ink, and I still type letters, documents, and e-mails, but that has become like driving in, stop and go traffic when I would rather be out on the open highway.”

Bruce Scotland:

“Voice recognition has progressed enormously from the early days when you had to spell everything using the phonetic alphabet, alpha, bravo, etc. It is now a very useful tool if used in the correct way. My views are shaped by what I do as a sole legal practitioner in a small rural town. Clearly, whether it is cost effective for you to use voice recognition for your major work depends upon the relative costs of yourself and the staff who will actually type the work. If you are charging 250 per hour and you are having your work typed in India at 5 an hour, there is little point in voice recognition. So, what do I use it for? Principally emails. Most emails are non-standard and 50 per cent of mine are about office administration rather than client communication. However, for clients, the ability to provide instant feedback in between seeing clients is a great boon. I certainly couldn’t produce as much with one-fingered typing.”

Genevieve Martin:

“In 2006, I was unable to write or type due to surgery on my writing hand. I began using Dragon every day to write briefs, prepare emails, write letters and memoranda. During that time, I could not even have my secretary prepare items I had dictated because I could not write to correct and revise the drafts. Although my secretary was a bit nervous when she first saw me using Dragon, she has learned that it would never be a replacement for her valuable assistance; rather, it would be the extra "right hand" I needed. While my hand healed completely, I have continued to use Dragon regularly, both professionally and personally. It has revolutionized my written work and has continue to be my extra "right hand."


“When I have an important oral argument in court, I prepare it the same way I would actually make it in court, i.e., composing by speaking using memory and notes. I usually speak it multiple times to build fluidity and to help remember what I've said. However, every version I speak has differences from every other one. Some are turns of phrase I like; some are re-phrasings and some are whole new points or whole new ways of making an existing point. In the past, I've recorded the versions so that if there are things I particularly like in various versions I have them again. Theoretically. In some instances, particularly if my speech is lengthy it is very time-consuming to locate a particular bit unless I know that it is right near the beginning or the end. I've often find it to be more trouble than it's worth. Enter the Dragon. I can capture the versions on paper. Since I can speed-read, but I can't speed-listen, I can visually scan for whatever I'm looking for in a fraction of the time it would take to listen. I will sometimes find things I didn't remember saying but end up using. Also, I can use a document comparison program to redline changes from one version to another and pick up subtle changes -- which would not be very feasible without Dragon's terrific accuracy. An added benefit is that it is much easier to judge the quality of the oral presentation by reading it than by listening to it, and in particular to be sure I've "connected all the dots" of my arguments. Finally, reading the speech is an additional memory aid. I hope this can help others (except opposing counsel) enjoy the many efficiencies of Dragon.”

Matthew Simone:

“I think back to the time when I happened to be browsing through an electronics store and came across Dragon back in 1997. I have used Dragon exclusively since that time. Never had it become more important than that day in February 2007 when I was diagnosed with leukemia. I am a solo practitioner and for the most part not all that techno-savvy and use the two finger method of typing. You can start to see my problem. I was struggling to juggle my career and health issues. To make matters worse, I immune suppressed, which limited my ability to be in contact with people, even my own staff. This is where Dragon NaturallySpeaking came to the rescue. With the help of Dragon I was able to communicate with staff and clients, create drafts of legal documents and in general be productive again without concern for my limitations. It was an intricate part in helping me to who go through what I have come to call the "process", professionally and personally. Sometimes words cannot express the gratefulness one has for something as simple as a word recognition program and other technology to a person like me.”

Robert Kass:

“One of my early uses of Dragon NaturallySpeaking involved a health insurance appeal on a medical issue. I had to write a long protest letter, and had numerous letters and documents around me, and everything involved complex medical terminology. I am a lawyer, but rarely deal with this type of subject, and my secretary had no familiarity with the terminology. Being the thoughtful boss that I am, this seemed a natural for Dragon. I could concentrate on my sources, reviewing them one by one and dictating what was relevant from my stack of papers. I "taught" the program the medical terminology, much to my secretary's relief. The words were really long and would have challenged anyone, but Dragon got them right every time. The whole project went quickly and smoothly -- and without aggravating my secretary. And what's best is that the insurance company agreed with our position, and reimbursed the family for treatment they had initially said was "experimental" and thus not covered!”


“A trip to the emergency room confirmed my fears. I had broken my right wrist and was looking at surgery and weeks before I could use it again. Returning to my office the next day, I fretted about how I could complete my brief due in less than a week. Another attorney in the office uses Dragon and suggested I try it. I purchased the wireless 10 version and was amazed at how simple it was to set up, even with my right arm in a splint. I started to use it immediately with relatively few errors and few problems with voice recognition. I was able to dictate my brief and compete it on time! For the next few weeks as my arm healed and I went into physical therapy, I did not lose a single day of work (or a single billable hour) due to my inability to use my hand. I still use my Dragon and find it saves me a tremendous amount of time. The wireless headset allows me to move about my office pulling documents from files and books from shelves all the while dictating.”

Tom Koenig:

“As an attorney, Dragon has been an invaluable tool for writing briefs, arguments and various correspondence. Recently I have been assigned to a task requiring hours of tedious data and text entry into a program that generates a legal document for filing. I have made extensive use of Dragon to more efficiently complete this task, often without the use of the keyboard at all. This last March, I had my first skiing accident, which resulted in my left arm being broken near the wrist. This of course made typing a problem, but when I returned from my ski trip I was able to step right back into my assignment without much difficulty by doing most of the data entry using Dragon and my mouse. No matter how fast I may have been able to type before, I would not have been able to match my pre-injury speed and efficiency if it had not been for Dragon NaturallySpeaking.”

  • ROI Calculator
    Use this calculator to determine how much time can be saved during documentation and correspondence tasks, enabling a higher volume of billable tasks each day.