LexisNexis® Legal & Professional Law360 is bringing audio to legal news. Starting today every Law360 story that is published will include a link to a complete audio version of the story. Lexis has collaborated with an Amazon technology called Polly which can simultaneously translate every story to audio as it is published. This feature is being added to all Law360 news content including the UK newsletters.
Rachel Travers, VP of Law360 provided me with a demo during an interview. Polly has a male and a female voice that will each be randomly assigned to 50% of the stories. My brain was expecting to hear something like menacing serenity of Hal the computer in 2002 A Space Oddesy. But these voices a incredibly close to human tone and cadence.
As a big fan of audio books, podcasts, Siri and Alexa, audio legal news has always seemed a no brainer to me. I was advocating for audio legal news back in 2015 when I posted about Modio Legal who was using law students to read audio versions of the ABA Journal. Lawyers are always on the run and can benefit from being able to hear the news when in transit or multitasking.
There are certain limits at launch. The voice is not customizable. I set my GPS directions to provide them in a male Australian English voice. Travers indicated that more personalization may be possible in the future. There is currently no way to create a playlist of stories and Travers indicated that this feature is in the development queue. Additional content linked to news stories such as court filings are not being converted to audio. Lexis Nexis is exploring adding Polly to Lexis Plus legal news and to the Law360 app.
I asked Travers how long it took to train Polly. She indicated that training took about 6 months and there were some legal concepts which proved to be challenging for the technology to articulate correctly.
“Our customers want to stay informed, but they are also extremely time-constrained and can’t always stay up to date on the latest news and developments. This new feature opens up a whole new level of productivity for our customers, who can now get up to speed on the latest news on their morning commute or while exercising,” said Rachel Travers, General Manager of Law360.
The audio enhancement also brings the award-winning company closer to its commitment to accessibility and usability. “Great commercial success is better with inclusivity,” said Travers. “Law360 is the industry’s most preferred and most read legal news source, and we have millions of newsletters being read every day. We have great reach, but we want inclusive reach, and this gives us an avenue to ensure an engaging, collective experience that can be shared by all.”
Law360’s audio stories are available now to all Law360 subscribers at no additional cost. For more information, please visit www.law360.com.