Opening Statements

There’s an App for That

Posted Aug 1, 2009 9:30 PM CDT
By Stephanie Francis Ward

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Proper pronunciation of various legal terms is just a touch away, with an iPhone application recently released by Thomson Reuters.

The company released an iPhone application for its Black’s Law Dictionary earlier this year. Available through Apple’s App Store, the Black’s app retails for $49.99. It’s the company’s first iPhone app and is $10 cheaper than its paper counterpart.

“So far we’ve sold several hundred,” says Justin Hummel, the company’s director of new product development. Apple doesn’t keep track of who’s buying it, but he suspects the application is mostly being purchased by legal practitioners.

While the product also includes traditional definitions, Hummel says the embedded audio content is the coolest part of the offering.

“Some of those terms can be pretty hard to pronounce,” Hummel says, mentioning voir dire, a term that tends to be pronounced differently depending on a region’s dialect.

“Walking into the courtroom and being able to pronounce a term the way it’s supposed to be pronounced can save you a lot of embarrassment,” Hummel adds. “And it’s nice that you’ve got all that content from a large dictionary, but you don’t have to lug the heavy book around.”

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