Lawyers and paralegals who work in-house might find helpful a new genre of software – document summarizers – if they have to make sense out of large agreements, slews of letters, lengthy reports, or other documents that need to be boiled down. According to the Fin. Times, June 23, 2006 at 8 (Paul Taylor), at least four of these programs can be licensed for less than $100 each. He mentions Sinope Summarizer (Carp Technologies), Pertinence Summarizer (Pertinence Mining), Copernic Summarizer (Mamma.com), and Summarize! (Corpora Software).
The packages combine advanced statistical and linguistic algorithms to pick out the key concepts of a text and to extract the most relevant sentences for a condensed version of a document. I have not looked at any of these programs, and did not even know they existed, but they sound like they might help in some areas of corporate practice.