Laura Manor


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How to apply for financial aid: Exploring perplexity and jargon in texts for non-expert audiences
Laura Manor | Yiran Su | Zachary W. Taylor | Junyi Jessy Li
Proceedings of the Society for Computation in Linguistics 2021


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Plain English Summarization of Contracts
Laura Manor | Junyi Jessy Li
Proceedings of the Natural Legal Language Processing Workshop 2019

Unilateral legal contracts, such as terms of service, play a substantial role in modern digital life. However, few read these documents before accepting the terms within, as they are too long and the language too complicated. We propose the task of summarizing such legal documents in plain English, which would enable users to have a better understanding of the terms they are accepting. We propose an initial dataset of legal text snippets paired with summaries written in plain English. We verify the quality of these summaries manually, and show that they involve heavy abstraction, compression, and simplification. Initial experiments show that unsupervised extractive summarization methods do not perform well on this task due to the level of abstraction and style differences. We conclude with a call for resource and technique development for simplification and style transfer for legal language.