What is legal design and how it will change the practice of law?

We need to change the way legal professionals communicate their services with their clients and make a shift from “me-lawyer” to “me-costumer”. There has never been a more exciting moment in the legal industry than now. It is exciting and frightening at the same time and the main question is do we see technology as a friend or enemy? A lot has been discussed about this topic and the main takeaway is that those firms willing to invest and adopt new technological solutions have a higher probability to be successful in the future and prolong their life, while the most conservative ones will struggle.

Firms should focus on implementing new tools and ways to organize their processes to satisfy the needs of their clients. Here is where law and design come hand in hand to deliver a better process. Now how can legal design thinking help a law firm? There are three main points where legal design can help:

  • Collaboration to create new solutions focused on the client by bringing together multidisciplinary teams formed by lawyers, designers, developers, legal advice clinics and other professionals as needed.
  • Innovation to provide services tailored to the person who is going to use legal services.
  • Opportunity to participate in the disruption of the legal sector and create new ways of working in law.

It is just a great moment to create a positive change and foster the development of huge range of skills and practical experience to deliver better results.

‘’Design is the way to generate promising ideas for how legal services could be improved, and then get them developed in quick and effective ways.’’ Margaret Hagan

By adopting legal design practices professionals work toward a simplified language and lawyers start to adapt their documents to audiences with multiple needs. Here is where the visualisation aspect of the design intervenes to support legal function through the optimal mix of language and graphics.

But legal design is more than just bringing design into the world of law. New definitions of legal design combine legal strategy with behavioural design

Legal design = legal strategy × perception

According to this definition legal design is formed by the combination of legal content with a behavioural design whose ultimate goal is to clarify, explain, support or convince. S. van Hecke

We, therefore, differentiate between the following types of legal design:

  • Client Design
  • Contract Design
  • Stakeholder Design,
  • Negotiation Design
  • litigation Design

This is a new field, and new definitions are being determined by the market and therefore is a field still in development. If you want to know more below are few resources from legal design books, blogs you can follow:

Law by Design, by Margaret Hagan
Legal Geek, Legal Tech Conference
Legal Design Lab
, Blog
Legal Design Alliance

Which are your thoughts? Can Legal Design bring more benefits than just introducing design into the legal field?