Latest Episodes

Episode 44: Sprinkling Legal Design Candy to the Caves of Law with Laura Hartnett

Laura Hartnett.

We have to have the courage to embrace and share our own personality; not put down the personalities and unique qualities of others. And to reinforce this exchange – we need leadership.

Lawyering culture is often perceived as conservative, and somewhat difficult to change – the social structures that shape legal work today have not changed much from the 18th century.  The image of law – quite often – is white, middle-aged men working long hours drafting documents no-one else understands. It is no wonder if the lawyers of the 21st century find it unmotivating to pursue legal traditions that don’t support their values, viewpoints and wellbeing.

In this episode we meet with Laura Hartnett, a legal consultant whose mission is to make lawyer work better,  especially for female and minority lawyers. Laura wants to chuck the insane hours, endless drafts and revisions, and help lawyers redesign their work and business environment in a way that there is room for different personalities with different backgrounds. With Laura, we discuss how to identify the needs of different lawyers and what can be done to meet those needs and make lawyering better, for everybody.

We also discuss how legal design can increase the client commitment, and why it is important to create space for legal design having the future generation in mind.

Laura Hartnett is the founder and legal consultant at Law By Design. She has over 15 years of experience as a management consultant, litigator for national and international law firms, and in-house counsel for a Fortune 100 company. Today, she teaches lawyers how to redesign their practice of law from a human-centered approach, one that works better for both lawyers and clients, with a special aim to keep women and minorities staying and thriving in the practice of law. She is also a yoga addict, karaoke enthusiast, and proud mom of two creative girls.

Episode 43: What Legos Got to Do with Legal Research, Amanda Perry-Kessaris?

Amanda Perry-Kessaris

In this episode we meet with Amanda Perry-Kessaris, professor of Law at Kent Law School, to discuss what design can do for legal research. As we know, the possibilities of design in the realm of law are almost endless, but can design also change the way we research law and practice academic legal analysis? And if it does, should we be worried that design takes over traditional law?

There’s a need for legal design critique, we have to know what value we add when we “design law” – we can’t just give old things a new form.

Amanda is known to discuss about doing law by design mode and in her research Amanda highlights three lawyerly concerns: the need to communicate; the need to balance structure and freedom; and the need to be at once practical, critical and imaginative. If we address these concerns with the traditional way of doing law, lawyering seems almost impossible. But could design mode ease these concerns?

We also focus on the legal research. Traditional legal research and legal thinking struggle with the idea of having multiple perspectives to legal issues, not to mention using other information sources than legally binding sources to solve legal problems. But could design ease law and legal research with these struggles and could law become more like “a real science” that operates with empirical data and experiments, perhaps also more interdisciplinarily?

Amanda Perry-Kessaris is Professorof Law at Kent Law School.

She specialises in empirically grounded, theoretically informed, cross-disciplinary approaches to law; and to the economic lives of law in particular.

Her recent publications include Doing Sociolegal Research in Design Mode (Routledge 2021)a monograph exploring what design can do for sociolegal research; and Design in Legal Education (Routledge 2022), a collection co-edited with Emily Allbon, which explores what design can do for legal teachers and learners in higher education, legal practice and beyond.

To find out more you can access Amanda’s academic publications via SSRN, presentations on Vimeo, blog at Approaching Law; or you can follow her on Twitter @aperrykessaris.

Episode 42: Visiting Virtual Courts with Dan Jackson, Molly French and Shikha Silliman Bhattacharjee

Molly French (on top), Dan Jackson and Shikha Silliman Bhattacharjee.

In this episode we talk about virtual reality in courts and how it can promote access to justice. Having to go to court can be once in a lifetime experience for quite many people. It might be nerve- racking and even scary not knowing what is going to happen at court, especially for self represented litigants.  A lot of courts might not even see this problem because for courts and people who work there, it’s everyday life. Besides financial resources, not being familiar with the court processes might affect people to seek resolution to their cases just because the whole concept is so hard to understand.

We meet with Dan Jackson, Molly French and Shikha Silliman Bhattacharjee who have created The Colorado Virtual Courthouse,  a guided  360-degree virtual tour of a Colorado courthouse, designed to help Self Represented Litigants navigate court and improve access to justice. It introduces key court staff, explains common court procedures, and provides resources and information to promote better legal outcomes for self represented litigants.

Dan Jackson has directed the NuLawLab at Northeastern University School of Law since 2013. Dan is a 1997 graduate of Northeastern Law and a 1990 graduate of Northwestern University. Following a postgraduate clerkship with The Hon. Hugh H. Bownes at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, Dan worked for 13 years with the law firm of Bingham McCutchen, ultimately serving as the firm’s director of attorney development after practicing in the employment law group. Prior to law school, Dan worked as a designer for theater. He continues to do so, most recently with the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival and The Provincetown Theater.

Molly French currently works as Technology Manager at Colorado Legal Services in Denver, CO. She is on the advisory board of the Legal Services National Technology Assistance Project, and has served as the Chair of the Colorado Access to Justice Commission’s Technology Committee, and is currently serving as a member of the Communications and Technology Committees. She is curious about and interested in all things technology-related to assist in the promotion of access to justice, including the integration of virtual reality into online tools, and broadband expansion efforts.

Shikha Silliman Bhattacharjee jointly founded HELM Social Design Studio in 2015, the first social design studio in South Asia dedicated to partnering with human rights defenders and their organizations to ideate, fund and build social design solutions that promote human rights and access to justice (http://helmstudio.org/). Her work is informed by more than a decade of experience working with more than 20 grassroots campaigns and civil society organizations in the U.S., South Asia, and East Africa, using legal, media and community organizing approaches. Shikha is a PhD Candidate in Jurisprudence and Social Policy at UC Berkeley. She has also completed a JD from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and a BA in English and Ethnicity, Race and Migration from Yale University. Her research takes an interdisciplinary and transnational perspective in understanding labour markets, supply chains, migration, and variegated citizenship with a focus on gender, race, and caste in the global economy.

Episode 41: Meaningful Work Makes Happier Lawyers with Frank Martela

Frank Martela.

Doing meaningful work will promote happiness and increase your life satisfaction and doing work you hate will make you miserable. This is obvious, of course, but yet there are many lawyers who stay in jobs that aren’t right for them.

It is hard to make a change because we have the image of perfectly successful lawyer in our head and that image might not be what we want from our working life.  During the podcast series, we have talked to some ”recovering lawyers” who have found themselves miserable and made bold career changes. In this episode we concentrate on meaningfulness in work life and how important it is for all of us.

In this episode we get to meet philosopher and researcher Frank Martela. Experiencing purpose and meaning is a fundamental part of having a good life – also according to science – and many people make career changes, such as becoming a legal designer, in search of it. But how do you make your work feel more purposeful if it already doesn’t? Frank will share some useful and practical insights for both indiciduals and organizations on meaningful work backed up by scientific research.  

We also talk about problem solving and learn that philosophy actually might have an interesting connection to design thinking. If you thought that philosophy is far from the practical every day life, this episode is really for you because after listening to Frank, you will want to start to apply philosophy into your daily (working) life. 

And of course, we had to take the opportunity to pop up the big question: What’s the meaning of life?

Frank Martela, PhD, is a philosopher and researcher of psychology specialized in meaningfulness, human motivation and how organizations and institutions can unleash human potential. He is a University Lecturer at Aalto University, Finland, and has two Ph.D. ’s from organizational research (2012 Aalto University) and practical philosophy (2019 University of Helsinki). His scientific publications have appeared in journals ranging from Journal of Personality, Nature Human Behaviour, and European Review of Social Psychology to Southern Journal of Philosophy, Metaphilosophy, Academy of Management Review, and Organization Studies. He has spoken at universities on four continents including Harvard and Stanford, written for Scientific American Mind, and Harvard Business Review, and been interviewed by New York Times, Le Monde, New Scientist, and Discover Magazine, among others. His book A Wonderful Life – Insights on Finding a Meaningful Experience (HarperCollins 2020) has been translated to 27 languages including French, Spanish, German, Japanese, Korean, and Indonesian.

Episode 40: Becoming Legal Designers with Aku Nikkola and Christine Inkinen

Christine Inkinen and Aku Nikkola.

Traditionally, law school has been all about reading books and taking exams. People might graduate without seeing a real legal document during their studies and often the real life lawyering doesn’t meet the expectations of recent graduates. In this episode, we meet with Aku Nikkola and Christine Inkinen to talk about what design can offer for legal studies.

Aku and Christine tell us their stories of how they decided to pursuit a career a little different from the traditional legal work and how they became legal designers. We talk about their latest venture, the first ever legal design course organized for law degree students at the University of Helsinki. Aku and Christine are both recent graduates of law school and it is interesting to hear from them what seems to be missing from the traditional legal education. If we want to change the law better for real humans, we should focus on the education and make sure that future lawyers learn the needed skills already at law school. 

Besides discussing what design can offer for legal studies, we talk about the legal design market. Aku and Christine share their views and experience on selling legal design projects and we discuss whether the supply meets the demand in the market at the moment. 

Dot. Legal is an award-winning legal design consultancy from Helsinki. Dot. is known as a forerunner in all things legal and design.

Aku Nikkola is a legal designer and a partner at Dot. Aku is a lawyer second and a front-end wizard first, a true visual perfectionist who understands and wields the power of fonts, colors, icons, and animations; always to the benefit of the end-user.

Christine Inkinen (or Kiki, as we call her) is a legal designer and a partner at Dot. Kiki is a creative problem solver, who focuses on translating technical legalese into accessible and beneficial information for end-users – proving that the pen is still sharper than the sword.

Episode 39: Technology Empowered Global Immigration with Octavian Tantu and Karita Niemelä

Octavian Tantu and Karita Niemelä from KPMG Finland.

Business opportunities can emerge anywhere in the world and many corporations operate globally. This creates a huge demand for relocation and there are companies who send employees almost daily to different countries. Keeping up with immigration rules and regulations can be a huge task for any HR department and immigration professional, let alone for those who send employees to various different countries. In this episode, we talk to Octavian Tantu and Karita Niemelä from KPMG Finland about their work developing technology to streamline the immigrations processes at firms. 

Octavian and Karita share their insights and experience on working with legal tech projects in multidisciplinary teams. We concentrate on one of their joint projects, Immigration Expert. The Immigration Expert tool helps people moving from one country to another to assess imigration requirements. Octavian and Karita tell us about the developing process and what were the initial problems (or the most common problems) in the immigration process the tool now solves.

We also discuss how technology plays an inevitable role in creating better working practices and how Octavian and Karita see the role of tech in improving the performance of legal professionals. And because we love future predictions in this podcast, we also ask Octavian and Karita how do they see their work changing in the future and will technology play a more major role.

Octavian (Tavi) Tantu is currently the Head of Tax & Legal Technology for KPMG Finland. His background is in Tax and Legal Technology and he has also worked as a tax and global mobility consultant. Throughout his career he has worked in various technology projects ranging from global mobility, immigration to tax preparation and global compliance applications in several different countries. As part of these projects he has fulfilled the roles of business analyst, product owner and service manager and has also helped implement and optimize the software development processes and technology teams. As a technology enthusiast, Tavi is always looking for new opportunities to help teams and businesses find the right balance of technology and process optimizations whilst constantly exploring new ways of collaborating and developing technology.

Karita Niemelä works as a senior consultant within KPMG Finland’s People & Change department with strategic, change and project management consulting. Previously, Karita has worked within the Tax and Legal department with global mobility advisory. She has worked with various different client engagements and projects including organizational development and project management for clients from different sectors. Karita has also been part of the global technology project KPMG Global Immigration Expert and worked in daily collaboration with different stakeholders of the project and been part of the development and execution of the tool. As a consultant, her way of working is founded on organizational and process development with technology and people oriented mindset. Karita has studied business administration with strategic business development as her major and her thesis was about change management of digital servitization.

Episode 38: Leading by Love with Mia Koro-Kanerva

Mia Koro-Kanerva

It sure isn’t every day that we hear a lawyer talking about love and management in the same sentence let alone following this management method. But now we’ve put them in one podcast episode! Are you ready?

Just like the legal industry, the real estate management has had a reputation of being far from the real life of actual people. In this episode, we meet with the brilliant Mia Koro-Kanerva, who is the CEO of the Finnish Real Estate Management Federation. Mia is a lawyer by training but for the last twelve years she has been leading people in the real estate management industry with her human-centric methods. And she is on mission to change the real estate manangement for real estate managers and their customers. Transforming the whole industry in to providing more human-centric and sustainable services is not an easy job. Tough times and tough jobs need tough measures, such as love.

Leading by love is not only about human-friendly soft skills, but also about the ability to make tough decisions and have difficult conversations for the overall wellbeing of the personnel. This requires that the leader is authentic and open, also for criticism, which makes this leading style more challenging yet rewarding, compared to more traditional leading methods.

There are many lawyers who at some point in their career end up in manager roles. It is something quite different than working as a lawyer or as a legal specialist. What makes the difference is not only the perspective to things, but also the required skill set that makes it possible to lead successfully – and having legal expertise is not enough, though it might be an advantage. Mia explains what are the management cornerstones from her perspective and what is being a leader all about.

Mia Koro-Kanerva is the CEO of the Finnish Real Estate Management Federation with a big heart and a mission to make real estate management becoming the best possible thing that can happen to a housing company and it’s owners. She’s a lawyer by training but have been leading people for the last 12 years with great love and passion. That probably has also granted her the moniker “Love Leader”.

Episode 37: Paving New Career Paths for Legal Experts with Karol Valencia

Karol Valencia.

What makes people rethink their career choices and search for something different? The rapid technological development that makes old ways of working inefficient and pushes people to learn new skills? Maybe. But when talking about lawyers turning legal designers, it can also be about “the inner need for fulfillment of justice”. The use of human-centric, co-creative and interdisciplinary design methods can bring a new, more meaningful perspective also to everyday legal work. 

In this episode we meet Karol Valencia, Peru born legal designer and legal tech specialist currently living in Amsterdam, Holland. Karol is the founder and CEO of her legal design agency WOW Legal Experience. She also teaches and facilitates law students and legal teams about using design and technology in improving legal tools and services. As Karol opens up her career story, we hear what inspired her to swift from traditional lawyering to legal design, and how her journey has developed since that. Karol also tells about the ups and downs of being a legal design startup entrepreneur and how she sees the future of the legal design movement.

Karol Valencia is a legal designer and legal tech specialist, and a founder and CEO of legal design agency WOW Legal Experience. She has studied business law, UX design and service design, and she teaches and facilitates law students and legal teams about using design and technology to improve legal tools and services.

Episode 36. Becoming a Social Value Agent with Ebru Metin

Ebru Metin.

What I mean by Social Value Agent is someone who is triggering change to create social value.

In this episode we discuss creating social value by legal design with Ebru Metin. Ebru tells us how she drives social impact as CEO of her social enterprise Legal Design Turkey and as director of Istanbul Bilgi University Legal Design Lab. We hear how to become a “social value agent” and how legal design can contribute to creating a legal system that gives more than it takes.

Ebru has advocated for making positive systemic change through Legal Design and in this episode we discuss how Legal Design can be part of the social innovation projects and what kind of projects could be matched with legal design.

We also talk about the Legal Design landscape in Turkey and discuss how legal design and need for change in legal services are welcomed in Turkey. As we know, Turkey lies partly in Asia and partly in Europe and geographically it is basically bridging these two continents. Tune into hear can this uniqueness also be seen in the legal culture and in legal design projects!

Ebru Metin is the founder and CEO of Legal Design Turkey, the first co-learning community and social enterprise for legal design in Turkey. Ebru also acts as the director of Istanbul Bilgi University Legal Design Lab. Prior to this, she held several in-house positions located in Turkey, United Kingdom and Spain. Besides legal design, she also focuses on legal technology and contract management. She is acting as European Legal Technology Association’s Ambassador and a member of Global Legal Tech Consortium. She has been given the “Advanced Practitioner” title at World Commerce and Contracting in 2020. She has pursued her Masters in International Financial Law at King’s College London as a Jean Monnet Scholar in 2014.

Episode 35: Value of legal design for in-house counsels with Sarah Ouis

Sarah Ouis.

New season premiere! We kick We start the season off with the wonderful Sarah Ouis who’s the founder of Law But How? and Legal Design Manager at ContractpodAI to talk about the role and value of legal design for in-house legal teams. Sarah also tells us the inspiring career change she made  when converting from successful in-house counsel into a thriving legal designer.

Without my in-house experience I would have never come across Legal Design so I’m grateful for those years. But I belong to the legal design space now. I feel more purpose.

This episode is dedicated for in-house legal teams as we concetrate on how could legal design help the work and work load for in-house teams. Quite often, in-house legal departments have divided their operations into compliance and litigation units. Legal design, as a proactive method to prevent legal risks, may be something that is easier to connect with compliance practices, but it can be help in traditional legal problem solving too.

Nowadays, the in-house legal departments are being brought closer to the business and legal KPIs are playing a vital role when measuring the success of legal departments. The importance of design is often understood only after seeing what impact it has. For lawyers, it might be hard to think of the ways to measure the impact of legal design. That’s why we asked Sarah for ideas about the KPIs with which the impact of legal design projects could be measured.

Sarah Ouis is the founder of Law But How? A legal design agency focused on simplifying legal information through visualization and helping legal teams and legal service providers create more engaging legal content.  She also works as a Legal Design Manager at ContractpodAi. Before diving fully into the legal design world, she’s been developing a career as an in-house lawyer whilst significantly growing her visibility on social media for her work in legal design.