Latest Episodes

Episode 51: Joining the Boring Revolution with Indy Johar

Indy Johar,

This week we meet with Indy Johar from Dark Matter Labs to discuss why and how our systems of governance should be reformed and why we need all professionals, including lawyers, joining this “Boring revolution”.  We, of course, look things from the legal (design) perspective so we concentrate on what role (legal) design has in making our societies fit for the needs of the 21st Century.

Global crises will become more frequent in the future, due to climate change escalating other phenomena, we need to create new, agile ways to manage unpredictable force majeure type of events. There might be situations where governments have only a few hours to react in order to protect their citizens, or just 24 hours to pass a new law. The new reality will demand us to change also the way we design regulation – or what we think a regulation is in the first place. There is a tremendous need for law to change and the required work might seem overwhelming, but Indy puts us back on track and reminds us that there are examples of gigantic systemic change.

We also cover some big topics like democracy and talk about the need for creating better legal concepts and models, such as property right or legal personhood, to transform governance.

Indy Johar is focused on the strategic design of new super scale civic assets for transition – specifically at the intersection of financing, contracting and governance for deeply democratic futures.

Indy is co-founder of darkmatterlabs.org and of the RIBA award winning architecture and urban practice Architecture00 – https://www.architecture00.net, a founding director of open systems lab – https://www.opensystemslab.io (digitising planning), seeded WikiHouse (open source housing) – https://www.wikihouse.cc  and Open Desk (open source furniture company) https://www.opendesk.cc.

Indy is a non-executive international Director of the BloxHub https://bloxhub.org (Denmark Copenhagen) – the Nordic Hub for sustainable urbanization and was 2016-17 Graham Willis Visiting Professorship at Sheffield University.  He was also Studio Master at the Architectural Association – 2019-2020, UNDP Innovation Facility Advisory Board Member  2016-20 and RIBA Trustee 2017-20. He has taught & lectured at various institutions from the University of Bath, TU-Berlin; University College London, Princeton, Harvard, MIT and New School. 

Most recently, he was awarded the London Design Medal for Innovation in 2022.

Episode 50: Fighting Crime by Design with Lorraine Gamman, Adam Thorpe and Marcus Willcocks

From left to right: Marcus Willcocks, Adam Thorpe and Lorraine Gamman.

Often, when societies want to reduce crime, the idea of more severe punishments comes up. But as lawyers have learnt in criminology classes, that is certainly not the way to go. There are more and more studies showing that more severe punishments not only do not prevent crime but may actually have the opposite effect. In this episode we talk about how to fight crime by design and hear from experts Lorraine Gamman, Adam Thorpe and Marcus Willcocks who work at the Design Against Crime Research Center in the UK.

The mission of Design Against Crime Research Center is to disrupt crime by bringing together government, businesses, local communities, prisoners and returning citizens to generate strong socially responsive, co-created crime prevention strategies and crime diversion projects. Lorraine, Adam and Marcus tell about their projects and we hear what ethical aspects using design against crime have.

We discuss about how crime-doers and prisoners differ as targeted end-users or participants in a design process and how design can empower prisoners to change the path of their lives. In addition, our host Henna, inspired by her own neighborhood in Helsinki,  asks questions how to approach solving local crime issues using design.

This is also a milestone for Legal Design Podcast, as this marks our 50th episode! Thank you all for your kind words and support and thank you for listening! Many more to come!

Dr. Lorraine Gamman is Professor of Design at Central Saint Martins and Director of UAL’s award-winning Design Against Crime Research Centre (DACRC), which she founded in 1999. An authority in applied social design practice, she is co-creator of a range of award-winning anti-crime product interventions and online resources that interpret and address offender techniques. Lorraine teaches in the UK and overseas as Visiting Scholar to international design schools and is currently advisor to the UK’s National Criminal Justice Arts Allowance (NCJAA). She has co-developed significant research funded projects and design outputs and presents extensively on her research and design approaches. She works with policy-makers, crime prevention practitioners, students and communities; and draws on creative teaching and learning methods to involve prisoners in designing against crime.

Adam Thorpe is Professor of Socially Responsive Design at Central Saint Martins College, University of the Arts London (UAL). He is Co Director of the Design Against Crime Research Centre and Coordinator of the UAL DESIS Lab (Design for Social Innovation and Sustainability). He is Principal Investigator of the Public Collaboration Lab, a platform for teaching & learning, knowledge exchange and research focused on participatory design for social, service and policy innovation, delivered in partnership with London Borough of Camden (2015-present). Adam is the Lead Academic for MAKE, a maker space supporting creative collaboration between residents, students and other stakeholders in Somers Town (2018-present) and leads the EU H2020 funded T Factor research for UAL which explores the potential contribution of participatory approaches to temporary urbanism to more inclusive regeneration (2020-2024).

Marcus Willcocks leads the Public Space strand of the award-winning Design Against Crime Research Centre (DACRC), at the University of the Arts London. As Research Fellow, he is also active with the Socially Responsive Design Innovation hub and Public Collaboration Lab at UAL. He fuses research-led design practice and practice-led research, through place-based, socially responsive and collaborative practices.Willcocks’ focus centres social, safer and equitable connections between people and places. In particular, how real-world applications of research learning and design practice can give way to deliverable innovations and improvements in local-level wellbeing. In his external practice, Marcus is Senior Urban Designer with Sustrans and a Design Council Expert.  Marcus holds a Master’s in Design and Public Space, a Diploma in Crime Prevention through Urban Design and Planning, and a BA (Hons) in Product Design.

Episode 49: Creating Tech Friendly Ecosystems for Law with Teemu Oksanen

Teemu Oksanen.

In this episode we focus on creating tech friendly ecosystems for law. We meet with Teemu Oksanen, a general counsel at Futurice. Teemu is a forerunner when it comes to implementing technology into legal work. As we know, the legal industry has been quite slow with technology, but the pandemic really shifted the focus on how to deliver legal services in more modern way. The right technology can improve the client experience also in legal industry as it might speed up the delivery and make law more understandable to end users.

Often, when we talk about legal tech, we focus on how it might help lawyers. Teemu and his team at Futurice has focused on the end users of law and started implementing technology that could make law easier to understand and use  for their clients. With his team he has automated legal work to help non-lawyers understand what law is about and how to use it in every day business life. And this has been really successful for both the end users but also for the lawyers. Automating tasks and processes has freed up the time for lawyers to concentrate on more meaning work.

As we learn in this episode, what happens before implementing technology is really important. Teemu shares his experience on how to drive the change in legal departments and orgniszations and what importance design thinking has in these projects.

Teemu Oksanen is a tech-savvy in-house lawyer with a law firm background currently working as General Counsel at a full-service digital innovation company Futurice. He is a huge fan of legal tech. He thinks the practice of law is undergoing a major change, and that the change is for the good for both the lawyers and the society as a whole. In his free time, he loves to play with his two dogs, Lex and Dana.

Episode 48: Designing Harmony into Law with Derek Lomas

Derek Lomas.

Harmony can be considered as a universal goal in life. We want to find our yin and yang whether it was about our health, wealth or work, and live in connection with other people and nature.

Harmony plays an important role also in design. We want our everyday things to be fit for purpose, user-friendly and aesthetically appealing. The same goes also when designing legal services, products and information. However, although the desire for harmony is something that we all humans seem to naturally share, there are some misunderstandings related to the concept that may distract the use of harmony as a guiding principle in design. Contrary to the common belief, harmony is not about sameness or lack of controversy. As we learn in this episode, it is quite the opposite. True harmony can only be found by accepting chaos, conflicts and diversity as part of the design process. 

In this episode we meet Derek Lomas, assistant professor of “Positive AI” at the department of Industrial Design at the Delft University of Technology. Together with Haian Xue Derek has researched how the universal philosophy of harmony has manifested through time in music, physics and cultural traditions, and how to use that knowledge in design. We discuss how harmony can also translate into the fulfillment of justice, and how to strategically design such harmonious legal solutions. We also hear what the new King of United Kingdom, Charles III, has said about the natural relationship of harmony and the law. 

Derek Lomas is an assistant professor of “Positive AI” at the department of Industrial Design at the Delft University of Technology. In 2014, his PhD thesis described the optimization of learning and enjoyment in education games using online experiments and artificial intelligence. As a member of the Delft Institute for Positive Design, he designs AI systems to support positive human experiences: for instance, to enhance wellbeing, beauty, and education. Originally from Chagrin Falls, Ohio, he now lives in Amsterdam with my wife and three children.
Prior to TU Delft, Derek was a postdoctoral Design Fellow in the Design Lab at UC San Diego, mentored by Don Norman. He received his PhD in Human-Computer Interaction from Carnegie Mellon University School of Computer Science. Derek received an MFA in Visual Art from UC San Diego and a BA in Cognitive Science at Yale University.

Derek’s article can be read here

Episode 47: Video Killed the Witnessing Fear with Nina Immonen and Tero Jyrhämä

Tero Jyrhämä and Nina Immonen.

Witnesses play a very important role as they help to clarify what has happened by telling the judge or jury everything they know about an event. Although their role is necessary in providing real-life elements and facts to the case to be judged, they possibly are the most neglected group of stakeholders when it comes to the court proceedings.

The process is often designed in a way that assumes witnesses already know how to behave throughout the trial. And while this might be the reality for some expert witnesses who go to court quite often, this certainly isn’t so with ordinary witnesses for whom a court proceeding probably is a once-in-a-lifetime kind of event. 

Based on research, witnesses take the task seriously, but feel stressed and as if they were accused – even the invitation letters are written in an imperative language and there is a lack of information, for instance how to get to the courtroom, what is going to happen during the process and what their duties are about.

In this episode we interview senior specialist and district court judge Nina Immonen and public legal aid attorney Tero Jyrhämä, who took the challenge to create better experiences for witnesses with a group of students at the Laurea legal design and legal expertise programme. Tero and Nina tell us about the project and what they learned about the experiences of witnesses and how to best address them with human-centric design. We also discuss how to make legal design more mainstream in public legal services.

The guidance videos for witnesses that we are talking about can be found here: As a Witness in a Trial – YouTube and Tuomioistuinvirasto − Todistajana oikeudenkäynnissä – YouTube

Nina Immonen is a district court judge, currently working as a senior specialist at the National Court Administration in Finland, with a recently developed interest in legal design. ”I feel passionate about new ways of communicating the legal field to people. It’s always a win win.”

Tero Jyrhämä is a next generation lawyer serving his legal knowledge understandably and emphatically. Today Tero works as a Public Legal Aid Attorney, incorporating his service design skills into his everyday work to the benefit of both his clients and employer.

This episode is brought to you by Precisely – the CLM platform setting a new standard for digital contracting. For more information, go to preciselycontractsl.com/ldp.

Episode 46: Designing Contracts without Lawyers with Milva Finnegan and Anna Hurmerinta-Haanpää

Milva Finnegan and Anna Hurmerinta-Haanpää

In this episode we concentrate on contracts and how to make them more functional. We are joined by Milva Finnegan and Anna Hurmerinta-Haanpää who both have completed their doctoral dissertations on contract design.

Milva and Anna talk about the transition from understanding contracts as mere legal risk management tools to instruments of communication, and how to design user-friendly contracts that are fit for purpose. Our guests help us understand better the status quo in contracting. We talk about why so many contracts (still today) are mostly about managing legal risks, and therefore full of legal jargon. Contracts are typically understood as some sort of “weapons” or “risk management tools” that should try to safeguard the interests of contracting parties. However, in this episode we learn what other purposes there are for contracts.

We dive deep and talk about whether lawyers really understand the full potential of contracting, or did we just stop caring at some point. And what if lawyers weren’t the ones to design contracts and what special skills different professionals can bring to the contract design process?

Milva Finnegan, PhD, recently completed her doctorate degree in Economics in business law at the University of Vaasa in Finland. Her research focuses on merging contract law and contract design to produce simplified and usable contracts that all users can understand. She recently joined KPMG US as the director of the Client Contract Value Center. Prior to KPMG Milva ran a contracts consulting company, Karhu, LLC, for 10 years. Her company worked with clients implementing contract management best practices, integrating electronic Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) systems, and taught workshops on how to redesign and simplify contract documents. Prior to starting her own company Milva worked at The Boeing Company over 12 years in both contracts and finance disciplines on various multi-million-dollar plus government and commercial programs.

Anna Hurmerinta-Haanpää is a University Lecturer at the University of Lapland, Faculty of Law. She defended her doctoral dissertation on the functions of contracts in interorganizational relationships in spring 2021. At the moment her research interests include collaborative, responsible and sustainable contracting. Besides her research, she is eager to develop legal education.

This episode is brought to you by Precisely – the CLM platform setting a new standard for digital contracting. For more information, go to preciselycontractsl.com/ldp.

Episode 45: Democratizing Legal Information by Cartoons with Hallie Jay Pope

Hallie Jay Pope.

Welcome back to Legal Design Podcast! This marks the start of season 4. For this season premiere we are joined by the legendary legal information designer Hallie Jay Pope.

Hallie has done amazing work making law better by designing legal information and one of her goals is to democratize legal information. As we know, legal information is often hard to obtain and even harder to understand because it’s full of legal jargon and sentences so long that publishers have to minimize the print in law books. 

But Hallie is here to change this. She’s known for her amazing work as a cartoonist and visualizing legal information in general. She explains the “threats and opportunities” of using comics, or images and visualization in legal communication. Hallie gives examples on projects she has been working on at the Graphic Advocacy Project and tells us about finding the Creative Advocacy Lab at the University of The University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law.

We also talk about the bigger picture and how access (or lack of it) to legal information has an impact on big things like democracy and how we make decision makers understand how vital access to legal information is to justice systems.

And we have some exciting news for you guys. We are proud to announce that for this season, we are sponsored by Precisely, the CLM platform setting a new standard for digital contracting. For more info, go to preciselycontracts.com/ldp.

Hallie Jay Pope is a legal information designer, cartoonist, and educator. She is the founder and president of the Graphic Advocacy Project, a nonprofit that works with advocates and communities to share legal knowledge. Hallie is currently a visiting professor at the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law where she runs the Creative Advocacy Lab, a legal information design clinic that re-envisions lawyers as community educators, problem-solvers, and storytellers.

This episode is brought to you by Precisely – the CLM platform setting a new standard for digital contracting. For more information, go to preciselycontractsl.com/ldp.

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.