Latest Episodes

Episode 21: Bringing Structure and Empathy to Mediation with Pierangelo Bonanno

Pierangelo Bonanno.

Mediation is part of the alternative dispute resolution. It would be easy to think that mediation already is human-centric enough comparing to the court procedures but that is not the whole truth. Pierangelo Bonanno is  an experienced and acknowledged international mediator and he joined us to explaing that there is a powerful synergy between legal design and mediation.

Mediation is often seen as an alternative dispute resolution method to more traditional court proceedings, because the disputing parties are expected to participate more actively in the process. What is common to both, however, is that both proceedings are often led by trained legal professionals, who tend to put their legal knowledge and legal practices at the center. In such circumstances the genuine interests of the parties – such as sustaining good business relations and processing hurt feelings – may remain secondary. Design thinking and design methods can help lawyers bring clarity, transparency and empathy to the complex and often negatively perceived dispute resolution processes.

Tune in to hear more how mediators can uncover the real needs of humans and resolve their conflicts in a human-centric way.

Pierangelo Bonanno is an international mediator and a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitration (CIArb). He has been listed as a “recommended” mediator in the WhosWhoLegal Italy 2021 Guide on Mediation. Pierangelo has worked as a judge for numerous competitions on mediation between international universities. The ICC International Mediation Competition 2021 has chosen him as one of the competition’s 100 international judges. Pierangelo is also a mediator at e-POM – Specialized European Network in disputes between online commercial platforms and their commercial suppliers. Pierangelo introduced his proposal “Mediation by Design” in the CIArb’s Mediation Symposium 2020: Mediation as a multidisciplinary practice.
“Mediation by Design is my proposal to simplify and clarify the various stages of mediation, to make the parties protagonists by placing them at the centre, especially in online mediation, in which transparency and accessibility are even more challenging to achieve.”

Episode 20: Breaking the Awkward Silence with Niina Ratsula

Niina Ratsula. Photo: Robert Lindström.

Is it possible to be compliant if it’s not part of the organizational culture? We write policies and tick the boxes, but at the end of the day it’s really the culture that defines if we’re compliant and ethical. Culture determines what is acceptable and valued no matter what is written in the policies. We welcomed Niina Ratsula to discuss about doing the right thing.

Many people may find the concept of “culture” a bit difficult to understand and explain, especially in the working life. For us humans it is quite challenging to become aware of our own behavioral patterns, yet realize we’re being part of and contributing to a “culture”. However, culture is the key component of corporations and it will eat your strategy for breakfast if you’re not making sure that the desired behavior happens outside the policies and even when no one is watching.

Culture starts with people and should be everybody’s business in the organizations. It is not enough if the values only reflect the management, they should represent the entire organization and all its people. Most of the times it is easy to recognize what is right and what is wrong, but the our working culture might not encourage us to actually speak up about the wrong doings. How can we encourage people to speak freely and without a fear? How to break the awkward silence?

In addition to compliance culture, we talk about work ethics. Traditionally, we have overlooked some topics in the legal industry. However, these are the days that also law firms have to start paying attention to their own culture. Is it ethical to expect people to burn the midnight oil? Should we match people with the excisting culture or should we match the culture with people? Tune into this episode to learn more about designing and re-designing the organizational culture!

Niina Ratsula is an ethics, compliance and governance professional, with a strong focus on corporate cultures and internal control. Niina is known for “translating codes of conduct from paper into daily actions and decision making”.

Niina spent 12 years in multinational corporations (Nokia and Kemira) focusing on ethics, compliance, internal controls and audit. In 2018 she started her own business Code of Conduct Company and is now supporting organizations in building their ethics and compliance programs, ethical leadership and internal control projects. Niina was awarded the recognition as the ‘responsible business influencer’ in Finland in 2019.

Niina is also an author and has written several books in Finnish on the topics of Internal Control, Internal Audit and Ethical Leadership. She defended her PhD. in 2020 with a topic “Interplay between technical and social control – Case study of Nokia’s SOX implementation project”.

Episode 19: Will AI Cause Lawyer Extinction, Jim Chiang?

Jim Chiang.

We kick off the second season with Jim Chiang, the CEO and Founder of My Legal Einstein.After having a relaxing summer break and resting our brains we are back with a bang!

Artificial Intelligence is such a hot potato in the legal industry it deserves an episode of its own. And there certainly can’t be value adding AI without design thinking behind it. We are joined by Jim Chiang who is a pioneer when it comes to AI and is now leading My Legal Einstein on its journey to help lawyers find better ways of working.

We lawyers are known for our not so functional ways of working. Most of our processes are based on manual work and we still do a lot of copy-pasting. A few years back there was a lot of discussion about whether or not the robots are going to take over the legal work but we are still at the place where we lack imagination of how to add AI to our work. But this is where Jim can help us lawyers. His examples are so practical that AI actually makes sense, finally. 

The  systems at the moment don’t include high-level reasoning or thought and computers can only do what us humans have taught them to do. One of the goals for Legal Design is to find better ways for lawyers to work so that we can focus on actual legal work and problem solving  instead of wasting our time copy-pasting. But how do we make sure that we don’t teach AI our bad processes and up with AI that just knows how to copy-paste? 

After talking to Jim, we can safely encourage you to set your alarm clocks for tomorrow morning, there is still a need for human lawyers and legal designers. But with the help of AI the future might be a little brighter for lawyers and other professionals working in the legal industry because AI can enhance our ability to perform our tasks and optimize our practices. Tune in to our discussion with Jim to learn what you can expect from AI.

Jim Chiang, CEO and Founder, My Legal Einstein – Before starting My Legal Einstein, Jim led the AI engineering teams at Conga and Icertis, the two market leaders in the CLM (contract lifecycle management) product space.  Jim has served multiple executive roles leading product and engineering organizations.  Jim has over 20 years of experience in big data analytics and AI algorithm development.  Jim holds a Bachelors of Engineering from MIT.

18. Episode: Myth Busting Contract Design with Stefania Passera

Stefania Passera.

“As many other things more or less abstract in the world surrounding us, contracts are man-made. If they are man-made, they are designed.. The fact that there’s a lack of design doesn’t mean it’s not designed, it’s bad design. We might as well do good design that is self-aware.” says Stefania Passera. 

Many people associate legal design with designing of contracts, but actually contract design is its own unique form of design that can have many other purposes than just making the legal aspects more understandable. Contracts can work as effective tools for preventing legal conflicts by supporting business, brand or social relations between contracting parties. However, these different purposes can be reached only when contracts are designed to fit them. 

In the last episode of the spring season 2021, Henna and Nina are joined by Stefania Passera, to bust myths about contract design and legal design. Stefania is an information designer and a legal design pioneer who has worked with many lawyers to help them make law more user-friendly. We also talk about legal design from a designer’s perspective. 

In an ideal world all the contract designing, and legal designing,  would be done in multidisciplinary teams of lawyers and designers. However, there is often a lack of resources to do this and lawyers might want to design legal documents and concepts themselves.  Stefania gives tips to these lawyers on how to make law better and more understandable and functional for the end-users.

Stefania Passera is an information designer and a legal design pioneer. For over 10 years, Stefania has been helping her clients to simplify, visualize, and make user-friendlier their contracts, policies, and other legal documents. Born in Italy and based in Espoo, Finland, she is the founder of contract and legal design consultancy Passera Design and assistant professor at University of Vaasa, Finland. Moreover, she is Contract Designer in Residence at World Commerce & Contracting, a co-author of the Legal Design Manifesto, and a co-founder of Legal Design Alliance. In 2020 she received the European Women of Legal Tech Award.

17.Episode: Think Smaller with Michele DeStefano

Michele DeStefano.

“Start with you. And you start with you by actually becoming more self-aware, like Michael Jackson, “look at the man in the mirror”, or look at the woman in the mirror, or whoever is in the mirror, and figure out what you’re good at or what you’re not good at” says Michele DeStefano.

Just like everyone else, lawyers were born creative but somehow creativity is often lost with legal expertise. That’s how we might feel, but legal problem solving requires creativity and at the end of the day, lawyers are super creative. We are when it comes to strategy or problem solving. We just need to embrace our creativity and think what good it can bring to the legal industry. 

Along with creativity, the so-called “soft skills” or “people skills” are vital when making the law better. It is easy to think that some great ideas were just born magically overnight but we often forget that innovations require countless hours and very hard work to become reality. So not to worry if you haven’t succeeded with making your access to justice or virtual lawyer applications yet, you can do a lot to practice innovation and creativity skills. 

In this episode Henna and Nina talk to Michele DeStefano who believes that when lawyers figure out how to bring their childhood’s box of crayons back into their work, the world really opens up. Michele is known as an innovative person who has changed the legal industry emphasizing empathy and human-centrism by bringing out great ideas and projects that challenge the traditional ways of working. Tune in to listen to what motivates Michele to drive the change in the legal industry!

Michele DeStefano is recognized by the ABA as a Legal Rebel and by the Financial Times Innovative Lawyers (North America) as one of the top 20 most innovative lawyers. Michele D is a Professor of Law at the University of Miami and a Faculty Chair in Harvard Law School’s Executive Education Program and at IE School of Law. She is the founder of LawWithoutWalls, a part-virtual experiential learning community of more than 2,000 lawyers, business professionals, entrepreneurs, and students that leverages intergenerational, cross-culture, multi-disciplinary collaboration to create innovations in the business of law and, importantly, change the mindsets, skillsets, and behaviors of legal professionals. Recently, Michele helped co-create and spearhead the development of the Digital Legal Exchange, a non-profit designed to inspire general counsel and their teams to become digital leaders in their businesses to drive commercial value.

DeStefano researches, writes, and speaks about creative problem solving, collaboration, culture change, and innovation in law. Her latest books include Legal Upheaval: A Guide to Creativity, Collaboration, and Innovation in Law and New Suits: Appetite for Disruption.

16. Episode: Systemic Change in Law with Nóra Al Haider

Nóra Al Haider.

Good news guys! In order to make law better, lawyers don’t have to become designers or coders. But what we need to have are curiosity and an open mindset. In this episode Henna and Nina are joined by Nora Al Haider to discuss how to make more of a systematic change in law.  

Quite often, lawyers see legal problems only in a legal way. But because law is interlinked to other systems, we have to start inviting other disciplines into the space of law without judgement. And we have to go beyond design and simply start to ask other professionals how they solve problems and explore in multidisciplinary teams. And when we learn new ways to solve problems from other disciplines, we create new methodologies and that is where the change begins.  

Nowadays, the legal industry turns to legal design and legal technology when trying to find a way towards more human-centric law, but those two are not going to solve our problems alone. We need more systematic change and we have to make sure that the projects aiming to change the law and the legal system aren’t just single projects happening here and there. Because of her unique and interesting career path and background, Nora can see the differences between the American and European legal systems and she shares her insights on what should be done in both systems in order to make law more accessible in a more sustainable way.

Nóra Al Haider is the Policy and Design Lead at the Stanford Legal Design Lab. Nóra is a multilingual lawyer and interdisciplinary researcher from the Netherlands. She combines the fields of law, design and tech to increase access to justice and equity in the legal system. 

Her pioneering and innovative creations from social media bots that provide legal advice to analyzing the legal needs of users on online platforms earned her international acclaim in the legal field. Nóra’s legal design projects and interactive art installations have been spotlighted at courts, bar associations, legal organizations and in law schools around the world. She is driven by merging various disciplines, processes, and methodologies to enact systemic change in the justice system. Nóra holds a Bachelor (honours) and Research Master in Law from Utrecht University.

15. Episode: Designing Professional Services for Future with Sebastian Hartmann

Sebastian Hartmann.

“We are not just delivering consulting services, accounting services or legal services anymore, it’s actually solutions. This is a huge and fundamental mindset shift for our industry.” says Sebastian Hartmann.

In this episode Henna and Nina talk to Sebastian Hartmann about how to shape law firms, and other professional service firms, for the future and how design thinking plays a role in the change journey. Legal industry has been talking about the change and the future for the past twenty years but now we are actually living the change. Old business models are outdated and our clients are expecting us to deliver solutions, instead of just services. New business models require new management play books and new career paths for lawyers.

But how to drive this change and make sure that the organizations are ready for the future and where to start the innovation work? From Sebastian’s point of view, design already shapes the way many legal businesses operate today but there is still a lot to do. Collecting and analyzing data will play a key role in future ready service firms but there is also a big demand for multidisciplinary teamwork and collaboration between firms that once were just rivals.

Sebastian Hartmann works at the intersection of knowledge work and technology at KPMG. With his teams, he actively influences, shapes, leads and manages the strategies and resulting digital transformation journeys of people-centered and knowledge-driven organizations, e.g. at Fortune 500, DAX companies and leading B2B service providers.

At KPMG, Sebastian enjoys shaping the firm’s digital transformation – and works hand in hand with leading technology companies and other professional services firms as clients and alliance partners. He together with his teams have shaped strategies and their execution across all of KPMG’s lines of business, designed digital and next gen solutions, and driven cultural and organizational transformation programs – and achieved significant growth and profitability contributions.

Sebastian sees the digital transformation and evolution of knowledge work as an incredible opportunity for everyone involved. Being part of this journey and shaping some of the stepping stones for knowledge workers (like special matter experts, consultants, lawyers, auditors, designers and many others) and their clients is a key driver of his motivation every single day.

Read more about the Solution Design Canvas on LinkedIn here.

14. Episode: Designing for Children’s Rights with Jonna Tötterman

Jonna Tötterman

The children’s rights, such as the right for information, actually demands a shift towards child-centered information design in all aspects, including data regulation, privacy notices and terms of service. Currently those are provided only in legal terms and language and law might be a difficult topic to understand even for adults.

The special area where children’s rights are discussed a lot these days is the digital world – kids as the end users of digital games, internet and social media. Today’s kids also seem to be more digi native than any other generation before. For them it is completely natural to think of becoming a “youtube content creator”, coder or “Minecraft school teacher” when they grow up. However, children will always be children and need protection for their innocence no matter what the environment they use as their playground is. 

In this episode we talk about the role of legal design in designing for children with Jonna Tötterman, a Design Lead and Co-Founder of D4CR, Designing for Children’s Rights Association. Jonna tells us why children should be considered as a stakeholder group by default, and how to make a kid participate in a design sprint. We also discuss why children’s ability to navigate in the digital world is often overestimated, and why apps and other digital tools should be designed in a way that kids can use them without adult supervision.

Jonna Tötterman is a Design Lead, Researcher and a Coach and Co-Founder & board member in Designing for Children’s Rights Association. Jonna is a systemic, ethical and future-oriented thinker. She has had an excellent journey to study and marvel at human emotions, cognition and behaviour. This journey has led her to research and data-informed design, and developing products, services and processes that both enable great experiences as well as support well-being. Jonna aims to continue that adventure and share her learnings by developing tools to empower others. She believes that the world can be better only if we work together.

13. Episode: Legal Designing Financial Services with Fiona Phillips

Fiona Phillips

We often think that the world of Financial Services is a bit cold and all about money, but on the other hand banking, together with family law, is the  branch of law that almost every individual has an effect on their lives. Credit card terms and conditions are known to be quite difficult for consumers to read, let alone to understand. Clients might often feel that financial services and its legal issues are not designed for them.

Since cash money is becoming less and less relevant in digitized societies, however, the functions of financial services are transforming heavily, bringing out not only new challenges but also new interesting opportunities. Designing the legal aspects of financial services to be more human friendly plays an important role in this transformation.

In this episode Henna and Nina talk to Fiona Phillips who believes that customers deserve  legal design. Customers deserve to understand what it is that financial services are selling to them. And they deserve the service providers to think about their user experience. Fiona is sharing her experience on legal design projects within financial services. After this episode, it is easy to see why banking should be all about the people and how legal design can help the industry to become more human-centric.

Fiona Phillips is the Global Head of Digital Legal at a large international bank and one of this year’s winner’s of the Financial Times Innovative Lawyers’ Legal Design Awards. She has been experimenting with legal design and collaborating with designers across the Globe, since she discovered legal design at the Legal Design Summit in Helsinki. Fiona has worked as a lawyer in the Banking Industry for 13 years and is passionate about innovation for lawyers.

12. Episode: Legal Research by Design with Jose Torres

Jose Torres.

There is no legal design without the “legal”. Making law better by design, therefore, always requires proper legal research and legal analysis. In this episode we are joined by a legal design veteran Jose Torres to legal research through design and how to build multidisciplinary teams to solve legal problems.

The traditional ways of finding and creating legal information, however, do not seem to go well along with the iterative and future oriented design approach. Where legal analysis traditionally looks back to tell “what was wrong”, design seeks to find solutions that are fit for purpose and usable in practice to actually fix the problem. But traditional law and design thinking are not at odds against each other, even if it may seem like it. As our guest in this episode, Jose Torres, points out, design is an empirical research method that helps lawyers not only to find the right solutions, but also to ask the right questions.

Jose Torres has vast experience of legal design from both the academic world but also in practice. Jose shares stories about his career and how legal design has shaped it. For him, legal design is the normal, and only,  way to practice law. Jose currently works as a partner at the law firm Lexia Abogados in Bogotá, Colombia, leading the legal design, crypto and fintech practice. Jose tells us how design techniques can be used as legal research methods, and how to build a design minded legal research team and who should be included.

Jose Torres is a partner at the law firm Lexia Abogados in Colombia, where he leads the legal design, crypto and fintech practice. He is a former fellow at Stanford University’s Legal Design Lab 2016-2017. Jose has previously worked at Facebook, Skadden Arps and the WTO. He has been practicing legal design for 8 years. He is also an angel investor in legal tech in Colombia.