Latest Episodes

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.

11. Episode: Purpose Driven Legal Practice with M. Zane Johnson

M. Zane Johnson.

Small legal practices play a key role in making the legal industry more human-centric. They are the ones to address the legal needs of private individuals. In the 11th episode of the Legal Design Podcast, we are joined by M. Zane Johnson, Attorney at Law from Philadelphia who went to law school because he wanted to empower everyday people to solve their legal problems, and now runs his own practice in Philadelphia to help individuals and communities. 

Zane talks about how legal design can help young purpose-driven lawyers to find solutions to their clients’ problems but also to structure their careers. Zane sees himself as a problem solver for people and he wants to provide better outcomes for real people navigating through legal systems and processes. Listening and understanding are the most important tools for Zane to practice law, even though these skills might often be overlooked by lawyers. 

We also talk about how legal culture and legal systems around the world have differences, but how they also share significant similarities, like the lack of user friendliness. When creating understanding about what needs to change in legal practice, it is useful to hear experiences and insights across jurisdictional and geographical borders because at the end of the day, legal design can be used in any of the legal cultures and systems to solve problems. 

Billable hours, the hot potato of the legal industry, is also brought up in this episode. If we lawyers sell our services for clients by the hour, we expect them to understand the law the same way as we do, and in these situations, the financial risk is on the client side. In order to change this, we have to learn better people skills to understand our clients’ problems better and take on some of that financial risk and start selling legal services and problem solving by fixed-fees. 

 

Zane Johnson, Esq. is the Founder and Managing Attorney of M. Zane {+} Associates Professional Company – a Philadelphia based law firm providing simple legal solutions for small businesses, startups, and side hustlers. Zane empowers new entrepreneurs to turn their great ideas into thriving businesses, and has helped hundreds of new entrepreneurs gain clarity and peace of mind about their business.

Prior to founding M. Zane {+} Associates, Zane was the Managing Attorney at Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity where he led and developed initiatives that helped thousands of Philadelphians living in poverty escape the stigma that accompanies a criminal. 

In addition to his work as an attorney, Zane maintains an active presence in his community. In partnership with YEAH Philadelphia, Zane created the Empowered Youth Entrepreneur (EYE) Project, a program designed to teach young people the basics of entrepreneurship and provide startup capital to help them start their first business. Zane has also worked with numerous non-profit organizations to educate communities on everything from community lawyer to stimulus checks. 

Zane became a lawyer so he could empower everyday people to use the law to their advantage.

10. Making Law Better with Cat Moon

Cat Moon.

Future law will be done by the law students of today. To make the legal systems and legal practices fit for purpose in the digitalized era, it is necessary that lawyers know more than just the law. But what are the skills needed for the lawyers of the fourth industrial revolution? And more importantly, are contemporary law schools committed to building those skills?

Back in the day when Henna and Nina were law students, it was possible to graduate from law school without ever seeing an actual legal document, yet practising how to make one. It is no wonder if law graduates struggle adapting to real working life, if the real working life never visits lecture halls.

In this episode we discuss how to make law better through legal education with Caitlin “Cat” Moon. Cat teaches law and legal problem solving in the Program on Law and Innovation at Vanderbilt Law School in Nashville, Tennessee. Cat explains why we need human centric design thinking to solve the legal problems of today, and how to build 21st century legal competence by using the Lawyer Skills Delta Model. She also talks about her popular Legal Problem Solving course at Vanderbilt, and we hear what skills podcast making can teach for a future lawyer.

Caitlin “Cat” Moon teaches in the Program on Law and Innovation (PoLI) at Vanderbilt Law School, where she also serves as the Director of Innovation Design and directs the PoLI Institute (innovatethelaw.com), Vanderbilt Law’s innovation-focused executive education platform. In addition to co-organizing Music City (Nashville) Legal Hackers, Cat co-founded the Summit on Law and Innovation (SoLI), which brings together experts across legal, technology, and other disciplines in collaborative legal innovation projects.

Cat currently teaches Legal Problem Solving, a course in human-centered design for law,as well as Law as a Business, Blockchain and Smart Contracts, Legal Operations, and Leading in Law. Cat also serves on the leadership team of the Medical Innovators Development Program and is on the faculty of Radiological Sciences at Vanderbilt School of Medicine, where she brings cross-disciplinary experience to innovation across medicine and the law.

Cat regularly speaks, facilitates workshops, and coaches individuals globally on the application of human-centered design methods and processes to lead innovation in both the legal profession and legal education. Before joining her alma mater Vanderbilt Law’s faculty, she practiced law for 20 years and still maintains an active law license.

9. Episode: Towards Multisensory Legal Design with Colette R. Brunschwig

Colette R. Brunschwig

In this episode Henna and Nina talk to Dr. Colette R. Brunschwig about visual law and legal design. Colette is one of the pioneers in Legal Design, she has been exploring the visual, audiovisual and multisensory design of legal or legally relevant content since the 1990’s.

A good legal picture tells more than a 1000 words. That’s why visuality is a central feature of legal design. Where legal pictures can communicate legal information so efficiently that collective understanding of the key issue is created within seconds, unclear text-only legal documents can leave parties disputing over different interpretations of them for years. Visuality, however, is still a rarity in legal communication. The future of law does look brighter though, as there are signals towards a visual and even audiovisual and multisensory design of law. 

Many people associate legal design especially with legal visualizations, such as different visualisation methods that can be used in contract design. However, legal design can go beyond visualisation. In this episode our guest Colette R. Brunschwig explains how visual law and legal design are similar, but also what differences there are between these two.

Almost all the theories assume that legal designers are humans, but, the ongoing technological development initiates multisensorization, such as humanoid robots. We also discuss this in the episode, because Colette has estimated in her previous work that humanoid robots could be used for visualising contracts. Are there such robots already somewhere? What will it take for the legal society to recognize human robots as legal designers?

Colette R. Brunschwig is a Senior Research Associate at the Legal Visualization Unit of the University of Zurich, Department of Law. She is responsible for the content management of the Legal Visualization Unit’s legal image database. Her research focuses on law‘s visualization, audio visualization (videos, films, audiovisual animations, and so forth), and multi sensorization (virtual realities, humanoid robots). Her publications, postings, and presentations at national and international conferences strive to promote, expand, and intensify the ongoing debate on these subject matters.

Selected Recent Publications

Brunschwig, Colette R. Visualisierung von Rechtsnormen: Legal Design, Zurich: Schulthess, 2001 [PhD thesis]

“Multisensory Law and Therapeutic Jurisprudence: How Family Mediators Can Better Communicate with Their Clients.” Phoenix Law Review 5, no. 5 (Summer 2012): 705-46.

“Law Is Not or Must Not Be Just Verbal and Visual in the 21st Century: Toward Multisensory Law.” In Nordic Yearbook of Law and Informatics 2010-2012: Internationalisation of Law in the Digital Information Society, edited by Dan Jerker B. Svantesson and Stanley Greenstein, 231–83. Copenhagen: Ex Tuto, 2013.

The complete list of Colette R. Brunschwig’s publications is found on Researchgate.

8. Episode: Justice through Urban Design with Shin Koseki

Shin Koseki.

Join us, as we discuss how designing our urban environment can influence (social) justice and everyday democracy. In this episode we talk to Shin Koseki, an urban designer, who explains why it is important to pay attention to the design of our public spaces when discussing (social) justice. We also focus on the design of the courthouses and find out about the Darth Vader Family Courthouse in New York.

According to Shin, we have to begin to understand that we are the environment. The most influential factor to human behavior is not buildings or places, it is the other people. Urban planning and urban design can work on this by providing a form of contact or interaction with other humans. However, the urban environment around us can affect how us humans behave. We might think that there are “bad neighborhoods” but is it just bad design? Is it possible to make people obedient to law through urban design?

We also talk about the particular design of the spaces of justice, especially courthouses. Why do courthouses always look either pompous or boring? What would bring good feng shui to a courtroom? In the era of digitalization it seems that we are shifting more and more to communicating online and physical spaces of human contact are becoming less necessary. What if instead of massive court buildings we have smaller, movable  “pop-up courts” or  other more diverse and functionable courtrooms closer to the people? Or does it make sense that there is one particular place for disputing,  just like the court stones in some Scandinavian countries up until the 17th century?

Shin Koseki is an urban designer, policy-maker, coder, and co-founder of Paris-based urban planning cooperative and think tank Chôros. He is UNESCO Chair Professor in Urban Landscape at the University of Montreal.

At the intersection of research and practice, his work centers on spatial justice and sustainability in and outside cities, the integration of digital methods in urban design approaches to resilience, and the inclusion of citizens’ worldview in design and legislation processes. His engagements thus builds on the relationship between aspirations, affordances and capabilities in the production of space and questions design’s contribution to values. In this framework, he develops methods and actions that address injustice, carelessness, inequity and polarization among individuals, groups, communities, regions and countries.

Shin has carried his research and teaching at both Swiss Federal Institute of Technologies (EPFL and ETH Zurich), the University of Oxford (Oxon.), the National University of Singapore (NUS), the University of Zurich (UZH), the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the University of Zurich (UZH) and the Max-Planck Institute for the History of Art and Architecture (Bibliotheca Hertziana).

7. Episode: Design Compliance with Marie Potel-Saville and Elisabeth Talbourdet

Elisabeth Talbourdet (left) and Marie Potel-Saville.

In this episode we have Marie Potel-Saville and Elisabeth Talbourdet visiting us. Marie shares the story of founding Amurabi, the Legal Innovation by Design agency, and they both tell how they became legal designers. We also talk about designing compliance. If organisations want their stakeholders to comply with certain rules and regulations, they have to design how to make that happen. 

Marie started her career working for the biggest law firms and the most known companies, but after coming across with Legal Design and seeing what an impact it has, she founded Amurabi to continue on working with making law more functional. Elisabeth started her career as an in-house lawyer but quickly moved to Legal Design.

Marie and Elisabeth have worked on many projects on designing compliance. The definition of corporate compliance encompasses the efforts to ensure that organizations are abiding by both industry regulations and government legislation as well as internal policies and procedures. Compliance for employees is often just a set of rules written in legalese and it might be hard to understand how they affect their daily life at work. However, these same rules and complying with them are vital to organisations to prevent and detect violations of these rules, which are to protect the organisations from fines and lawsuits.

The common approach to compliance, however, is to “tick the box” when certain formalities in the company’s compliance protocol have been accomplished, without making sure whether people really know and understand what is expected of them. No wonder we get to read so often about corporate misconduct in the newspapers. If organizations really want to succeed in corporate compliance, it might require some human-centric design and understanding of social psychology and neuroscience. ”If you really want people to comply, then of course you have to design it”, says Marie. “There is no formalistic compliance, there’s only effective compliance”.

Marie Potel-Saville combines over 15 years of Magic Circle experience at Freshfields and Allen & Overy in London, Brussels, Paris and EMEA General Counsel experience at Estée Lauder Companies and Chanel, along with a Master’s degree in Innovation by Design (ENSCI). After having seen the results of Legal Design in her own legal division, she founded Amurabi to share its potential: more than a theory, it’s a tool for empowerment. In addition, she is a lecturer at Sciences Po Paris, University of Management of Singapore, Assas and contributes to initiatives of social service (access to justice, civic education, prevention).

Elisabeth Talbourdet graduated from La Sorbonne, Sciences Po, King’s College London and Columbia Law School and trained as a lawyer amongst renowned law firms in London and Paris. Elisabeth discovered Legal Design working in-house and was immediately taken by this new approach to law. She sees Legal Design as a solution to make legal information clear and actionable – and to change the way legal recommendations are perceived, understood and applied. A legal design pioneer of her generation, Elisabeth has already worked on over 30 projects and facilitated dozens of workshops and conferences within Amurabi.

6. Episode: Legal Services from Client Perspective with Juha Saarinen

Juha Saarinen

Lawyers and law firms often consider themselves as client-centric. But what the clients of private legal services think of ”client-centrism”? In this episode Henna and Nina talk to Juha Saarinen, Head of People & Operations Legal in Nordea Bank Finland, to find out what end-users really want from their legal services.

Law firms only exist because of their clients. But do law firms really put their clients first?  Are they constantly looking for new ways of working to provide better and more efficient customer experiences, or are they actually happy with the same old, same old? Many law firms advertise themselves as client-centric, but the reality may not be more than just a buzzword on the brochure. Impressing the client by bringing an army of lawyers to a meeting may actually just be the most expensive cup of coffee he or she ever had. 

One reason why private legal services are slow to change is the billable hours business model logic. To put it roughly: the more hours a lawyer works, the more money he or she can charge the customer. But shouldn’t quality defeat quantity, also in legal work? Do people really need lawyers interpreting other lawyers by writing walls of text, or would the tailored user experience and legal tech solutions be the new money making machine for the legal industry? Would that also help lawyers to live more balanced, happier lives?

Legal expertise is not enough to guarantee competitive edge for any law firm. Legal end-users want something more from their legal services than just legal knowledge: openness, sense of ownership and control. This is where Legal Design can help law firms to win their clients’ hearts. Instead of assuming that lawyers and legal services are client-centric by nature, maybe we should start asking our clients what they really need. If you haven’t asked that in a while, you can start by listening to this episode.

Juha Saarinen works at Nordea as a Head of People & Operations Legal and he is in charge of the legal operations in the legal unit of the Nordea Bank Finland. Juha is an experienced legal counsel with a history of working especially in the retail and financial industry. Juha’s goal is to take the legal unit to a new era by experiencing the wonders of legal tech and legal design and also enforcing some new thinking within the legal and financial industry.

Juha is now pushing onwards with legal operations and targeting the day-to-day efficiency and effectiveness of the legal team, facilitating change, controlling costs and managing external service providers.

5. Episode: Innovation in Courts with Andrea Lindblom

Andrea Lindblom

Courts, like all legal institutions, are designed for lawyers. However, the people whose lives going to court affect the most are the legal laymen. How these real end-users of courts would benefit, if their needs were addressed by re-designing the court experience?

In this fifth episode of the podcast series we talk about the possibilities of innovation, technology and legal design in courts with Andrea Lindblom, who works as the Chief of Administration in the District Court of Helsingborg, Sweden. 

Courts are known to be the blind services of the justice, pursuing objectivity, formality and the rule of law. For non-lawyers, however, a court process can be full of obscurities and evoke feelings of disconnection, anxiety and lack of control over one’s own case, not to mention the possibility of financial losses. For most of the people going to court is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, often leaving bitter-sweet memories that last for life. But what if legal design could help make the court experience more satisfying, and not just for the end-users but the lawyers as well?

Making courts more human-centric is not the only update courts might need these days. Courts are struggling to keep up with the rapid technological development and the new ways of providing court services in the digital world – all while resources are tight and case numbers going high. Experimenting for new ideas does not come easy, though, as lawyers are traditionally trained to look backwards when solving problems. Design thinking mindsets such as ”fail fast” and ”be curious” are rarely combined to the work done in courts.

How to initiate the needed change in courts, Andrea? “I think it is quite urgent that courts have an open mindset towards, for example, new  technology, and new ways of doing things. We need to find ways to experiment lightly, gently, because it’s much better for us to fail small and early in a process, then massively and late”.

Andrea Lindblom graduated from Lund University (law) in 2009. She has been working at Helsingborg District Court since 2011. During the last few years she has focused on issues relating to the presence of the courts and judges on social media and how digitalization affects the courts. In March 2019 Helsingborg District Court arranged Sweden’s first legal tech & design workshop in the public sector. Andrea was awarded Legal Innovator of the Year in 2019 and was one of the winners in the category Public Services, Politics & Social at European Women of Legal Tech in 2020.