Avainsana: design thinking

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.

4. Episode: Behavioral Insights into Law with David Tannenbaum

David Tannenbaum

In this episode Nina and Henna talk about nudging and its possibilities and pitfalls in legal design with David Tannenbaum, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Management at the University of Utah’s Eccles School of Business.

Where law seeks to influence human behavior by setting obligations, legal design aims to make those obligations easier to understand and follow by using human centric design methods. Sometimes these methods can encompass behaviorally informed ”nudges”. In behavioral economics nudges are defined as any kind of interventions in the physical or social environment that alters people’s behavior in a predictable way without forbidding any options or significantly changing their economic incentives. So to say, nudges make certain decisions easier, yet without limiting one’s freedom of choice. To put it simply, nudging means guiding people to make better choices by modifying the environment and choice architecture. A fitness app nudges with activity notifications, so does a car navigator showing the best route options.

Nudging, however, also has a reputation of being a psychological trick used in product marketing: those chocolate bars placed next to a cash register at your grocery store aren’t there just by random. But should legal products such as contracts and court documents use nudging too? Or do they nudge already?

Nudging just might be one of the misunderstood concepts and rarely used intentionally in the legal world. Years ago, when Henna wanted to attend a conference about nudging, her manager at that time thought it was a self help course about managing one’s own personal life that had nothing to do with law and didn’t let her attend the event. However, after Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein published their book Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth and Happiness in 2008 nudging has gained public awareness and has also become a popular alternative to traditional regulation in various governments and administrations around the world, especially in angosaxon jurisdictions.

Despite the controversial reputation nudging may have, it is good to remember that our environment influences us anyway.  As our guest David reminds, “every day, all the time, everywhere you go, there’s nudging going on”. Nudging is not a legal concept, but as lawyers and legal designers still influence the decisions of their clients and peers, it is better to be aware of the power of nudge and learn to use it ethically and wisely.

David Tannenbaum is an assistant professor in the department of management at the University of Utah’s Eccles School of Business. His research focuses on decision making under uncertainty, and its applications to public policy. Link to David Tannenbaum’s website: https://davetannenbaum.github.io

3. Episode: DIY Legal Help with Erin Levine

Erin Levine

In this episode Henna and Nina talk about DIY Legal Help with Erin Levine, legal innovator and entrepreneur from California.

Erin shares the story behind her revolutionary online divorce platform Hello Divorce. The DIY platform helps people applying for divorce to navigate through the divorce process independently. Erin tells us who are the potential users for DIY legal help services and how technology has changed the way her team of lawyers work today. We also discuss what else should be changed in the legal industry by design. Why is it important to mitigate the negative image of legal problems, such as divorce? Do we also need a platform “Hello Bankruptcy”? And what is the one thing that almost all customers want from their legal services? Nina gets goosebumps by Erin’s inspiring mission to promote justice through tech, yet promises not to divorce her husband.

Erin Levine is a legal innovator, entrepreneur, and Certified Family Law Specialist. She is the CEO and Founder of Hello Divorce, an award winning online platform that helps self-represented folks navigate the divorce process on their own through a web platform, accessing legal help when they need additional help along the way.  As a young adult, she brought criminal and civil charges against a former gymnastics coach, and experienced the legal system as chaotic, confusing, and amplifying her trauma rather than bringing justice. She later became a divorce litigator. 

Despite her success as a law firm owner, she realized there must be a better way and pivoted into justice-technology. Erin works relentlessly to simplify family law, reduce trauma for those seeking relief from the court and help people get back on their feet. Her design centered and sustainable approach to the delivery of legal services has been recognized by the legal industry and beyond with recent accomplishments that include the American Bar Association‘s James I. Keane Memorial Award for Excellence in E-lawyering and Duke University School of Law’s Legal Tech Accelerator – Grand Prize. Erin’s current projects include raising her two daughters, Zoe and Mia, along with managing the national roll out of Hello Divorce’s products and services.

2. Episode: At the Intersection of Legal and Design Thinking with Michael Doherty

Michael Doherty

Should legal texts be written in the form of poems? Is legal design legal science? What happens when legal and design cultures collide? In the second episode of the podcast series Henna and Nina discuss with Michael Doherty about the relationship between law and design disciplines from philosophical, educational and cultural point of views.

In this episode we also find out that comprehensibility in law is not a new trend, but has been discussed through times. What will it take to make it mainstream? In this episode Henna is let loose and gets to ask funny questions about her law school nemesis, Legal Theory.

Michael Doherty is Professor of Law, and Associate Head of the Law School, at Lancaster University, UK. His main teaching and research areas have been constitutional law and human rights and he is author of Public Law, 3rd ed. (Routledge, 2021). His key interest in higher education has been teaching and learning in law, and he co-created the Connecting Legal Education online community in 2020. He has been the Director of Teaching and Learning at his former and current law schools for over 15 years. He was elected Chair of the Association of Law Teachers in 2004 and served on the ALT committee for 8 years.

Prof. Doherty’s recent publications include ’Comprehensibility as a rule of law requirement: the role of legal design in delivering access to law’ (2020) in 8(1) Journal of Open Access to Law; ’The Relationship between Legal and Design Cultures: Tension and Resolution’ in M Corrales, H Haapio, M Hagan and M Doherty (eds), Legal Design: Integrating Business, Design, & Legal Thinking with Technology (Edward Elgar, forthcoming 2021); ’Re-imagining a law degree: Using service design methods in curriculum design’ (with Tina McKee) in E Allbon & A Perry-Kessaris (ed), Design and Visualisation in Legal Education: Access to the Law (Routledge, forthcoming 2021).

1. Episode: Introduction to Legal Design with Lina Krawietz

Lina Krawietz

In this first episode of the podcast series Henna and Nina introduce you to legal design with Lina Krawietz, the Co-Founder and Managing Partner of This is Legal Design.

In this episode we cover the basics of Legal Design. What is Legal Design and why do we need it? Does design thinking change how lawyers work? How to implement design thinking into client work? We also discuss about Legal Design impact and if it is possible to determine the business value of Legal Design. What kind of added value can the improved user experience have in legal services?

Lina Krawietz is the Co-Founder and Managing Partner of This is Legal Design, a Berlin based innovation consultancy, specialized in legal innovation. As a Legal Designer, with a background in law, design & legal technology, she helps law firms, legal departments and legal tech companies to identify their innovation potential and develop meaningful, human-centered solutions. Lina is also the Co-Editor in Chief of the legal innovation journal ”REthinking Law”. In November 2020 she was awarded the European Women of Legal Tech Award in the category of professional services.

The article mentioned in this episode is A Framework Theory of Legal Design for the Emergence of Change in the Digital Legal Society, by Joaquín Santuber & Lina Krawietz together with Dr. Jonathan Antonio Edelman and Babajide Owoyele (2019). The article can be read on Dunker & Humblot eLibrary here.