Avainsana: information design

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

Sarah Ouis.

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

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

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

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

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

Episode 26: Proactive Legal Information Design with Helena Haapio and Rob Waller

Rob Waller and Helena Haapio.

Making legal information more comprehensible and easier to use is a central theme in legal design. It is also a topic that has recently gained increasing research interest, sparking new ideas on how to enhance the usability of contracts and other legal documents in practice.

Research has shown that understanding what a document says, is all about human metacognition. If users are enabled to connect the content of a legal document with ideas that are meaningful to them, it can help avoid “cognitive accidents” and work as a proactive method to promote legal wellbeing of the users and other parties. When users can understand what is expected of them, legal conflicts and misbehavior due to misunderstandings are less likely to occur.

Rob and Helena share insights from their various projects and collaborations, like the contract simplification project with an energy industry facility and Canadian aboriginals. We also hear what proactive law is, and practical tips about how to improve the usability of legal documents. If you want to know what makes a good (legal) document, tune in!

Helena Haapio is a lawyer on a mission to change the way contracts and law are perceived, presented, and taught. She is a lawyer and contract strategist by day and a researcher, author, and editor by night. She has had the good fortune of working with information designers and plain language experts who have taught her a lot. She is a co-founder and co-creator of the WorldCC Contract Design Pattern Library and currently co-editing two books for Edward Elgar, one on Contract Design and the other on Legal Design.

Helena is an Associate Professor of Business Law at the University of Vaasa, Finland, and a Contract Strategist at Lexpert Ltd. In addition to her doctorate and LLM, she is proud to hold a Master of Quality degree. Like engineers, Helena wants everything she does to be functional, useful, and usable.

Rob Waller’s recent work is in the growing field of legal information design, working to improve consumer and business contracts through plain language, usable design and visualization. His other current focus is the Information Design Summer School, which introduces non-specialists to theories and techniques that help to simplify complex information.

​Semi-retired from a career in research, teaching and consultancy, Rob has more time now for renovating a 200-year-old stone barn, gardening and playing sax – where no one can hear him. His 1987 PhD explored the relationship between language and design, and he continues to look for better ways to explain this and unify them in practice. Rob the current President of the International Institute for Information Design.

Link to the article mentioned in the episode: Robert Waller, Jenny Waller, Helena Haapio, Gary Crag & Sandi Morrisseau, Cooperation through Clarity: Designing Simplified ContractsJournal of Strategic Contracting and Negotiation, Vol. 2, Issue 1–2 (Special Issue: Contracting for Innovation and Innovating Contracts), 2016, pp. 48–68. Manuscript available at ResearchGate. ( Please note that this is a manuscript of an article accepted for publication in the Journal of Strategic Contracting and Negotiation. To cite this article, please refer to the published version.)