17.Episode: Think Smaller with 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.