Avainsana: lawyers

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.

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.

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.

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.