Avainsana: legal innovation

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.

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.

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.