Legal design is becoming increasingly popular for a number of reasons. Here’s some details on the benefits of Legal design.
Improving Access to Justice
Legal design can improve access to justice by helping us create legal products and services that are more affordable and easier to use. By simplifying legal processes and documentation, legal design can make legal services more accessible to a wider range of people. The “Legal Design Toolbox,” for example is an online resource that provides legal design tools and methods to help legal professionals create user-friendly legal documents and services.
Another interesting win for this approach is how it can help improve access to justice for people with disabilities. For example, the Legal Innovation & Technology Lab at Suffolk University Law School created a tool called “A2J Author” that enables people with disabilities to access legal information and services in a more user-friendly way.
Enhancing User Experience
Addressing Legal Complexity
Legal design recognizes that legal information and processes can be complex and confusing for non-experts. The Housing Court Help Desk, a project created by the Legal Services Center at Harvard Law School is an example where it provides assistance to pro se litigants in navigating the housing court system.
By simplifying legal documents and processes, legal design can help people navigate the legal system with greater ease and confidence. The “Plain Language Legal Dictionary,” is an example. It is an online resource that provides plain language definitions of legal terms and concepts, also the UK government’s “Plain English Campaign” promotes the use of plain language in legal documents and other forms of communication.
Legal design is a multidisciplinary field that involves collaboration between lawyers, designers, researchers, and technologists. Increased collaboration can lead to the development of more innovative legal products and services that address the needs of legal clients. For example the “Access to Justice Tech Fellowship” program is a collaboration between the Michigan Legal Help program, the University of Michigan Law School, and the University of Michigan School of Information. The program brings together law students and information science students to work on projects that use technology to improve access to justice. They have worked on projects to develop online tools to help people navigate the legal system, create legal information resources for low-income communities, and design user-centered legal services. The “Legal Innovation & Technology Lab” at Suffolk University Law School also brings together legal professionals, designers, and technologists to create user-centered legal services. These types of collaboration can help bridge the gap between the legal and technology fields and provide new opportunities for legal professionals and technologists to work together in developing client focussed legal solutions.
Innovation and Experimentation
There is a lot of room for innovation and experimentation and as more legal professionals and designers embrace legal design principles, we can expect to see new and exciting developments in the field. For example, the “Legal.io” platform uses blockchain technology to create a secure and transparent platform for legal document management. The “Legal Hackers” community is another good example where it connects legal professionals, technologists, and designers who collaborate on projects that use technology to improve legal services.
At the Legal Technology & Innovation Institute we have a mission to promote and create a global ecosystem in LegalTech and our students are currently engaged in some exciting workshops on Legal Design, Design Thinking and Innovation delivered by a stellar faculty of Stefania, Laura and Noora.
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