Takeaway Notes from LDS2019: Why Does Legal Design Matter?

Legal Design Helsinki 2019 LDS2019 take away notes

In September 2019, the third edition of the Legal Design Summit (#LDS2019) took place in Helsinki, Finland. With its six hundred participants from all around the world, #LDS2019 was the largest legal design event so far — and the first event of its kind that the InvestCEE professional designer team attended. It provided us with plenty of insights and inspiration about this exciting new field. In this post, we share the three key takeaway notes from #LDS2019 from our designer Forián-Szabó Ferenc.

 

#1 Let’s bring design theory into legal practice

While legal innovation trends generally recognize the pain points in current legal processes, design thinking methodology enables lawyers to solve those challenges in practice. Design is by definition human-oriented and designers are skilled at creating user-friendly tools and processes — this knowledge only needs to be adapted to legal context. While design and technology are in many cases already available, it often requires courage to apply them in practice.

Legal design offers a great opportunity to explore ways to create better legal processes.

 

#2 Let’s increase user experience in legal context

Design thinking should be more than a well sounding term: we should make efforts to truly connect design methodology and legal services. It seems that the main principles along which designers think are mostly missing from the current legal processes. Take for instance the contracting workflows in organizations. From a designer’s perspective, there are good arguments in favor of simplifying contract life cycles, enabling flexible drafting via technology tools or considering the data hierarchy to prevent value leakage.

Legal design aims to increase the user experience in legal context, which is a much needed addition to current legal services.

 

3# Let’s open up towards diversified professional services 

It is not possible to innovate professional services exclusively through internal inputs — openness to new approaches is essential. Diversity of thought in legal services, however, is not that easy to achieve. In legal design context, it requires flexibility and enthusiasm from both legal professionals and designers, while we also need to take account of technology tools available for legal professionals.

Innovative services building on legal design should be a combination of law, design and technology.

 

Interestingly, the participant ratio at the #LDS2019 was approximately 75% lawyers and 25% designers. For our team at InvestCEE, this meant that increasingly user-centric legal services need more designers on board. Essentially, innovative legal services need to make sure that design thinking is put to practice in client context. How is this possible? Through successful client projects that find the right balance between law, service design and technology. We at InvestCEE are eager to explore this intersection of diverse professions.

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