Working in the Legal Design community
For the last couple of years Legal community has increasingly taken into Design Thinking. The aim is to provide solution-based approach to problem solving. The development goes fairly well hand in hand with Legal Tech. In-depth focus to understanding the human needs involved in these processes is crucially important while re-framing the problems in human-centric ways when adapting to new and changing technologies.
Luckily, the society of interdisciplinary Legal Tech and Legal Design enthusiasts is growing. Sharing ideas, exploring and developing creative solutions in brainstorming sessions gets easier and constantly improves. During the last month, we have participated in various cooperation projects and events and gathered a lot of material to work with whilst continuing our mission of facilitating access to legal knowledge via document automation, having been inspired by the recent developments.
One of the very practical forerunner cases came from Lucy Yeatman, Senior Lecturer and in-house Solicitor at the University of Liverpool and Julia Babiarz, Junior Legal Engineer at Syke, when they decided to help litigants trying to navigate care proceedings concerning children. Using Contract Mill they created a simple informative web-based questionnaire, including extensive guidance notes and comprehensive explanations in English. Lucy and Julia broke down every question placing usability and simplicity at the heart of the design. They thought about the core of the question and tried to frame it in a way which a user could understand.
You can read more about this case and the way Contract Mill supported the project at http://syke.tech/legal-technology-solving-the-justice-gap and also August 2019 issue of The Legal Technologist.
Contacting different experts face-to-face is relatively easy in Finland, where we strongly emphasize equality. Ideating and freethinking is constantly going on between active professionals seeing the benefits of multitalented cooperation. Sometimes we gather in groups where participants come from various organisations and talk further about certain subjects of common interest. In this way we are developing the whole scene forward besides of individuals’ own professionalism. Often active individuals can make the whole team to make important leaps forward and we are lucky to have people like Heikki Ilvessalo from Ilves to be truly involved with us in the development of this community.
Last month in one of the talkative events on Legal Design we had Emma Hertzberg and Meera Klemola, the founders of Observ, to share their experience and vision how to create clarity from complexity. Kudos to their hands-on approach using Legal Design strategically to modernise legal thinking.
Two weeks ago, there were an impressive amount of international Legal Design experts and people interested in law, design and digital services arriving to Helsinki to participate in Legal Design Summit and its workshops. Legal Design Summit is the largest Legal Design event in the world and manages to create a unique atmosphere for forward-thinking professionals to exchange knowledge and expertise and inspire global collaboration. The fruits of this event are obvious all around amongst a growing group of like-minded doers.
The global spirit can also be seen in the continuing rapid growth of Legal Hackers, a global grassroots movement of designers, entrepreneurs, lawyers, policy advocates, researchers, students, teachers and technologists. These volunteers love to explore and develop creative solutions for issues at the intersection of law and technology. Through for example meetups, hackathons and workshops Legal Hackers spot issues and opportunities where technology can improve and inform the practise of law. Being active in Legal Hackers has been one way for us to participate in the open society of Legal Tech.
The evening before the Legal Design Summit we assisted Legal Hackers to organise a welcome party as a side event of the Summit. It was great to see a full house of people from all over the world interested in development, cooperation, learning, sharing and finding means to participate. One of these ways is Legal Design Alliance (LeDa), a network of lawyers, designers, technologists and other professionals who are committed to making the legal system more human-centered and effective, through the use of design. Founders of LeDa were present to talk about this open community. It was equally enjoyable to hear about the experiences of others as to share our ideas like the concept of “Onboarding by Design” that we use.
Last week we also took on one of the challenges often mentioned in Legal Design: the quality of legal documents. We joined amongst others Tim Cummins from IACCM to an evening dedicated to Contract Value Leakage at DLA Piper Finland. Cummins was spot on to tell how fundamental it is to start thinking differently. Our solutions, as Kaisa Kromhof presented, include compliant and up to date automated documents, playbook baked into high quality templates, empowering professionals to self-serve, and show how scalable service means lower costs.
The following day we were in Stockholm Sweden at Nordic Legal Tech Day to see and share what is new in Legal Tech. This annual event is about the digitalization and development of the legal industry. It’s also where the Nordic startup community meets to share ideas on how we can promote innovation. This time Kaisa Kromhof was in a panel to discuss about The LegalTech Ecosystem – whether there is a need for a dedicated legaltech/regtech ecosystem.
One of the highlights a month before that was Swiss Legal Tech 2019 in Zurich. There Kaisa Kromhof shared in Workshop how to scale your legal work with do-it-yourself applications.
Networking, sharing ideas and collaborating really is something we believe in and are willing to invest our time into. Our mission has been to create easy to use yet powerful technology that makes it possible for our users to improve access to justice and knowledge. We are always happy to share our knowledge so feel free to contact us any time and hope to see you in one of the future gatherings!
Sari Korhonen, Managing Director