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a movement to make the law
more accessible, more usable, and more engaging.
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Open Law Lab was chosen as one of the top 100 legal sites by the ABA Journal in 2014-16. The list spotlights sites that speak to a legal audience. Come over to their site to see the other 99 sites — and to vote for Open Law Lab to be one of the favorites!

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An R&D lab for legal services at Stanford Law School and d.school.

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Do you want to come up with new ideas for legal ventures? Want to bring creativity & innovation into law? Then you need process -- find it here.

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Do you learn law better when it doesn't come in blocks of text? Here is our collection of visualized law -- maps, flowcharts, diagrams, tables, and more!

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Want to make law more accessible to more people? Here's our collection of great ideas, projects & research to design access to justice.

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Want to study better? Practice law better? There are ways to improve efficiency & the quality of experience.

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Apps to learn law smarter, faster, funnier! Made for law students, high school students, NPR listeners, and anyone else who wants to learn law through games.

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Our Latest Posts
06/04

Chatbots might be bringing low quality justice soon #futurelaw

Joshua Lennon lays out an argument for wariness of the coming rise of law chat bots.  – they often are not jurisdiction based – they may give people false confidence in quality of the advice –  they are too linear and don’t allow people to go back and see how the conditions or answers change

06/04

Visabot builds immigration applications over Facebook #futurelaw 

Andrey Zinoviev and Artem Goldman have built a Facebook bot — VisaBot — to help people figure out their eligibility for different immigration paths and then complete forms, letters, and other application matters.

06/04

Hilbert bot, helping you to navigate your health plan #futurelaw

Stanford law student Kevin Xu and his team has made a bot, Hilbert, to help people understand and navigate their health insurance plans. They are focusing on young breastfeeding cancer survivors as a pilot group. They used design thinking to get to a more empathetic and thoughtful experience. Tweet at @askhilbert

06/04

Legal innovation’s paper roots #futurelaw

Radical– a historian at a Futurist panel! Prof. Norman Spaulding explains the populist roots of legal tools, to drive greater public access to what the law is. Before software, the technology was paper-based, gathering info, details, structures — making it more discoverable and, udeally, usable.

06/04

Legal Data needs to be linked and made useful #futurelaw

The problem with criminal law data is not that we don’t have it, but that what we have is not easily linked with each other. It is not currently usable to identify patterns, holistic views of the system, or relationships among agencies and oeople.

06/04

What ethical standards should guide legal algorithms? #futurelaw

We see more discussion of predictive algorithms to judge people in criminal justice, to analyze whether / how to grant probation, bail, etc. But there are serious risks of False Positives, or racist/ biased algorithms. What standards will we use to evaluate proposals for use of these algorithms? And how do we build these tools

06/04

Where are emotionally intelligent legal tools? #futurelaw

A panel on law, algorithms, ethics, and future tech. How do we build tools that understand when a person says, “I want a divorce,” they might be mad & not really want divorce- but counseling. Or, they might be truly in need of a divorce. How do we build smarter tools that don’t presume what

28/03

The UX of the Internet for Legal Help: Defining standards for a user-friendly legal internet

One of my academic articles has just been published in the Virginia Journal of Law and Technology. It’s called “The User Experience of the Internet as a Legal Help Service.” The article presents findings from my research into how people experience the Internet when they try to use it to solve legal problems. As more

24/03

Flipping lawyers from talking to doing: Prototype-first Design Process

One of the main points of resistance for lawyers in the design process is getting from talk to action. It’s too easy to start off with best intentions, but then get stuck in discussions, mapping, and brainstorming — without moving to making. This is a real challenge if your interest (like mine) is not just teaching design,

17/03

How to teach law classes like the best design classes?

I love teaching. It is such a joy to bring students together to work on real-world challenges, and to do so in a sense of public service along with ambition to use our freedom at the university to tackle problems in more radical, unusual ways. The Stanford d.school teaching leaders have quarterly events to help

16/03

Ending Poverty with Tech + Lawyers

This afternoon I was privileged to attend the final presentations in the new Stanford class Ending Poverty with Technology. This class is taught by Sociology professor David Grusky, in conjunction with the Stanford Center on Poverty & Inequality, of which he is a co-director. I came to hear and review these presentations because one of the

16/03

Justice For All: saving the Legal Services Corporation #LSCmatters

The Office of Management and Budget released its proposed budget this week, in which they propose the elimination of the Legal Services Corporation. The LSC is the closest thing we have in the U.S. of a public fund to support legal help for people in dire need — whether it’s to protect against domestic violence,

14/02

Know Your Rights magic word app from Brazil

One of my Brazilian students in my Prototyping Access to Justice class alerted me to a very cool app in Brazil, all about empowering people about their legal rights. It’s called Carteirada do Bem. It’s a native app (on Android) and (on ioS) + a website. It is put out by the assembly of Rio

13/02

Open Legal Documents from The OpenGov Foundation

The OpenGov Foundation has a project called Open Legal Documents. They have several projects about making government more open, transparent, and people-friendly. One way they do this is to post a Github of legal docs for others to use as templates for their own work. Rather than having legal docs as precious things to keep

13/02

Photo Walkthroughs as legal guides

What are better ways to help people follow a legal process? To get all the tasks, forms, consults, and decisions made to get to resolution? One mode I’ve been experimenting with in my Prototyping Access to Justice class is the photo storyboard. Using Google Sheets (or Powerpoint), I lay out a series of photos I’ve

02/02

Law By Design, the book

I have just released the first working version of my book, Law By Design. It is meant for people in the legal system, to understand how design process, mindsets, and patterns can help them solve the big challenges they are facing. I have compiled my notes, insights, and work into these chapters to lay out

02/02

A Vision of the Next Generation JD

For the Hack the JD event this past weekend at Santa Barbara’s College of Law, I was asked to prep a 5 minute elevator pitch of what I saw as the future of law education. I made this image to sum it up — at least for a certain type of law student, who was

31/01

Hack the JD charts out new courses for legal ed

This past weekend, I spent two very gloriously sunny days in Santa Barbara’s College of Law, in windowless rooms, planning what a better way to educate future lawyers might look like. The event was hosted by Santa Barbara College of Law, which is a small, ‘opportunity’ school that has a small class of night students,