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a movement to make the law
more accessible, more usable, and more engaging.
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Our Latest Posts

User-friendly legal services from British Columbia

Talking to Bonnie Hough of the California Judicial Council last week, she recommended checking out several great projects coming out of Canada — specifically British Columbia — for inspiration about how courts can be more user-friendly. Many of them are efforts of the Justice Education Society, which is a public-oriented organization that is developing new


Moving Legal Innovation from Waterfall to Agile

How can we develop new solutions in agile, responsive ways? So that if we see a problem or hear a user need — that we take action, try something in a lightweight way, small way — a hack, rather than a huge undertaking? This is the idea that is coming out of the world of


Court innovations at the Code for America Summit

I’m excited to be speaking at the Code For America Summit this week in Oakland — and trying to make the bridge between the robust & big-energy civic tech world, and the world of legal innovation. Very excited to see a small subset of people interested in making the government better (more accessible, more user-friendly,


My (sketched) vision of the future of accessible legal services

How can we help people on-ramp into the legal system in much easier & accessible ways? This is the solution that’s been growing in my mind (but still obviously a little rough) over the last few months. We need to invest in several layers at once: 1) The especially hard one: Building a central repository


Law firms & Long-Term Investment

Some notes on innovation in law firms, based on a talk by Prof. Jonathan Molot of Georgetown Law, from the Thomson Reuters Law Firm Financial Performance Forum. Related posts: How do we solve legal information challenges? 3 main approaches Using legal tech for better law firm-client relationships Why Don’t Law Firms Invest in Tech? Legal


What would a better Internet for Legal Help look like?

This week I have been finishing up my research paper on what user-centered standards for better online legal help sites would be. I had surveyed lay adults about how they’ve used the Internet in the past to respond to legal issues, and then also had them do some searches for legal help & reviews of


The Design Process & Research Outcomes

This school year, my priority is focusing on how to take the design process & adapt it to create research outcomes that are meaningful to the academic community — as well as to practitioners. The most direct adaptation is to extend the current style of design process I’m using, and then add on more research-driven


Sketches for Self-Help worksheets

I have been sketching out some possible templates for what a good one-pager worksheet would be, to guide a lay person through a legal process. Obviously the one-pager has enormous limits, so instead of thinking about it as a total ‘process guide’, I’m thinking of it more as an ‘orientation tool’ that gives the person


Trace My Shadow behavior visualizer

Trace My Shadow is an interactive tool from the Tactical Technology Collective that allows a person to see for themselves, in lively ways, what kind of digital traces they are leaving behind as they browse online. It’s an interesting model for helping people have transparency into their own situation, and how they might want to


How can social service providers to get people to legal help?

During my Spring 2015 class at Stanford School on Intro to Legal Design, we were lucky enough to have Sacha Steinberger visit us and present on her Project Legal Link. I drew up some notes during her presentation, about what she’s working to do — bringing social service providers into the world of legal


Why are government and court websites so bad?

I was delighted that one of my favorite new podcasts, Reply All, spent an episode in August all about horrible government websites (see as prime example 1) — and how they got that way. When we talk about terrible websites, it’s not just that they look like they’re from 1999 (though that’s definitely a


Legal Health Checkup Interventions

A few weeks ago, when I logged into my browser, I got a notice from Google that they wanted to walk me through a Privacy Checkup of my Google Account. I agreed, more to observe how they treated me as a user & how they guided me through the experience of understanding my status quo


Workshop on the legal generational gap — and harnessing it for change

The generational gap and the drive for change in the legal profession This past weekend I was at the Canadian Bar Association annual conference, where the theme was building a better lawyer. My task was to run a workshop one morning with all of the attendees to explore how we might bridge the generational gap


How to create a legal visual

So many of my design projects are all coming back to the power of visuals to engage people on legal topics & to convey information effectively. Even if it seems that product and service design could be solutions for different challenges, the communication design track (making better visuals and texts) turns out to be the


Defining a library of legal design patterns

Over at the Legal Design Toolbox (that I have slowly been building out with materials that I’ve been finding, using, and recommending in my own work), I have been building out a small typography of patterns for legal design & development. These are patterns of visuals, of interfaces, and of tools that can be used


Better court websites for better court practices

Recently I was running a design workshop with several court administrators, including some who worked in it IT and others who oversaw more of the rule-making and administration of state courts. We ran through several exercises that scoped out ways to make their professional lives & work better — both for the litigants who use


What would a better legal brief look like?

What would a better legal brief look like? What would it be to submit writings for the judge’s consideration in ways that are more formally structured — so that these communications could: 1) be laid out systematically for the judge & her clerks (think in tables or side-by-side comparisons), 2) perhaps even made machine-readable (so


Access by Design concept: a resource-rich legal smartphone

During the Legal Design Bootcamp that I was running last week, one of the participating groups came up with a very interesting concept that I wanted to share. We spent one day going through a design cycle, and they began by choosing a very particular user — a young Guatemalan girl, aged around 16 year