Open Law Lab is a hub for Legal Design,
a movement to make the law
more accessible, more usable, and more engaging.
Areas of Legal Design


Legal Design Process


Visual Law


Access to Justice


Legal Ed & Practice

An ABA Journal Blawg 100 site

BasicIllustratorFileLetter—CS

Open Law Lab was chosen as one of the top 100 legal sites by the ABA Journal in 2014. 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!

Our Legal Design Projects

Legal Design Initiative

Visual Law Library

Legal Design Toolbox

Legal Communication Design

What problems can we tackle with LEGAL DESIGN?

Subscribe
Get connected! Subscribe to our Law By Design listserv.

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.

See all

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!

See all

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

See all

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

See all

Play Law Dojo!

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.

Come play!

Our Latest Posts
21/08

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

20/08

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

07/08

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

06/08

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

05/08

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

04/08

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

03/08

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

28/07

Swimlane visual of Trademark policy

Here is a legal visual that I had started to create a few years ago during a Legal Design Jam for Wikimedia’s trademark policy. Here I’ve made it more generic — the point isn’t to capture specific policy points in this visual, but rather to draft what a one-page, usable guide of a policy might

23/07

Visual Dashboards for better Court Case Management

What would a good management system look like, for courts to assess their workflows & performance? James McMillan, John Matthias, and Matt Kleiman of the National Center on State Courts has a proposition — to use dashboards with lots of visual power to create a better way to see what’s really going on in a

23/07

What does the Legal Office of the Future look like?

The SF design & architecture consultancy Gensler has published its findings about the future of working in the legal world — specifically what the Legal Office of the Future will be. Gensler’s legal office of the future showcases the design and technological elements that will encompass the legal office of the future in the decades

22/07

Designing a Usable Online Privacy tool

I am working with a team at Carnegie Mellon to create more Usable Privacy Policies. One of the main deliverables we’re creating is a plugin for web browsers, that shows the user information about the site that they’re on. The goal is to present information about the site’s legal and privacy policies in compelling ways,

10/07

Code for America Tech Awards

Code for America has launched an awards program to recognize great tech-based projects going on in US government agencies. There are still a few days to submit your application, to be eligible for an award & participation in the Code for America conference this autumn in the Bay Area. The Code for America Technology Awards

26/06

Data Visualization of Securities Litigation

Inside Stanford Law School, the Stanford Securities Litigation Analytics project is gathering all kinds of data about securities litigation & then making it visual, interactive, and usable to lawyers and companies. It takes a data-driven approach to how we assess the prospects of a case & what kinds of choices and changes a lawyer or

16/06

Why change the design process to be messier & less sequential?

I came across this blog piece by the Dutch group Am I a Designer, exploring the question of  “Why change the design process?” They resist an overly formalized, step-by-step design process — what they call a sequential design process — which makes the process seem clean and clinical. Instead, they push for a more cyclical,

16/06

What would fair online business-to-consumer contracting look like?

Two weeks ago I attended a few days of the Gruter Institute’s session on Law & Behavioral Sciences in Tahoe. I was quite excited to find Joshua Fairfield there, a law professor from Washington & Lee Law School, talking about exactly one of the problems that fascinates me (and that I’ll be working on next

15/06

Hacking culture in Legal Orgs

Last week I heard a presentation from the K-12 Lab at Stanford’s d.school, all about how they are bringing in modes & mindsets of Hacking into elementary schools in the Bay Area. Hacking, not in the sense of coding software or circumventing security walls, as in creating small, nimble interventions in their school to try

08/06

From Idea to Implementation: a design note

After a conversation with a legal colleague who’s working on a new software project to simplify how courts and lawyers communicate, I was inspired to sketch out some thoughts on what an idea-person should be thinking about, to take their idea on a path that would lead to successful implementation. How do you get other

03/06

Two-headed designs: for better client experience, and better systems & policies

Last week, during my class Into to Legal Design Class, we had some guest designers from Intuit, who work on improving the user experience of their tax customers. One of my students asked the designers if they also work on how the customers’ tax filings will be received by the IRS. The question was —