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a movement to make the law
more accessible, more usable, and more engaging.
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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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Our Latest Posts
26/06

Is the user experience of going into a court building like dying?

Last week’s New York Times Magazine features a beautiful quote and accompanying exploration of what it means to a person in a bureaucratic building. The original quote from Elif Batuman’s (terrific!) 2017 novel The Idiot observed how going through airport security is like death. You, the person, give your precious things up, and subject yourself

07/06

How do we design Privacy Experiences for Trusted Relationships between Customer and Company? #privacy@scale

Last week, I spoke at Facebook’s Privacy@Scale one-day conference, on new directions of privacy design in the era of big data and ubiquitous tech. Here are my drawings from the day, with some of the speakers presenting their point of view and agenda. Some of the most interesting takeaways: How can consent in medical situations

05/06

How doctors and scientists are improving their communication — how about lawyers?

Yesterday on NPR’s Sunday morning broadcast, I heard an interview with Alan Alda about his new book and ongoing work to make science comprehensible to normal people. His discussion was completely parallel to work to make the legal system comprehensible. Alda has identified the fundamental problem of communication between experts and lay people, that crosses

01/06

Can we use big data to improve social systems?

Yesterday I spoke at Facebook’s annual Privacy@Scale conference, all about how we can use data ethically and respecting people’s privacy and empowerment. The keynote was from Sandy Pentland, a professor at MIT’s Media Lab, who spoke about his Open Algorithms project — and the mandate he’s setting out for better use of big data for

29/05

Systems in design thinking

At recent talks and conferences, I have been welcomed and challenged by people who are explicitly systems-thinkers. Some resist a design approach as too “micro” and lacking computational modeling-that would better predict outcomes rather than testing + experiments. Others see the links between participatory, multi-stakeholder design processes and a systems approach. I am thinking through

28/05

Access to Justice through User Experience and Experimentation

Today I am in sunny, lovely Vancouver, British Columbia at a symposium of the Canadian Administrative Tribunals’ adjudicators, advocates, and other professionals. It’s co-hosted by the Council of Canadian Administrative Tribunals and the British Columbia Council of Administrative Tribunals. The theme of the kickoff panel and keynote has been one of keen interest to me:

24/05

What can legal innovators learn from evolutionary biologists?

Earlier this week, I presented my Design for Justice work to a group at the Gruter Institute, with a mix of lawyers, biologists, computer scientists, economists, and more. It was a wonderful force for analogous thinking — because the questions I faced in response to the insights and design work were not the usual questions

18/05

Visual Guide to Serving Process

During my recent Equal Justice Conference presentation alongside the Harvard Access to Justice Lab, I presented a quick practice visual I made, that would guide people through how they could “Serve Process” in Massachusetts for a guardianship case. These are my first drafts, laying out how I might compose and color a worksheet guide for

15/05

Data Science in your legal services

I am in Toronto today at Lawyering in the 21st Century day, at Ryerson University with their Legal Innovation Zone. Zev Eigen, Global Director of Data Analytics, presented a keynote on how law firms should be deploying data science in their work.

12/05

Can the Legal Complex protect rule of law from “disruptors”

From this morning’s talk from Berkeley’s Robert A. Kagan on law in the time of disruption, at Stanford. He warns of the shift from the liberal order of the as half century, and the power that “the legal complex” has to stop it and uphold rule of law –particulate against regimes that present themselves as

11/05

Visual Design of Self-Help Materials

I took notes at last week’s Equal Justice Conference presentation that I made with the Harvard A2J Lab crew, Erika Rickard, Jim Greiner, and Hallie Jay Pope. These notes capture the presentation that they made, explaining how they decided to take a visual approach to court outreach to litigants facing debt collection. They used visual

09/05

Congress calls on airlines to make user-friendly consumer contracts

While watching CSPAN on Saturday morning (as you do), I came across a rerun of a hearing on airlines’ customer service. (Watch it yourself on C-SPAN’s website, it’s streaming for your convenience). Among the points of pressure that the Senators were putting on the various US airlines’ senior vice presidents at the hearing was one close

08/05

Consent Experience Design: research into human-centered legal disclosures

Alessandro Carrelli is a PhD researcher at Loughborough Design School, where he is investigating how to bring better user experience and higher quality consent for privacy transactions online. Why is it so hard to communicate to people what is happening with their data, and how can this be done better? He is running workshops and developing

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 people.