Open Law Lab is the personal project of Margaret Hagan, to explore how law can be more engaging, more usable, and more useful. She began it while she was a law student Stanford, to document how students, lawyers, researchers, and professionals can build products and services to redesign law.
The project’s broad mission is to document past, current, and possible initiatives that can increase access to justice through technology & design.
Under this umbrella, the Lab ventures to create specific action themes, in which interdisciplinary teams can identify real needs and design projects that will address them — and push the law forward.
These themes identify the needs which the Lab will address through concept designs, working prototypes, and fully workable solutions. They will also form the basis for empirical research about what works to address these needs, and what does not.
The Lab began with a handful of specific themes. They can serve as design briefs, to spark a design process & development cycle that will result in new, innovative legal products, services, and systems.
- Illustrated Law: How can we make text-heavy legal resources more visual, and more comprehensible? Can we re-humanize cases, statutes, opinions, and legal commentary — bring back in the human element, and ground the abstract in practical visualizations?
- Human Centered Dispute Resolution: How can we empower people involved in a lawsuit to reach the best possible agreement for their long term? What online interfaces and patterns may help litigants not only resolve their case but find meaning in the experience?
- Access to Justice 2.0: What technology platforms and interventions may help on-board more non-lawyers into legal diagnostic, counseling, and service systems? And what mix of online-offline legal systems may accomplish this?
- Legal Ed Tech: How can we support law students and non-lawyers to master law through interactive and participatory means? What are the innovative (and retro-inspired) ways to best prepare law-learners for using law in practice — and also for helping them become innovators in the broad field of law?
- Law Games: How can we harness the power of games and gamification to make law more engaging to a wider audience — to help law students learn through virtual practice and interaction — and to help non-lawyers learn the law for which they have an appetite?
If you would like to be involved with Open Law Lab — or with other legal projects & collaborations, please reach out!