Learning Law Better: Law Games and Beyond

We’re really interested in how law students & others can learn law better.  We’ve collected some resources together, for others interested in this topic too.

Law & Games

One of our main hypotheses is that games can be a great vehicle for learning law. Slowly, a movement of games & other interactive learning tools are coming into the world of law.

The major activity is around citizenship: how can tech-based games teach young people how to be civic leaders, interact with the government, and navigate civic life.

Some Existing games

Check out our work-in-progress law game, Law Dojo! We make law light-weight, colorful, and accessible — to play law smart!
Law Dojo - Ninja Topples Lawyers scene

Law Dojo, has both mobile apps (on Google Play) (on Apple App Store), and online games for (limited) free play.

The user can choose a law school topic, and play multiple choice games to test their knowledge. It’s made for studying and reviewing what you’re learning in LSAT, law school, or Bar Study classes.

There are also:

Citizen Science by the Games Learning Society, a socially-driven games lab out of University of Wisconsin, Madison
Do I Have a Right? a game in which you play at running your own law firm, from the iCivics team.

The Texas Law-Related Education group from the Texas State bar has built a wonderful constellation of online games for history, civics, and law.

Game Design - Legal Games - Texas website for legal education - Screen Shot 2014-10-20 at 4.05.07 PM

Law Games to Teach/Learn the Law

There is less activity around teaching and learning law itself — but a few projects are tackling this.

Objection! is an old-school video game to teach the Rules of Evidence

For a (very) fictional version of what a US litigation experience would be like, play the app game Phoenix Wright, Ace Attorney, a Japanese take on what it is like to be an American criminal attorney

Posts on Legal Education & Professional Tools

One year of legal community design in the Escambia Project

Last week I went to Orlando to participate in a share-out to the Florida Bar Foundation, by the core design team that worked over the past year to conduct a community-driven design process to create new legal services in Pensacola, Florida — and Escambia County. You can read up on the initial design work we


A legal document through a service design lens #LDS2017

More details from the Dottir-Varma-Hellon case study of human centered redesign of legal documents and contracts. A document is not just a product, it is a system and a service.


Case study of legal design: redesign of pension decision documents #LDS2017

At the Legal Design Summit in Helsinki, a profile of how Dottir, Varma , and Hellon — a law firm, client, and service design agency, came together to redesign how pension decision documents are created. Instead of sending cold recitations of the law and decision, the group used human centered design to understand the emotional


Judica service design for witnesses in the criminal justice system

In the UK, there was a (seemingly now defunct) service design effort to support people who were called on to be witnesses in a criminal justice case. Called, Judica, it was run in partnership with the UK Ministry of Justice, with a design team through the Royal Academy of Art in the UK, with team members


Hacking 4 A2J cards

Jose Fernando Torres, of Universidad Sergio Arboleda in Colombia, spoke at the Legal Design Lab‘s Law + Design Summit last week, and introduced the Hacking 4 A2J design cards. He made them with the design firm Haptica. These cards are guidance and provocations for a team looking to improve the justice system, using an agile


Cheat sheet for Digital Abuse Restraining Orders

Lawyer Erica Johnstone sent me a copy of a beautiful, laminated Cheat Sheet for people exploring how they might get a restraining order for online abuse. She produced it with her nonprofit Without My Consent, that focuses on fighting online harassment. This cheat sheet is in part based on Santa Clara Judge Shana Schwarz’s cheat sheets


The Rise of the Law School Labs

Today at the Court Technology Conference, I was lucky to co-present with Dan Jackson of NuLaw Lab of Northeastern University, and Christopher Griffin of the A2J Lab at Harvard Law School.  Our topic was: what can courts learn from law schools about user experience and innovation? Dan did an excellent job contextualizing this challenge, explaining


How can courts foster innovation in their orgs?

Two court leaders, Rob Oyung of the California courts and Casey Kennedy of the Texas courts, spoke at the Court Technology Conference this morning about what some of the myths around “why courts can’t innovate” are–and then talking through how they are figuring out ways to bring innovation into their courtrooms and organizations.


Court innovation in Missouri

At Court Technology Conference, the panel of Rob Oyung and Casey Kennedy is talking about Missouri court’s efforts to build intuitive online applications for users. Let users customize the view Provide just in time help Build the app to be extendable Use agile methodology, to take small risks and get quick feedback Improve the business


Models of Legal Innovation – from Richard Susskind

I was lucky enough to attend an IAALS working group for their Court Compass project, on reimagining the future of self-represented litigant experience in family courts. Their research team made a terrific presentation on different trends, models, and studies being done. This is one of my sketches from the session, which captures the essential parts


How do we design better disclosures, that people will read and use?

Earlier this week, I got the chance to talk at the Department of Labor about one of the Legal Design Lab’s recent projects on improving legal communication. I wrote about it over at the Lab’s site — you can see my slides there. Here are my notes from the hearing, where other industry experts and


What would a Better Way of Contracting for Microtransactions be?

Professor Camilla Andersen of the University of Western Australia has a sharp presentation on how contract law is broken (or limping along) — particularly in the age of microtransactions online, with a culture of TOS and consumer contracts which no one reads. She proposes ways to think outside the box, pointing to better ways for


Why is #AI not being implemented in courts?

In court management circles, it is established that Artificial Intelligence and Big Data are crucial to the evolution of court services.  So why isn’t the #AIrevolution taking courts by storm? A few of the dynamics at play: a culture of “no” that resists change, an inertia towards anything tech courts that don’t have control of


Happier Court Professionals <--> Better Litigant Experience

Another cartoon from today’s conference for court leaders, amalgamating a few speakers’ points from the lunch’s plenary. I am fascinated by combining the Back stage of court admins’ interests and perspectives, with the Front stage of litigants’ experiences and concerns. We can use more data-gathering about both these stakeholders’ experiences, to improve processes for both–


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


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


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.


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


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


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.


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


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


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


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,


The New York Bar Picture Book is a visual bar study dream

I was delighted to receive a gorgeous copy of an illustrated guide to the topics on the New York Bar Exam: The New York Bar Picture Book, by Wela Quan. It’s a subject-by-subject tour of New York law, all laid out in illustrated outlines with cartoons, sketches, and comic touches. The book is a great


Legal Aid needs to remake their model for disaster relief

Last week I presented at the LSC (Legal Services Corporation)-TIG (Tech Innovation Grants) conference, on a panel about legal aid + tech in the face of natural disasters. I spoke about the design and development work I’ve been doing with Southeast Louisiana Legal Services and the ABA Center for Innovation, on an app to help


Prolonged Detention Stories: humanized, interactive legal brief

Prolonged Detention Stories is a website that humanizes, and makes interactive, a legal brief. It’s a simple and beautiful design, that lays out not only what legal arguments against prolonged detention are, but also puts human faces and scenarios on them. The group, a partnership of Community Initiatives for Visiting Immigrants in Confinement (CIVIC) and the


IP Lawyer Training Game

The Business Development Bank of Canada has an online simulation game that’s meant for training in Intellectual Property as applied to entrepreneurs. It’s not necessarily built to train lawyers, but more for anyone who works with/as an entrepreneur to help spot IP and other legal issues and get started on dealing with them. Here are the


A Fourth Way for Law Students

I have been talking with lots of 2Ls, 3Ls, and newly minted JDs over the past year, about what other kinds of career tracks are open to young lawyers. I’ve been advising them not to take corporate jobs just to pay off debt or get experience (the default advice I was given coming out of


TermsFeed as a legal clause generator service

TermsFeed is an online legal service that lets any user (most often the owner of a website or an app) generate the legal terms and conditions they need to protect themselves and their users. It’s done by leading the user through a series of simple binary questions, and then delivering them a privacy policy, EULA, or


Does law school make students less creative?

Here is a short set of notes that are slightly provocative, aimed at both law school leaders and faculty, and the students who are choosing whether and how to attend law school. The notes come from a discussion in my Intro to Legal Design course, in which visiting guests and the law students discussed the


Social innovation with law schools as a driver

The dean of Osgoode Law School in Toronto, Lorne Sossin, has an interesting new post out about the new roles of law schools in developing problem-solvers and social change. He sees the rise of the new labs, courses, and professional tracks in law schools that focus on innovation and technology as a promise for law


Sparking 2 kinds of ‘Originals’ in legal innovation

I’ve been reading Wharton professor Adam Grant’s recent book Originals, that documents how new ideas and products emerge out of staid industries and bureaucracies. There’s a central point that he makes which links straight back to design thinking: The systems we live in need questioning — they need people to ask “Why, Why, Why, Why?” They need


Law schools as innovation hubs – the Global Legal Technology Lab

Today I had the pleasure of attending an exploratory meeting for a new initiative — the Global Legal Technology Lab. It’s a network of law schools, legal technology companies, and other organizations interested in pushing forward new innovations in the legal system — particularly around access to justice. It grew out of meetings at University


Interaction Designers on Making the Law Design-Friendly

Thanks to Kursat Ozenc for this link to a 15 minute video from designer Daniel Orbach, called Design, The Law, and You. Daniel Orbach – Design, the Law, and You from Interaction Design Association on Vimeo. It’s from an Interaction Design conference that happened in March in Finland. Here’s the abstract of the video: As


Bringing XML machine-readability into Courts

I was lucky enough to go to Milan, Italy last month and participate in a judicial training there, where the topic was the potential of bringing technology into the legal system. One of the biggest initiatives being discussed was making legal documents and cases more machine-readable, interoperable, and ‘usable’ to court professionals and systems. Here


Canadian Bar Association report: Futures for young lawyers

The Canadian Bar Association has published a new report, Do law differently: Futures for Young Lawyers. It dives into the big questions facing people with new JDs and an uncertain legal industry. With profiles of many lawyers who are taking new career tracks and building unique portfolios of work, the report lays out new opportunities


Coordinated data for better criminal justice UX in the UK

In my quest to find more data sources to promote access to justice, I sent out a few tweets with ideas. Twitter user Dominique Joseph sent along a link from an interesting initiative in the UK that is all about organizing, standardizing, and coordinating data sources to improve the criminal justice system for better user


Case Commons collaborative case management platform

After my latest post on coordinated foster youth care, Matthew Burnett of Immigrant Advocates Network forwarded me on a link to this innovative new case management platform: Case Commons. It is an attempt to build a user-centered system, that helps social service case workers and government workers be more coordinated and supportive of the people


Co/Counsel: mapping the law systematically

Co/Counsel is a project to systematically map what the law is, and do it with a mix of experts and the crowds. It’s done by Kimball Parker, from the law firm Quinn Emmanuel. The only public-facing one right now is Patent Law, which is viewable either in column mode or in mind map.


A new generation of legal aid lawyers

   Julia Wilson of OneJustice spoke at the UCHastings equal access to justice conference about the coming leadership shift in leadership of legal aid nonprofits. This can have big costs but also can be a great catalyst for more leadership training of lawyers who may be interested in executive tracks, and also to start reimagining


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.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


What should the 21st century law student be studying?

I asked my Legal Design students what they think JD students should be learning right now in law schools, to prepare them for their future careers in the legal industry. Here’s what they said (in no particular order): Project Management Coding: how to do it, how to work with those who do it, how to


Creating more “lnnovability” among Law schools

Rebecca Purdom of Vermont Law / Stanford Medical School examining factors of how law schools could be more innovative.


What would design-driven policy-making look like?

Some thoughts on a powerpoint from GWU Law Professor Susan Dudley.


Cognitive Exoskeletons for Data-Enabled Decision-Making

I am at the Gruter Institute, learning about innovation in different industries. Here’s an interesting thought from the world of AI: Can we help people deal w) complex decisions & data by building smart ‘cognitive exoskeletons’? They would sense data points, learn their persons’ behavior & preferences, and be a custom filter and decision-making companion


A call to Remix Legal Services with Process, Tech & People

Law firms need to be focused on Legal services as PROCESSES we can redesign, remix – these coreographies of service delivery. We can play with these new processes to change the tech, the staffing, the communications, etc.


The changing ways in which General Counsels respond to cost pressures

It’s changing, as Seyfarth’s Steve Poor shows in this excellent slide about different phases law depts. staff & buy legal services.


Does “The Innovator’s Dilemma” Apply to the Legal Industry?

Ron Dolin, discussing his recent paper on Clayton Christensen’s “The Innovator’s Dilemma” and how it may or may not apply to the legal industry.


Ron Dolin: New Values in the Legal Marketplace

How will corporate & consumer clients be shopping for legal services — what will they value & seek out?


Ron Dolin: A Target List for Legal Innovators

A great slide from Ron Dolin, summing up some of the central problems to target in the legal industry.


Intro to Legal Design class website

I’m more than halfway through my first full-quarter class on Legal Design. I’ve built a website for the students, to have all the assignments & resources in one place. I haven’t it updated it much for the general public, with documentation of the students’ process and deliverables yet — but that will be coming soon.


How can we encourage innovative, relevant legal scholarship? #abafutures

Some more thoughts about law school’s role in the changing profession.


We need to train JDs to work collaboratively, with other professions #abafutures

A great vision from Harvard professor  David Wilkins about how law schools can encourage innovation in the profession.


Law schools need to be disaggregated #abafutures

Stanford professor Deborah Rhode on the future of law schools.


Law schools need to be hubs of research about the profession #abafutures

Harvard professor David Wilkins on how law schools need to be adapting, know more about the work and paths of lawyers today.


Richard Susskind: legal system vs 21st. Century #abafutures

Susskind is presenting: Our legal system  is out dated We are not ready for the huge increase in computing power We need to embrace technology, from a customer’s perspective


Legal innovation thoughts from Ron Dolan #abafutures

Trying  to capture Ron Dolin’s comments on legal start-ups, working with engineers, and looking at data.


How can we improve regulation of the legal industry? #FutureLaw

A sketch note from the Codex Future Law panel happening now.


Can we make Texas rule on self-help the national default? #FutureLaw

Another sketch from today’s Future Law conference at Stanford.


Using legal tech for better law firm-client relationships

Here are some of my sketchnotes from last Thursday’s Emerging Legal Tech Forum in NYC, at Thomson Reuters. These notes are from the talk by James Yoon, a partner at Wilson Sonsini & a patent litigator. It’s his observations about how technology can complement litigators’ work, and improve corporate clients’ understanding of what the litigators


How can we change lawyers’ behavior?

Some insights delivered from the Emerging Legal Technology forum, from Ralph Baxter, Steve Poor, and Jim Yoon — lawyers who are all invested in changing law firms to be more innovative.   


New Contract Technologies 

 Another sketched out note from the Emerging Legal Technology Forum, this time about contract related legal tech, from Kingsley Martin.   


Seyfarth’s interactive legal maps

  Another sketchnote from the Emerging Legal Technology Forum, from Seyfarth Shaw’s Chairman Stephen Poor, about software they have developed in-house for their lawyers to use while going through cases.


How do we solve legal information challenges? 3 main approaches

  Today I am at the Emerging Legal Technology Forum, put on by Thomson Reuters’ Legal Executive Institute and Stanford Law School. I will be sharing out my notes — here is my first, from a talk by Codex director Roland Vogl about the main camps of legal info solutions.


Teaching design to law students

Today I kick off my first quarter-long class on design thinking for legal services — Intro to Legal Design, cross-listed under the Law School & the d.school. I have a long list of learning objectives & skills that I want the students to learn — but when I boil it down to the essentials, the


Igniting Law Teaching, a TED-style conference for legal ed

Igniting Law Teaching is a conference coming up on March 20th that will feature all kinds of legal educators presenting their insights & projects into how the law school experience can be improved. The conference happened last year as well — and all of the speakers’ individual videos are here for you to peruse. There’s


The Legal Designer – and the new professional skillsets

A sketch from my notebook on what it means to be a ‘Legal Designer’ — what the skillsets of such a new hybrid breed of legal professional should be. As I plan out my upcoming Intro to Legal Design class at Stanford Law School/d.school, I’m thinking a lot about what the ideal kind of training


ChartaCourse for procedural & visual legal education

ChartaCourse is a new tool from law professors that unpacks case books, and lays out interactive, visual concept maps of each law course’s content. It’s meant to replace case books. Rather than buy a book, students pay a subscription to access the courses and content. The product is from Mark Edwards, Professor of Law, William


Where is the concept of Care in Legal Services?

Last weekend, I attended some sessions of a Design Symposium at Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Design. The topic was ‘Transition Design’ — how we as designers can plan for a rapidly changing society, as well as how we help individuals through challenging transitions in their own life stages & well-being. One of the speakers


Should Criminal Lawyers Engage in Crowdsourcing?

I had written a short piece on the potential rise of crowdsourcing in legal investigations earlier in the year — and following up on that, Stanford Lawyer has asked four different criminal law specialists to weigh in with their thoughts on the topic. You can read their thoughts at this Up For Discussion piece over


Intro to Legal Design Class

I’m very excited for my quarter-long class, Intro to Legal Design, that’s going to be starting in April at Stanford d.school/Law School. Today was a recruiting event at the d.school, and it was interesting to see the diversity of students interested in the topic. A lot of business school students have interest in the field,


Is there a generational gap among lawyers?

I’ve put together a new short questionnaire, on the topic of the increasingly-discussed ‘Generational Gap Among Lawyers’.  I’m interested to hear your take on whether this gap exists, how important it actually is for the profession, and what we can do to bridge it.  Leave your thoughts below, and I will package the responses up


Video blogging your legal research & writing

Following up from my earlier post about making Visual cover-sheets for academic work, I was pointed toward this video blog from University of Alberta law professor Peter Sankoff. He has been making short (10 minutes & under) videos explaining different legal and teaching concepts. It’s another great multimedia form for getting content out to a


What would be a better way of presenting journal articles?

As I’ve been writing papers aimed for law journal publication, I keep coming back to my frustration that whatever I write for such a journal, it’s likely to be read so much less than a blog post. Maybe people will read the abstract, maybe some will scan through to find something of use to them,


Time Trial law game

CALI, or the Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction, created an online law game Time Trial. The game teaches the player legal history, by having them try to place events into the right timeline order. Each event is on its own card, and the user can turn over one card at a time, and then drag


CrowdDefend & Crowdfunding legal cases

Connected to my post last week on crowdsourcing legal investigations, I wanted to spotlight the possibility of using crowd support online to get attention, funding, and social capital for current cases. What would crowdfunding social justice campaigns, impact litigation, or just regular people’s lawsuits look like?  And how could it operate in the most engaging


Legal rotating tours

Kristina Brousalis tipped me off to this Canadian initiative at giving trainee lawyers ‘Tours of Duty’ through different parts of the legal profession. Legal Aid Ontario has a Lawyer Workforce Strategy, that invites both students and existing lawyers to take part in a tour through different types of legal jobs.  This gives them a chance


The No Asshole Rule & Legal Organization Design

Over winter break, I got through a stack of books — including two by Stanford Management Science & Engineering professor Bob Sutton.  I read his new one with Huggy Rao, Scaling Up Excellence, and an older volume — The No Asshole Rule.  In that book, Sutton calls out that certain type of professional who acts


Can we crowdsource legal investigations?

Yesterday I went to a lunch at Stanford Law School on the podcast Serial, and the role of advocacy & the media in the legal system. My friend & collaborator Umbreen Bhatti was interviewing Rabia Choudry, who is the family friend of Adnan Syed who had brought his case to the radio journalist Sarah Koenig


Terms of Service running man game

Another fun little lightweight law game — this time from Koding Global Virtual Hackathon in December 2014. It’s called the TOS Game — it’s more of a live prototype now, hopefully built out into something proper soon!. It’s a very simple game: you the user must type contract provisions out correctly, to match the Terms


Immigo: app of resources for immigration advocates

Immigration Advocates Network & Pro Bono Net released an app Immigo this year to serve advocates on the go.  It is an app with 3 main functions: Listing out trainings and support events for legal professionals Providing links to nearby legal help centers that the advocate could contact or refer a client to; Curating a


Lightweight law games & Objection! Your Honor evidence game

I am on the hunt for law games that are rich, fun, and adaptable to many different ways of learning/practicing law. After I started developing my game Law Dojo, I realized how tough it can be to make law games that are fun, move quick, and still pack an educational punch. In that effort, I’ve


Law School Improv concept design

Here’s a quick concept design sketch I had made my last year of law school, about how Improv-based education could be integrated into a legal education. At Stanford University, the law school did allow law students during 2L and 3L to take a quarter-long improv class and get law school credit for it.  I took


Redesigning a Legal Bill

On his blog “the [non]billable hour”, legal consultant Matt Homann challenged law firms to design a more readable, engaging, client-centered bill for legal services. If your clients designed your bills, what would they look like?  Would they be easier to understand?  Contain useful case status information?  How about upcoming dates or milestones?  Would your bills include information about the


California Pleading Bank: a ‘githubbing law’ project

The State of California has a Pleading Bank that can be used by a licensed attorney to find sample, guiding documents to expedite her work.  It links back to our earlier discussion on this site as to potential Form/Document sharing among legal professionals — as a model for Githubbing Legal Work Product among lawyers. It


Githubbing Law: Open-source legal doc repositories

What would a Github for Law look like? And is it worth building? This afternoon I got an email from a site visitor who asked if I knew of any projects in the works that stakes a Github for Lawyers out — and if there is a profitable business model in such an undertaking. Github


Designing corporate responsibility policies

From WeHave the Future, in Veneto region of Northern Italy


Argz: a reasoning puzzle game for law students

David Johnson of New York Law School pointed me to Argz, a platform currently in development (and with Beta Release) to create a puzzle-game out of logic & critical thinking exercises.  It’s intended to be used inside that law school’s classes.  The site’s description of the Argz platform: Everyone knows how to argue — or


Justice Entrepreneurs Project: Incubator for Young Lawyers

I’ve been looking around for different models of promoting entrepreneurship among JDs & young lawyers. There are a few interesting post-graduation incubators, that help recent law graduates get oriented and start their own practice. For example, Justice Entrepreneurs Project from the Chicago Bar Foundation. The JEP not only gives young lawyers training to start their


Legal Design Concept: How’s My Litigating?

A concept design that came out of a legal workshop I ran last week among legal aid & self-help lawyers.


Legal Studies Law Map by Oxford University

Oxford Law Map:: Law in Oxford. Oxford Law has published an interactive, color visual of the legal topics it offers for study.  It is simple but shows the relationships & sizes of the offerings.  Click on any of the visuals, and have quick links to more resources on those classes. It’s a simple & gorgeous


H2O: Hacking the Law School Casebook

The Berkman Center & Jonathan Zittrain have long spoken about the need to disrupt how law students intake the law. Why do we have huge & costly textbooks, that professors typically use sparingly, with large parts to skip over, and with supplemental materials mixed in. The H2O project presents an alternative: professors and others can


Reinvent Law visual: Legal by Design

Another sketch from last Friday’s Reinvent Law conference in NYC, that somehow didn’t manage to upload then (so here it is now!).


Stephanie Kimbro on Connecting a Mobile Game to Real World Legal Services

Many of my d.school Estate Plan redesign class groups are thinking about how to gamify estate planning — bringing some elements of game experience, like points, rewards, competition, and levels into the process. None are developing explicit games like Stephanie Kimbro’s Estate Quest project, but the spirit of games & storytelling are guiding many of


Estate Quest video game for estate planning

Stephanie Kimbro has posted on YouTube a preview of the legal game Estate Quest she & her team are designing, all on Estate Planning for consumers. Her summary: This is a demo of level one of Estate Quest. This will be a cross-platform video game to teach basic estate planning concepts. Players will win awards


Legal Concept Design: A Bar-Taking Robot

The product of a slightly absurd lunchtime conversation with Manal.


TheFirstYear, putting 1L online & interactive

TheFirstYear is an online platform with 1L law content. Anyone can sign up to access it — watch the videos, and take quizzes once they are made available. The platform is sponsored by Univ. of Utah’s College of Law. There are online classes for the standard law topics taught around the US in the first


Undoculife: Immigrant Legal Game

At the Fwd.Us DREAMer hackathon last week, I was tremendously impressed with the team who made #Undoculife. It’s a web-based interactive game, featuring a main character who’s an undocumented immigrant in the US. It challenges the players to see life through the lens of an undocumented person, while also teaching them how to respond to


On Games & Legal Complexities: an interview with Ida Benedetto

Ida Benedetto talks with the Open Law Lab about how she helps people understand issues of consequence through a combination of play and surprise. As a founder of Antidote Games, she develops diverse games for NGOs all over the world. She recently created a game, Accused, that gives players a taste of the police interrogation


The Potential of Law Games

I started programming law games in Summer 2012, when I went from just thinking about my idea of “Law Dojo” and making it real.  Since then, I’ve gotten feedback from so many law students, professors & others, who see the *enormous* potential in using small, quick, smart games to get people empowered with law. David


The Creative Lawyer: Jonathan Tobin

I’m starting a series on lawyers who have figured out ways to integrate creativity & design into their professional life. Here is my first interview, with Jonathan Tobin, who heads up Counsel for Creators. He comes from a creative & design background, and has managed to bridge that into his legal practice. Would you describe


Antidote Games: The Accused

Thanks to Nikki for writing in to let me know about Antidote Games, a studio that produces complex interactive games, to build understanding & knowledge among the players. Some of their games concern health crises, disaster risk, and car safety. The studio also has one regarding law — The Accused. It’s a straightforward role-playing game


Law Design Tech office hours

Stanford students & beyond are invited to come by Stanford’s d.school, to talk about projects in legal tech & design that they’re working on (or considering) — or just have some coffee & hang out. How to get to the d.school?


Tech Tips for Legals

Here’s a short, unnarrated overview of legal tech tools from Legal Services NTAP that lawyers & others could use to organize their projects, do better research, work on the road, take notes, use visuals, create media, analyze data, and use all the tech they already have in better ways. 50 Tech Tips 2013 EJC from


Northeastern’s Law Innovation Lab

It’s great to see another law school going in the direction of building new generations of legal products, and training a new generation of legal designers & technologists. Along with Michigan State Law’s ReInvent Law lab, and the Law Without Walls inter-law school program, (not to mention my own upcoming Stanford d.school-law fellowship this year),


Low Hanging Fruit for Legal Design

A sketch of some possible targets for redesigning.


Hearsay Exceptions, the video

A delightful little video, complete with terrifically basic MSPaint illustrations and low-fi lego recreations of Hearsay Exception situations. I see an entire Bar Exam prep course in this vein. Here’s a little more YouTube-pop song, with Miley Cyrus inspiration. And to conclude, a Hearsay rap.


Law School Games with Demetri Martin

Demetri Martin went to NYU Law before dropping out in his 2nd year, then going on to stand-up comedy, writing books, and his own show on Comedy Central. Some law school redesign…


Redesigning the Bar Study Experience

I have been studying for the California Bar for the past month. It feels nice to actually learn concrete laws, but the overall prep experience leaves much to be desired — and to be re-conceived. One fellow Bar-studier sent me an entreaty to take on Bar Prep — some alternative to watching videos of law


Why Don’t Law Firms Invest in Tech?

A small illustration of a truism that is floating around, in answer to the title question.


Legal Jacket concept

A quick sketch of a concept for wearable law… Of course fictional now, but only slightly tongue-in-cheek…


Training for Commoditized Law

After a recent comment from the wonderful Peter Lederer about the challenge of building new models of law schools and legal professional training, I got some fresh inspiration from an article by Paul Lippe on the Legal Rebels blog on the ABA’s website. In his response to Richard Susskind’s book Tomorrow’s Lawyers, an Introduction to


Jureeka! Legal Link Tool

Jureeka is a browser tool that will transform any legal citation you come across as you browse, into a hyperlinked legal citation. It was created by Michael Poulshock is sponsored now by the Legal Information Institute at Cornell Law School — and more for Mozilla Firefox & Google Chrome users than other browser-users. Jureeka! turns


Apps for Trial Lawyers

The Lawyerist published a review of a new app — JuryPad — for lawyers to help them manage the jury-selection process, proceed through voir dire, and pick a better jury. It also name-checks a few other apps for practicing trial lawyers, that also may be worth checking out (though all fairly pricey). TranscriptPad helps the


Juror’s User Experience, part 2

More wonderful insights into how citizens called to be jurors experience the court system in the UK — from the RED project, by the Design Council —read more, http://www.designcouncil.info/mt/RED/citizenship/.


Design Insights Re: Jurors

Great, rich, human insights into how citizens called to be jurors experience the court system in the UK — from the RED project, by the Design Council —read more, http://www.designcouncil.info/mt/RED/citizenship/.


Citizen as User, Design Research

Great, rich user insights about Citizenship and people’s relationships with the government, from the Red – Touching the State project http://www.designcouncil.info/mt/RED/citizenship/  


Touching the State

RED was a UK initiative that was operational between 2004 and 2006.  It was set up by the Design Council in the UK, to tackle public policy, social, and economic issues through design-driven innovation.  Its themes included health, aging, energy, democracy, and — of interest to this project — Citizenship.  They summarize their initiative as


I need app feedback!

So I have been building legal quiz apps, for law students & non-lawyers. Now I need feedback, to take them to the next level! If you have the time or inclination, I invite you to download (for free!) my Law School Dojo app for your iOS or Android device. Links are here: http://lawschooldojo.com . Then


On being a good General Counsel

from a talk by Alex MacGillivray, general counsel of Twitter from http://razblint.com


Blake Masters: Pass the CA Bar Exam in 100 Hours

Blake Masters: Pass the CA Bar Exam in 100 Hours blakemasters: I passed the July 2012 California Bar Exam by studying for 100 hours—no more than 5 hours per day between July 1st and July 24th. My approach may not be appropriate for everybody. But here are some details nonetheless; hopefully they will help some


Legal Concepts: Law Firm Uniforms

what to do for a tax break? institute mandatory uniforms at law firms. deductions, deductions, deductions!


Civil Procedure quiz app

I just made a second law school quiz app — this time on the specific topic of Civil Procedure. It’s Law School Dojo: Civ Pro, now out on Android and on iOS! This app is built especially for students who are studying Civil Procedure. I wrote over 300 questions on cases, doctrine, vocabulary, and other


Law School Dojo

I have recently begun to play around with coding apps, and for my first real venture, I decided to code up a quiz app with all the things I wish I had known before law school — and make it into a quick, playful, lively game. I have the first version up for Android on


Bar Review Apps

There are a host of apps (some free, some paid) for studying law. Most are oriented towards preparing for law bar exams, but they can be useful more widely in law classes. Barbri offers a free app BARBRI Challenge, with multiple choice quiz on law topics that are on the bar. There is BarMax MPRE,

Do you have any thoughts?
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