I found some old sketchbooks of mine, that I had on my internship desk between my 1L and 2L summer. I was working at a law firm in Istanbul, trying to understand the intricacies of Internet and free speech laws and all the competing interests in Turkey of 2011 (it has only gotten more complicated and thorny — not to mention punishing) since then.
To do so, I would read articles, books, send out emails to experts, follow Twitter accounts, and try to translate as much as I could with my then-pigeon Turkish. And at the same time (before I ever really thought about legal design), I sketched out what I was learning.
Here are some of those sketches, rough and incomplete, but a nice little example of how very simple maps can help a person to capture and make sense of a load of new information they’re gathering.
Now this habit that I started during the start of my law school days, is what I try to teach to all my students (and anyone going through the design process): think through visuals and think through building. If you have to represent it not just through text, words, outlines, but in more creative and graphic ways — it will help you to think better, remember more, and find the patterns and connections you wouldn’t otherwise.