WELCOME

We are an interdisciplinary team based at Stanford Law School & d.school, working at the intersection of human-centered design, technology & law to build a new generation of legal products & services.

Our Mission

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Training law students & professionals in human-centered legal design

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Developing new models of user-friendly, accessible, and engaging legal services

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Researching how innovation can be brought to the world of law, and what legal users want

Training in Legal Design & Tech

We are training law students, lawyers, designers, and others to design quality legal products.

Prototyping New Interactive Law Tools

We are designing new products to help people make intelligent legal choices for themselves.

Discovering New Paths for Innovation

We are combining human-centered design & interactive technology to find new ways to innovate in law.

Building a Legal Design Toolbox

We are curating toolkits for lawyers, law students, and paralegals to use as they begin to design and develop projects.

Defining Standards for Legal Communications

We are setting best practices for how to design and present complex legal information to lay audiences.

Our 4 Themes

Access to Justice and Court Innovation

A series of classes, technology builds, user research, and exploratory work to drive user-friendly, efficient, and powerful support for people using the legal system.

Better Internet for Legal Help

An initiative to promote a coordinated system of service-providers, and an ecosystem of better tools & interfaces for laypeople to use online to find legal help.

Smart Legal Communication

Design-driven research into more effective, engaging ways to communicate legal information — notices, policies, process, eligibility, and beyond — to lay people.

New Models of Legal Orgs

A research and workshop project aimed at larger, system-level changes in courts, law firms, legal departments, and legal aid groups — to promote cultures that are more experimental, diverse, and agile.

Legal Design + Tech We're Building

Flood Proof

An app to help people after a natural disaster to start the process of ‘clearing title’ to their house.

Court Visual Guides

Fliers and posters that use visuals to explain how to navigate complicated court processes.

Navocado

A platform to create and publish better guides to legal processes, with visual and interactive triage & process-guides.

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Court Messaging Project

An out-of-the-box tool to let any court or legal service provider send text messages with info, reminders, and coaching to people going through the legal system.

Legal Design Workshops

The Legal Design Lab runs workshops for students to learn design thinking and to tackle specific challenges.

We work with legal organizations, including courts, firms, legal departments, foundations, and legal aid groups to train them on design thinking, scope new initiatives, conduct user testing, and plan how to bring innovation into their organization. Please be in touch if you are interested in a workshop.

We also hold Innovation Sprints at our Lab each quarter. In these Sprints, we train teams on user-centered design process, and help the teams to scope, prototype, and plan for testing of a challenge they have brought. If your team would like to attend an upcoming Sprint, please write.

We run workshops on a variety of process, skills, culture-change, and strategy:

Service Design: Working with state courts to plan how they can better present language access materials, or serve self-represented litigants

Culture Change:Helping a law firm plan for diversity and inclusion among their associates and partners

Design Thinking: Coaching lawyers in the design process — for example, coaching law firm lawyers on how to use design thinking to advise their clients on a business problem in their legal department

Visual Design: Training lawyers on the essentials of visual design, and how to apply it in their presentations, writings, and arguments

Innovation Strategy: Planning how to launch an innovation and design lab inside of a law firm

User Testing: Evaluating a current app, website, or service offered by the government with its target users, and then having a co-design session to create new versions

Exploratory Sessions: Bringing together a wide range of stakeholders who are all involved in a system, to prioritize an agenda of challenges to tackle, and identify a shortlist of new solutions to pilot

Expunge Design Day poster - Legal Design Lab

Expunge Design Day


A collaboration with other d.school fellows and high-school age kids from the East Bay, to reimagine how local governments could offer expungement support for kids with criminal records.

Plea Agreement Project class Defendants in the system

Plea Agreement Project

A three-week workshop to identify how to improve the quality of understanding, deliberation, and (possibly) consent that happens when defendants are offered plea deals.

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Making Immigration User-Friendly

A two-day design sprint to devise new ways for F1 student visa-holders to navigate the US immigration system.

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Guardianship Navigator court design night

We worked with local Bay Area court officials, legal aid lawyers, designers, judges, and engineers to set an agenda of how the guardianship system could be improved.

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Legal Life Plan

With Fidelity Investment’s design team, we ran a 5-session workshop on how people avoid and tackle estate planning, and what tools and systems could improve it for them.

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Know Your Rights Redesign

In partnership with local criminal justice and civic coding groups, we held a one-evening workshop to reimagine how we communicate fundamental rights to youth.

Visual Law Meetup

Visual Law Meetup

With a visiting public legal educator/designer from India, law and journalism students worked together on how to apply visual design principles to legal challenges.

Hack for Justice poster

Hack for Justice: Criminal Justice System design sprint

With the California Department of Justice, we ran a two-day design sprint on how to use visualization tools and interactive web apps to make criminal justice data more usable and meaningful.

Legal Design Jam

Legal Design Jam for Contracts

In partnership with the Wikimedia Foundation, and with guest legal designers Helena Haapio and Stefania Passera, we led a group through redesigning a trademark policy for Wikipedia users.

EU Privacy Icon Design

With our collaborators from the University of Bologna, and a group of lawyers, law students, designers, and interested citizens, we ran a day-long workshop to create a first set of visual representations of data protection standards for the upcoming EU GDPR.

Drawing for Lawyers

With graphic designer Tugrul Karacan, we led a lunchtime session to teach law students and lawyers the basics of visualizing their ideas and drawing out concepts.

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Law School Build-a-thon

Along with programmer and instructor Irina Zaks, we invited law students with ideas for new apps or other projects to spend a day envisioning what they might prototype and test, and how to plan for interacting with a developer.

Our Classes

In Winter 2017, Jan Martinez and Margaret Hagan will teach a 2-credit class at the Law School/d.school, Community-Led System Design. In it, we will hear from leaders of participatory and civic design labs — and synthesize the various methodologies, insights, and strategies into a plan of action for a court leader who is considering how they might use a human-centered design approach to make the legal system more user-friendly and just.

In Spring 2017 and Autumn 2017, we are teaching a d.school class on how the traffic court system could be made less financially punishing and less procedurally opaque. Especially as more justices and courts realize the negative consequences that traffic fines and fees have on people’s financial well-being, combined with an interest in making court more procedurally just — we are working with local California courts to design new ways to improve the system.

Design for Justice: Fines Fees aand Bail

Prototyping Access to Justice

In Spring 2016 and in Winter 2017 , we offered the Law School/d.school class, Prototyping Access to Justice. The class was taught with the Judicial Council of California, and particularly the Self-Help Center of San Mateo County Court as our partner. Students explored how they could make people’s journey through family law procedures more empowered and strategic — especially when they don’t have a lawyer.

In Winter 2016, we offered the Law School policy lab class Exploding the Fine Print. In it, we partnered with FINRA to examine how to get more millennials to engage with financial disclosure information and make wiser choices as they invest their money.

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In Autumn 2015, we offered a lab class on Consumer Contracts redesign. We focused on privacy policies, in partnership with a technology company’s privacy and security team. Students reimagined how to provide more engaging, contextual, comprehensible, and meaningful information to people about how their data is being gathered and what is happening to it.

In Spring 2015, we offered the class Intro to Legal Design at Stanford Law School & d.school, as 4-credit class for law, business, and engineering students to learn the essentials of design thinking & service design, and apply them to real-world problems of law firms, legal aid groups, and other legal orgs.

We partnered with 6 different legal organizations to give student teams hands-on experience in tackling legal service design challenges.

Students worked in teams of 3-4, in an 8-week design cycle, to map the status quo, define a design brief and user profiles, generate concept ideas for new solutions, and prototype and test one promising concept. The final deliverables are mock-ups of a vetted prototype, an action plan for how it can be piloted by the partner organization, and a process write-up of how the team operated.

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Legal Design Toolbox poster

Use our toolbox to find design and development tools to use when building legal products & services, or building new legal organizations & culture.

What we're working on

Check out our latest events, projects, and work.

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A Legal Innovation Reading List

The books, reports, and essays we're reading, on legal innovation and developing legal innovators.

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