The Legal Design Lab (formerly the Program for Legal Technology & Design) was founded in fall 2013 to bring designers, lawyers & technologists together to advance legal innovation and access to justice.

We have three main points of focus:

Teaching & Training: We run workshops & teach classes on how legal design & technology can be applied to specific problems in the world of law.

Building new products: We create concept designs for new legal products & services, and build them out with agile, design-driven teams. These development projects are also research-driven, to create results about what works in legal innovation.

Researching & publishing findings: Our ultimate goal is to build a stronger community around innovation in legal services, and to do this we’ve adopted a core open-source ethic. As we experiment in legal innovation, we publish our process, our findings, and our finished products, to contribute to a wider knowledge base and community.

We are currently based out of Stanford Law School’s Center on the Legal Profession and Stanford University’s Institute of Design (d.school).

Our Work

Each year, we have one overarching theme, which most of our classes and workshops focus on. We run smaller side experiments and projects too, but the theme is our main guide.

This year’s theme is what new predictive, AI-enabled access to justice interventions are possible? And, how can we make these new possible technologies as user-centered as possible?

Our past years’ themes have included the following:

1. Improving Court User Experience: bringing a service design approach to court’s self-service centers
2. Developing a Better Internet for Legal Help: determining how to get better search results for people’s online legal help queries
3. Communicating Complex Information: how do we make people as engaged, empowered, and wise about complex choices they must make in law
4. Scouting Law Firm & Corporate Legal Innovation: what is the status quo of how legal groups are investing in R&D and design of new innovations?

We believe in tackling the challenge of legal innovation through a human-driven design process, centered around the quality of users’ experience. A design approach focuses on spotting new areas and ideas for innovation, and on ensuring that any new project will support lawyers, clients, judges, and other users with quality experiences. We also believe that technology, deployed within this design process, can improve legal services by increasing efficiency, resulting in higher quality interactions, and creating new value.

If you would like to work with us on a project, please be in touch!

Margaret Hagan
Stanford Law School fellow, Stanford d.school lecturer

Margaret is a lecturer at Stanford’s d.school & fellow at Stanford Law’s Center on the Legal Profession, working to bring law & design together.
Margaret holds a JD from Stanford Law, as well as an AB from the University of Chicago, an MA from Central European University in Budapest, and a PhD from Queen’s University Belfast in International Politics. She is also an avid sketcher and an amateur app-maker.

Jane Wong
Post-JD Fellow, SLS '17 JD

Jane Wong is our Lab’s Post-JD fellow for 2017-18. She is working on access to justice innovation, with a focus on more coordinated Bay Area legal services. Jane graduated from Stanford Law School in 2017. While a student, she worked as a student fellow in the Lab on how to design the courts to be more accessible to the public.
Jane received a B.A. in Sociology and a Korean minor at the University of California, Berkeley. Prior to law school, she worked at a policy firm that improved the effectiveness of social service programs. She came to law school with an interest in pursuing a public interest law career in health care and affordable housing.

Tom Davidson
Student Fellow + Researcher

Tom is a second year law student at Stanford with a background in legal operations and management consulting. Prior to law school, Tom was a Legal Operations Associate at Google where he led cross-functional projects focused on legal technology, knowledge management, and process improvement. Before his time at Google, Tom worked in Deloitte Consulting’s Federal practice with an emphasis on healthcare technology. Tom currently supports the Corporate Legal Operations Consortium (CLOC), a non-profit group designed to establish standards and best practices within legal departments of all sizes around the world. At Stanford, Tom is the Co-Director of the International Refugee Assistance Project and OutLaw, in addition to his involvement with the Legal Design Lab. Tom is a 2012 graduate of American University with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Law & Society.

Emma Eastwood-Paticchio
Student Fellow + Researcher

Emma is a second year law student at Stanford Law School. Prior to law school, Emma was a research analyst at the Office of the Attorney General of New York, where she worked with public records data and incorporated machine learning and natural language processing into casework. Since starting at Stanford Law School, Emma has helped form a new student organization, Stanford Law Students against Gendered Violence, and leads an accompanying pro bono project focused on domestic violence policy work and direct services.
She is also a Member Editor of the Stanford Law Review, the Managing Editor of the Stanford Technology Law Review, and a Vice President of Student Initiatives for the Stanford Public Interest Law Foundation.
Emma is from Ashford, Connecticut and earned her B.A. in English and American Literature with a minor in Computer Science from Middlebury College.

Sabina Beleuz Neagu
Student Fellow

Sabina is currently an undergraduate student at Stanford University studying Artificial Intelligence under the Symbolic Systems Program who is interested in the intersection of legal solutions and technology to increase access to justice. Passionate about both entrepreneurial thinking and team dynamics, she currently organizes Stanford’s BASES Startup Challenge and conducts research on the effectiveness of deliberation techniques in global justice movements. Sabina is also excited to be working with attorneys in San Francisco on a humane automated testimony system and hopes to bring these perspectives to the table while working on the Legal Design Lab’s Legal Classifier Project.

Jose Fernando Torres
Post-JD Fellow 2016-17

Jose joined the Lab as its first full-time fellow, to work on a year-long design project around new modes of Dispute Resolution. During his fellowship, he also led workshops and classes around new business models, process mapping, logic and arguments, and design research methods brought to law.
He is the Director of the Center for Innovation in Law at the Sergio Arboleda University in Colombia and a co-founder at Lexter, a legal tech company in Colombia.Prior to that, he was a Senior Associate at the M&A practice of Posse Herrera Ruiz (Colombia), an associate in the international arbitration practice of Skadden Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP in London and a Legal Affairs Officer at the Legal Affairs Division of the World Trade Organization.

Jose holds a JD from the University of Los Andes in Colombia, an International Diploma on International Trade Regulation from the World Trade Institute in Berne, and an LLM in International Economic Law & Policy from the University of Barcelona.

Kevin Xu
Student Fellow; SLS '17 JD

Kevin has been a student fellow while a JD-Candidate at Stanford Law School. His design and research focus is on reimagining the Internet as a portal for legal help and information for ordinary consumers. Prior to law school, Kevin served for three years in the Obama Administration as a political appointee at the White House and the U.S. Department of Commerce, focusing on policy communications and media relations. Before joining the Administration, he worked as a media strategist in Malaysia and a political campaign staffer and fundraiser in New Hampshire, North Carolina, and Massachusetts. Kevin received his B.A. in International Relations from Brown University. He loves to swim, hike, learn foreign languages, and code side projects to hone his technical skills.

Jessica Hudak
Past Student Fellow; SLS '16 JD

Jessica was a fellow while studying at Stanford Law School. She brought over ten years of patent prosecution and strategy experience. Jessica has worked in law firms, in-house, and most recently as the Founder and President of a Silicon Valley patent strategy consultancy.
As a named inventor on a number of patents, Jessica has a long history of designing and bringing new inventions to market. Her current interests include inventing and developing technology solutions for intellectual property prosecution and litigation. Additionally, Jessica is researching law firm innovation and working to reimagine the 21st century firm.
Jessica is a published author, editor and guest lecturer at Stanford University on a variety of topics relating to patent law, strategy, and design.

Mengyi Xu
Student Fellow; SLS '17 JD

Mengyi was a student fellow while a second year student at Stanford Law School. She is passionate about the intersections between law, design, entrepreneurship, and development.

A graduate of Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, with certificates in Global Health Policy and Translation & Intercultural Communication, Mengyi also came to law school with strong interests and research experience in international law, and in the link between rule of law and socio-economic development. Mengyi spent her 1L summer at the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (a division of the UN Office of Legal Affairs) in Vienna, Austria. She will be working at Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP’s New York Office during Summer 2016.

Mike Yakima
Student Fellow

Mike Yakima is a JD/MBA joint degree student at Stanford Law School and Stanford Graduate School of Business and is in his second year. Mike has spent the majority of his professional career in the U.S. Air Force as an Intelligence Officer, where he identified and analyzed emerging technology around the world and developed solutions to national security problems. Along the way, Mike has led highly diverse teams in dynamic environments and brings a wealth of experience in strategy and organizational design.
Mike is using his experience as a Legal Design Student Fellow to study a variety of ways and means of improving the courtroom experience for the layperson. More generally, he is passionate about socio-economic development and is currently testing several hypotheses related to ground-level development through human-centered design.

Briane Cornish
Affiliate of Lab; Stanford Law School JD

Briane has facilitated & participated in legal tech & design workshops.
She was born in San Jose, CA and raised in Brooklyn, NY. She received her B.A. in English Literature and a Certificate in Ethics, Law and Society from Tufts University and her J.D. from Stanford Law School. Briane is very interested in creating new models and programs that help consumers navigate cumbersome procedures like the legal system. She cares a lot abut the user experience and the ability of social innovation and social entrepreneurship to spur a revival of customer service within the legal system.

Kursat Ozenc
Teacher and Afilliate of Lab Classes; UX Designer & Instructor

Kursat co-taught the d.school pop-up classes Redesigning Criminal Justice and Get Smart: Legal Communication Design during Spring 2014. He also has been designing legal services sites and apps during our design sprints & workshops.
He is a Senior User Experience Designer at Autodesk in San Francisco. He conducts user research, turns research insights into concepts, & transforms concepts into launch-ready systems, interactions, and interfaces. He completed his Ph.D. studies (2011) in design at Carnegie Mellon University.

Umbreen Bhatti
Affiliate of Lab; Knight Fellow at Stanford, 2013-14

Umbreen co-taught the d.school class Redesigning Criminal Justice, and has facilitated legal design workshops.
She is a lawyer and journalism entrepreneur with a passion for making law easier to understand and our justice system easier to access. Most recently, she was a 2014 John S. Knight Fellow at Stanford University, where she created Briefly.TV to connect TV journalists with powerful, untold stories about our legal system.
Prior to her fellowship, she co-founded and ran islawmix.org, a nonprofit effort to demystify Islamic law in American news media.

Maya Shino
Affiliate of Lab while at Stanford Law School LLM, 2013-14

Maya received a BA/LLB from Otago University in New Zealand and a LLM from Stanford.
She found her way to Stanford’s d.school on her hunt for ways to make law more accessible and navigable for non-lawyers. She has since facilitated legal design workshops.
Prior to Stanford, she practiced corporate law in New Zealand and co-founded LawSpot.org.nz, a Q&A website for legal advice. Maya is a former Legal Fellow at GitHub and current Legal Fellow at eBay, working in the global marketplaces division

Beth McCarthy
Affiliate while Univ. of California Hastings JD student

Beth McCarthy works in Product Development and Marketing at StartX by day and is a LegalTech Startup Weekend organizer by night. She fell in love with legal tech design as a student at UC Hastings who was more interested in the information architecture and design challenges of law than the content, and is currently creating an educational app for other students who share that passion.

Fred Leichter
Affiliate and Past Teacher at Lab; fellow at Stanford d.school, 2013-14

While a d.school fellow in 2014, Fred co-taught the Law By Design: Making Law People Friendly pop-up class, on improving the user experience of estate-planning.
He is a senior vice president for Fidelity Investments and has designed customer experiences there for more than 20 years. He has served as the company’s Chief Customer Experience Officer, and prior to that was the Senior Vice President for User Interface and Design.

Ron Dolin
Affiliate of Lab; Past Fellow at Stanford Law's Center on the Legal Profession

Ron is a JD & and an engineer. He teaches legal technology and informatics at Stanford Law School, and he has been an angel investor to legal tech startups.
He holds a BA in math & physics from U.C. Berkeley, a PhD from U.C. Santa Barbara in computer science, with a dissertation on scalable search. He was early at Google, and left after several years to get a law degree from U.C. Hastings.

6 Responses
  • Aug 21, 2014

    How best to interweave human-driven design process with intellectual property protection for the innovators? I am a patent attorney and adjunct professor in NC, and work with law students, as well as clients who are d.school disciples. I often am addressing these issues:

    – Why is intellectual property (IP) important to design thinking
    – What IP is available for design results
    – How to structure collaboration sessions so that resulting IP rights are appropriate apportioned among participants
    – How can the “not invented here” syndrome stifle innovation
    – When should patent, copyright or other types of IP protection be sought
    – What is the benefit of a patent landscape search to determine obstacles to avoid during scale up and production
    – What rights does the person who identifies the problem have in the solution created by others
    Who among your team has considered these points?
    Jack Hicks, jhicks7@elon.edu

    jhicks@wcsr.com Aug 21, 2014
    • Margaret
      Aug 26, 2014

      We haven’t been working on the ‘law of innovation’, instead we’ve been focusing on ‘innovation in legal services’. But you’re right, there are a lot of legal issues that spring out during generative sessions, like those at the d.school, which is all about creating & remixing ideas into new projects. If you have thoughts, please pass them along!

      Margaret Aug 26, 2014
  • Maria Claudia Solarte Vasquez
    Sep 11, 2014

    Hello! You will be focusing on the exact content of my research (#1) and I would be delighted to work with you or learn from your experience. Self regulation and usability in collaborative transactions is what I am concerned about. Consumer redress and ADR updated :)!
    I tried contacting you earlier, and really hope this time my message reaches someone interested in the same fied! I am in Estonia now, but if any course or seminar will be prepared in the near future I could come and assist, observe or simply participate as a learner.
    How could we get in touch?
    Cheers and shine on!

    Maria Claudia Solarte Vasquez Sep 11, 2014
    • Nov 5, 2014

      Maria C.
      Your point about consumer redress and updated ADR is spot-on, imho. Perhaps you’ve already uncovered this article in your research, but Stanford Visiting Professor Horst Eidenmuller (now headed to Oxford) wrote on this subject, specifically as it relates to the new consumer rights regime in the EU. (I’d attach it here if I could). “Against False Settlement,” by Eidenmüller & Engel, 29 Ohio St J Disp Resol 261-297

      David Johnson Nov 5, 2014
  • Nov 2, 2015

    I am Jo Aschenbrenner from Germany, lawyer and mediator and working with Bucerius Law School, Germany’s first private law school.
    Convinced of the positive effects of visualisation, I would love to get in touch with you and work together on projects (academia, legal practice).
    Looking forward to hearing from you
    Jo (female)

    Jo Aschenbrenner Nov 2, 2015
  • Hi!

    My name is Paulo Neves and I am currently the Chief Federal Judge of São Paulo’s Federal District Courts in Brazil.

    We inaugurated the first Innovation Lab in Brazil’s Judiciary and I am doing a doctorate at University of São Paulo studying innovation in judicial management.

    In order to improve my knowledge about innovation and design thinking, I would like to spend an academic year working and learning with you.

    Is it possible? How can I apply for that?

    I appreciate your attention.




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