Law School Redesigned: Ideas from the MSU Design Workshop
In late February, I ran a half-day workshop with students and professors at Michigan State College of Law. The goal of the day was to train the students in the design process, expose them to the intersection of law & design, and begin to work on some ideas that might change how law students study law, for the better.
We ran through a crash-course in the design process, in which each participant designed a concept design for one other participant. The scope of the challenge was: How Might We Improve the Law School Experience.
These are the designs that resulted from a quick two hours of work. Please browse through them & leave your feedback on the sidebar on each idea page! Even a quick few thoughts will be enormously useful.
The designs are interesting as a first-draft of possible projects that law schools, the ABA, career services, or start-ups might want to consider.
They also are a source of data about the interests & values of current law students. Each of the designs is rooted in a pressing issue that matters to individual law students. See the diversity of designs: not all are about how to learn law better, most are around quality of life, finding mentors, setting up careers, and customizing the law school experience to different types of people. These designs are feedback to the ABA & law school decision-makers, about what the frustrations, anxieties, and missing factors are in law school.
Enjoy browsing the ideas, we look forward to your feedback & input!
— Margaret Hagan
Late last month, a small team of us at the Legal Design Lab ran a user-centered design workshop on how to make the courts more accessible. This workshop was part of the Self Represented Litigant Network Conference. We ran it in conjunction with the Harvard Access to Justice Lab, and its research director Erika Rickard.
Last week a team of us from the Legal Design Lab went to the wonderful Code for America Summit in Oakland, California. We were there to explore the links between legal design & civic tech and improved government services. It was wonderful to meet so many creative & policy-oriented people who are taking active, agile
This April at the d.school, we will be offering a 5-session pop-up class on Redesigning Criminal Justice. The topic will be Redesigning the Plea Agreement Experience, for the entire justice system — from the perspective of defendants, attorneys, and court staff. Can Plea Agreements be made clearer for defendants to understand? Can we help facilitate
A design to integrate law students into other sectors of a university, including with undergraduate programs and other graduate schools. See other ideas:
An idea to link law students into a network of clerks that small law firms can make offers to and find good matches, to provide students with more practical experience and law firms with more support. See other ideas:
A concept to change how law students are placed in positions for work experience, through reflection, monitoring, and management tools.
An idea to link students with practicing lawyers and develop a career plan throughout the three years of law school. See other ideas:
An idea for planning better mentorships and structured career advice, by helping the student to plan out possible paths, connecting them to mentors, and rewarding them as they meet marks and goals. See other ideas:
A plan to connect law students with relevant employment opportunities in a seamless single experience. See other ideas:
An idea to crowdsource questions of non-legal people, in order to source a larger legal repository & online course set. See other ideas:
An idea to source legal knowledge to legal tech startups, and give law students experience in providing advice for innovation. See other ideas:
A concept to transform how ABA required work hours are determined, through use of quizzes and practical experience. See other ideas:
A design that would organize your priorities and answer your questions in an efficient manner, to address law students’ overcommitment and the lack of transparency around options. See other ideas:
A concept for promoting well-being among lawyers through a seminar to train in emotional intelligence. See other ideas:
An idea to have a law school be a hub that matches recent law grads with people with legal problems, who don’t know where to turn for a lawyer. The point is to help lawyers find clients and people find legal help — while using (and increasing) the law school’s brand. See other ideas:
A concept to allow students to set their own law curriculum to fit their own career path. See other ideas:
A concept for transitioning spouses and loved-ones of law students into the law school experience, to help them understand their law student’s experience in 1L. See other ideas:
An idea for supporting law students with families during prep and taking of the Bar, with childcare provided seamlessly into the Bar experience. See other ideas:
An idea about linking legal studies with practice in the real world, to improve training and relevancy of law school. See other ideas:
An idea for a marketplace for 2Ls on the market for a summer associateship, that would provide the students with transparent information about firm opportunities and comparisons, while also letting them bid for available positions. See other ideas:
A concept aimed at law students in Eastern Europe, to train them in ethics and responsibility, to better serve the democratization of their countries. See other ideas:
An idea for a tech assistant that would organize and prioritize a law student’s commitments. See other ideas:
An idea for law students to better plan their future profession by mixing a smart system that can forecast possible career plans balanced with quality of life, while connecting the students’ priorities into this forecast, and connecting the student to people and resources. See other ideas:
An idea to link practicing lawyers with recent graduates through quick outsourcing jobs. The recent graduate can get a portfolio of experiences, as well as figure out what law they want to practice.
An idea to allow law students to travel any distance instantly. See other ideas:
An idea to provide law students with customized content based on their interests in the law, mixed with their outside interests. See other ideas:
An idea to foster interdisciplinary innovations by linking law students with other type of university students in a co-op. See other ideas: