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.

Msu Legal Design One Sheets

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

Concept Ideas for Redesigning the Law School Experience

Eviction Legal Help workshop

Last Wednesday, Stanford 2nd year law student, and PhD candidate, Daniel Bernal led a design workshop on his project to create better legal help interventions for Pima County, Arizona residents facing eviction. We had 25 participants from around the law school, design school, and professional lawyers and legal clinics who work on housing law. Daniel


Legal Tech Laboratory workshop at the Kauffman Foundation

Earlier last month in Kansas City, I facilitated a one-day workshop with various entrepreneurs, professors, clinicians, and Kauffman foundation staff to plan out how law school projects could better serve local communities and businesses. We used the design process to scope out specific community members who might be involved in the creation of these law


Presentation on Court Disruption, AI, and Big Data at NACM

This past week, Margaret Hagan of the Legal Design Lab made two presentations at the National Association for Court Management annual conference. One presentation was on AI, Big Data, and the Courts, with a focus on what user-centered innovations courts should be investing in, in the near-term, using natural language processing, machine learning, and other


Workshop on Designing User-Friendly Courts at the SRLN conference

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.


Code For America Summit: legal design & civic tech

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


Plea Agreement Project class

This April at the, 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


JD Amplify: connecting law students to rest of university

A design to integrate law students into other sectors of a university, including with undergraduate programs and other graduate schools.   See other ideas:


ClerkShare: on demand law clerks

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:


LaWorks: substantive legal work placements

A concept to change how law students are placed in positions for work experience, through reflection, monitoring, and management tools.


MI Advisor: career planning and mentorship

An idea to link students with practicing lawyers and develop a career plan throughout the three years of law school.   See other ideas:


L*Everest: structuring law students’ paths

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:


BeMe: all-in-one employment connections

A plan to connect law students with relevant employment opportunities in a seamless single experience.   See other ideas:


Law-griculture: crowdsourced law for citizens

An idea to crowdsource questions of non-legal people, in order to source a larger legal repository & online course set.   See other ideas:


Legal Services Innovation & Consulting Firm: low cost advice to law tech startups

An idea to source legal knowledge to legal tech startups, and give law students experience in providing advice for innovation.   See other ideas:


Firm 1st: quiz-based ABA work hours

A concept to transform how ABA required work hours are determined, through use of quizzes and practical experience.   See other ideas:


Just Say: organize your life efficiently

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:


Happy Lawyer: seminar for legal emotional intelligence

A concept for promoting well-being among lawyers through a seminar to train in emotional intelligence.   See other ideas:


Client Connect: jumpstarting solo law careers

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:


@developing law: student-controlled curriculum

A concept to allow students to set their own law curriculum to fit their own career path.   See other ideas:


‘I Do’ Legal: transition for married law students

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:


Bar Review Childcare: facilitating family values

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:


Engage Equip Empower: legal ed with real life application

An idea about linking legal studies with practice in the real world, to improve training and relevancy of law school.   See other ideas:


Bide: Competitive Legal Recruitment

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:


Eastern European Ethics: to modernize & democratize

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:


Prioritize My Life: order your commitments

An idea for a tech assistant that would organize and prioritize a law student’s commitments.   See other ideas:


Ready-Red-Eye: career plan forecast & connection

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:


Stand’N: connecting lawyers with new graduates

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.


TeleportU: take distance out of traveling

An idea to allow law students to travel any distance instantly.   See other ideas:


To You: legal content delivery

An idea to provide law students with customized content based on their interests in the law, mixed with their outside interests.   See other ideas:


Trivent: Interdisciplinary Co-op

An idea to foster interdisciplinary innovations by linking law students with other type of university students in a co-op.   See other ideas:

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