/ Better legal design

Check out our webinar: Legal design for in-house

Regular readers of our blog know how obsessed we are with legal design. It’s behind so much of what happens at Juro: the necessity to put users at the heart of legal processes, and start with their needs – not those of the lawyers. It drives what we do, and how and why we do it. So we hosted a webinar to explore why our obsession matters to you, as in-house lawyers, and the very real regulatory imperatives that mean you should pay attention to it.

Marie Potel-Saville was formerly the GC at Estée Lauder Companies, before becoming the founder and CEO at Dot in Paris. In the webinar, she and I tried to put some real-world meat into the legal design sandwich and take it from an abstract concept to something that you can do at your company. For instance, do you fancy automating your terms and conditions across 28 brands in 30 countries? How about a 1300% increase in users actually reading your privacy policy? When we talk about legal design, we’re talking about techniques that can make these goals achievable for time-crunched, resource-squeezed in-house lawyers across all industries.

First we covered what legal design actually is, according to the various pioneers who set it in motion. Then we looked at some of the common barriers to implementing legal design thinking. We’re a tech-driven startup, so it’s easy for us to talk about failing fast and breaking things; but that’s not really how lawyers tend to see the world. Failing at all is usually unacceptable given the risks that lawyers are here to minimise. But embracing failure at the very early stages, through prototyping, iterating and testing, can lead to big wins when it comes to the final client experience (and that includes your internal clients working in-house). If companies like Google and Estée Lauder can make the time to embrace design, then surely yours can too.

In this webinar, we tried to look past the barriers and look at some of the most pressing reasons why legal design should be a central part of your plans. These include doing more with less – after all, you are in-house lawyers – which is much easier to do when your processes and documents are designed to be efficient. We looked at what collaboration on design projects can do for legal’s profile within the business, and how it fits with company culture. And we can’t talk about legal design this month without mentioning GDPR: its requirements are explicit in demanding that you consider readability, accessibility, and all the other key elements of the user experience that legal design can improve.

Those requirements were at the front of our mind when we ran a legal design sprint for our own privacy policy, which is now the second most-read document on our site (you’re welcome, regulators!). During the webinar we provided some background on how we pulled together a team to tackle this challenge, how we collaborated and what we learned along the way. Our privacy policy has had a fantastic reception online, and we’re thrilled to share our tips with other organisations looking to be more transparent and user-friendly when it comes to data privacy. More on how we did this here.

GDPR may be the biggest and the timeliest regulatory behemoth we believe legal design can help with, but it certainly won’t be the last. On that point, we also discussed some of the other documents, processes and projects that we think could be improved by collaborative legal design. Finally and perhaps most helpfully, we laid out a toolkit that’ll help you get started – which websites have the best open-source resources? Who are the leading thinkers and where do they share their insights? Where are the how-to guides and LinkedIn groups, and when are the events that offer the most practical advice on legal design for in-house lawyers?

It was our pleasure to host Marie for this webinar and we hope it offered some practical, actionable advice that you can take back to your team. If you missed it and want to access the recording and materials you can find them here.

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