Helsinki Design Weekly: Design overturns legal services

Legal design can change how services in law are provided in the future – and it affects us all.

Among designers, law is not the considered the sexiest working field. The situation may soon change. Law offices are waking up to face legal design i.e. the importance of reformulating their services.

To designers, it comes without saying that they should think about the best possible user experience. That is not part of the legal service tradition, however. Documents are not drawn for their users but for a hypothetical, usually unlikely, legal process.

“Design thinking is completely foreign to lawyers, and I never thought about it for a second before learning about legal design,” says attorney Johanna Rantanen from Dottir Attorneys.

She realized the problem in the middle of an ordinary day at the office. She had just finished a new contract and was going through it with the client. Her client read one part of the text over and over again and finally asked if they had understood it correctly. No, not even close.

“I realized that the usability of my product was lousy. Even if a contract is technically correct, what is it good for if the client does not understand their commitment?”

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