Understanding Legal design thinking

Legal design thinking is the application of design thinking principles to the field of law. Design thinking is a human-centered approach to problem-solving that emphasizes empathy, ideation, and iteration, and it’s traditionally used in fields like product design and development. When applied to the legal field, the focus is on making legal processes, systems, and services more human-centered, accessible, and efficient.


Some of the key aspects of legal design thinking are:


1. Empathy for ALL Users: The first step is to truly understand the needs and challenges of the people who interact with legal systems or services. This can include clients, lawyers, judges, and even the general public.

2. Defining the Problem: Clearly articulating the legal problem or challenge in human terms, considering the perspective of those who experience it.

3. Ideate: Generating a wide range of possible solutions to the problem. This is typically done in a collaborative setting, leveraging the diverse perspectives of all stakeholders.

4. Prototyping: Building quick and tangible models of the proposed solutions. In the legal context, this could be a new contract template, a visual representation of a legal process, or a new software tool for legal research.

5. Testing and Iteration: Once prototypes are developed, they’re tested with actual users. Feedback is then used to refine and improve the solutions. Iteration is key, with the understanding that the first solution is rarely the best one.

6. Implementation: Once a solution has been refined through multiple iterations, it can be implemented on a broader scale.


Areas of Application:


– Legal Documents: Making contracts, terms of service, and other legal documents more understandable and user-friendly, often through visual aids or simplified language.

– Legal Processes: Simplifying and streamlining processes like dispute resolution or the filing of legal documents.

– Legal Services: Designing services that are more user-friendly, efficient, and accessible, like using technology to improve access to legal advice or representation.

– Legal Education: Rethinking how legal concepts are taught to both law students and the general public to make them more engaging and comprehensible.


Legal design thinking seeks to bridge the gap between the traditionally complex and often intimidating world of law and the actual needs and experiences of its users. The aim is to make the law more understandable, accessible, and user-friendly for everyone.


A Carbon Law Group, we apply our background and passion for product design and development to each legal matter. We start by empathizing with our clients’ needs and then ideating on solutions that best meet their needs. We believe in the legal design thinking process to craft better solutions for our clients and their stakeholders. This is a process we recognize is inherently evolving. 


We look forward to bringing clients open to this process along for the ride towards a more inclusive, rewarding, and fulfilling future.