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Legal design for in-house legal departments

By Naomi García, Lucía Chávez and Karol Valencia.

Legal Design is a discipline that brings together the world of design and the world of law through the application of design principles to the creation of legal solutions. In recent years, we have seen what can be achieved by applying Legal Design to different legal documents such as contracts, making them more accessible, easier to understand and visually more attractive, but its application is not only limited to these, but goes beyond, allowing it to be used as a tool in the improvement of legal services themselves, allowing them to connect with the public even with those who have no legal knowledge.

It is on this basis that it can be stated that Legal Design is not only reduced to the visual part, but also has a scope in the improvement of the processes and systems of justice.

Now, as far as an in-house department is concerned, Legal Design can bring numerous advantages that significantly improve, on the one hand, the work of lawyers and, on the other hand, their relationship with different departments of the company.

Uses of legal design in in-house:

1. Contract design: Legal documents are by nature complex and difficult to understand for people outside the legal world. Legal Design seeks to improve the understanding of contracts and other legal agreements by simplifying the language and creating harmony in the structure of the text.

2. Process design: In a company, lawyers are in constant contact with the different departments of the company, where they have to deal with professionals who have no legal knowledge, who are often overwhelmed by the amount of legal information they have to review.

3. Innovation: Legal Design is a relatively new and little used discipline in the legal world, so its implementation is truly an innovative tool in an in-house department that will allow improving efficiency, quality of work and the relationship with users. Through Legal Tech, technological tools are created, which generates more dynamic interaction between lawyers and third parties, thus improving the experience in the legal world.

In this sense, it can be noted that Legal Design allows in-house lawyers to develop their ability to think creatively and helps them to communicate legal information to other employees of the company in a clear and effective way, saving time with the use of templates and previously created designs that improve the experience of employees when they are in contact with legal documents, thus providing effective legal services to their companies.

However, the use of Legal Design in in-house legal departments is not only based on the creation of legal documents, nor on improving the user experience, but it is also present in the simplification of legal processes, as it is a tool that helps to simplify highly complex legal processes, using graphics that clarify their different stages, thus improving efficiency in the legal department and its communications with other areas.

The fact that lawyers implement Legal Design in their day-to-day tasks will allow them to be more organized, since, through the use of creativity, they will be able to quickly identify the problem and generate an efficient solution that is easily accessible, such as creating new litigation strategies in cases of legal proceedings or improving the completion of new projects that require legal processes in less time.

Legal Design applied to the design of technological products.

In order to understand how Legal Design can be implemented in the design of technological products, we must understand what is meant by these. Technological products are those creations that facilitate the work of different professionals and specialists, either by providing platforms or systems that improve the development of their activities.

Now, the question that arises is how to apply Legal Design to these new tools or technological products? As mentioned above, it is not only a question of making a visual design of the solution to the problem, but it is also a question of applying a design from the inside that has as a consequence the externalisation. In this sense, applying Legal Design is a whole process that we will develop taking as an example, the document organisation systems better known as document management applications, it would be, in principle, to study the flow of information that enters and leaves the platform, the way in which documents are uploaded, evaluate the degree of accessibility that users have and how user-friendly it is. It is from this starting point that problems can be identified and solutions found.


About the Authors The article is written by Naomi García, Lucía Chávez and Karol Valencia, legal designers of the WOW Legal Experience team.

Naomi García (m) is Law student, senior legal designer at WOW Legal Experience.

Lucía Chávez (r) is Law student, junior legal designer at WOW Legal Experience.

Karol Valencia (l) is Product manager & DesignOps at WOW Legal Experience, Lecturer and speaker .

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