Research Outline

Design in Legal Services


Provide a global list of companies/agencies/academic programs/organizations that are applying design principles in the legal services market. Specifically,
  • To explore key players implementing design thinking/business design/service design in legal operations
  • To explore the trends shaping the commercial legal market as it pertains to design
  • To include case studies and stories of the incorporation of design in legal practice.

Early Findings

Data Availability

The initial round of research found that data on the emerging trend of design thinking in the global commercial legal services market is adequate.

Design Program — Collective Campus/Clifford Chance — United Kingdom

  • Collective Campus is a worldwide company that believes in innovation as the foundation for businesses to thrive in today's world. Clifford Chance is a multi-national law firm, headquartered in London.
  • Clifford Chance partnered with Collective Campus to upskill their lawyers in Design Thinking as a methodology to apply to legal practice.
  • As a part of the workshop, the Clifford Chance team were introduced to the importance of creative problem solving in the legal industry, how organizations have successfully applied Design Thinking to drive innovation and how to pitch design thinking for buy-in by industry leaders.
  • Furthermore, the Clifford Chance has recently published a blog post expounding their belief in a co-design approach to offer their clients a collaborative approach to gaining legal expertise that is centered around the individual's story and background.

Law Firm — Inkling Legal Design — Australia

  • Inkling is an Australian firm specializing in legal design with the goal of making law more accessible and user-oriented, reducing the burden on lawyers in practice.
  • Inkling was founded by Sara Rayment, a practicing lawyer who also graduated from Stanford University’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design in 2019.
  • The firm offers a variety of legal design consultancy services such as innovation workshops for law firms, digital transformation advice and organizational redesign.

Academic Program — Northwestern Pritzker School of Law — USA

  • In the Spring of 2019, the Northwestern Pritzker School of Law offered a course "Legal Design and Innovation", taught by Margaret Darin Hagan and this was taken by seven students that semester.
  • The course focused on teaching students the design process and exploring how it can be used to solve problems in the legal and justice system.
  • The class description boasts of being hands-on, focused on human-centered design, with student teams creating new proposals, designs, and strategic plans.

Case Study — Shell — United Kingdom

  • Shell has incorporated design thinking into a revamp of its contracts under the helm of Fraser Hill, general manager of digital and process transformation.
  • The company has introduced visual contracts to improve understanding of the terms and conditions by all parties and to speed up the negotiation time with easy-to-process documents.
  • The project won a Silver Award from the IIID (International Institute for Information Design) in 2020 in the Corporate Design and Communications category.


  • In the initial hour of research, we found that data on the use of design thinking in the global commercial legal market is adequate.
  • We have provided various examples of the implementation of design thinking in the legal services by looking at
    • a law firm that implemented a design thinking workshop for its lawyers,
    • a new type of consultancy centered around introducing design principles in law firms,
    • a course on legal design offered as part of an accredited law program, and
    • a company that has used the principles of legal design to overhaul a component of its legal services in an award-winning project.
  • We recommend further research that gives more examples of key players in this space as well as key trends that are emerging. Details on our recommended research paths have been provided in our proposals below.