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Design Thinking User-Research at the Liquid Legal Experience 2020

By Karla Schlaepfer

How can lawyers use Design Thinking? Our session at the Liquid Legal Experience provided hands-on answers!

In partnership with the Anwaltszukunftskongress (AZK), the 30 international Liquid Legal Experience attendees (from Australia to California) had the opportunity to collaborate and win a new book on innovative legal services. The event was kicked off with a keynote by Alexander Britz, Head of Legal and AI at Microsoft. During the interactive sessions, a handful of experts offered short, attractive sessions that invited participation to get involved. The topics of the sessions (see below) were varied but the common denominator shone through: the relevance for the entire legal profession, the changing market, now, and in the future.

Here the list of the 5 interactive working sessions:

  • Methodologies | How to conduct a good User Research
  • Digitalization
  • Diversity
  • Lawyer well-being
  • Common Legal Platform

In the first interactive session, my co-team member and I introduced our current LLI Remote Legal Teams project. We are conducting user research and are currently testing the 5. hypotheses presented in our new essay:

Remote Legal Teams—Getting Started and Making It Work!

What legal organisations and leaders need to know

In our presentation. we briefly touched on what design thinking user-research is, how it is used, and why it is important. Here a snippet from our presentation:

What is User Research? User Research is used in the 2. phase of the design thinking method. It is a kind of creative collaboration with clients. We use special interview technics, to gather information that we call data. By observing and interacting with people in this way, we learn about their problems, identify needs, and motivations. Then we synthesize this information into what we call “insights”. We ask wide-open questions that encourage emotion, story-telling, and self-reflection.

These insights help us get at the core of what makes people tick. And this perspective enables human-centered services based on what people value, what people really need, not what we assume they will like and buy.

And there’s more.

This is our short and sweet powerpoint presentation powerpoint or PDF format. There are 9 slides that walk you through the virtual session and our demonstration with the audience.

To end this post, here a summary of the entire 2.5-hour Experience event by Baltasar Cevc which was posted in LinkedIn.

“I love the breadth of topics and the density of inspiring minds in this event”

Alexander Britz (Microsoft) has shown how our settings are changing and how tech needs to interact with society (esp. policy setting).

Walter has indeed shown great technology perspectives, but not without talking about the needs of users the tech solves.

Karla and I are happy that Tatiana and Kai are open-minded as they are and spontaneously did a short user research interview.

Eva showed how processes for corporate Legal departments (and other legal functions) fit into an overall landscape.

Anna and Kai convincingly show how a diverse setting leads to better results (and a nicer working environment).

Dierk shows how we need to take care of our health and Quddus jumps in with the Australian perspective.

Looking forward to Bernhard and Jens introducing us to the principles of the Common Legal Platform being built by Liquid Legal Institute e.V.

And, last but not least, Astrid, thanks for leading us through so smoothly and proficiently while always keeping an eye on the time.”

An inspiring event! The members of Liquid Legal Institute demonstrated how members can actively combine the unique strengths of different disciplines to find holistic and sustainable solutions to problems and make these accessible to a larger audience.

For more see, visit the home page and join us!

Karla Schlaepfer, October 2020