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Is it true that lawyers in particular have a hard time accepting change?Report @ Flick Gocke und Schaumburg Legal Tech meet-up

By Karla Schlaepfer
Design Thinking, Design Sprint, Event, Legal Tech, Agile Methoden, Collaboration, Inspiration

Maybe one of my last live events for a while! FGS Legal Tech meet-up in Bonn. Interactive lecture: entitled: Change in the Legal Industry with Design Thinking.

A short report:

Is it true that lawyers in particular have a hard time embracing change? According to Dr. Larry Richard (LawyerBrain), lawyers are risk averse and even not very sociable. The speaker author and facilitator Karla Schlaepfer asked the 60+ lawyers at the FGS Legal Tech Meet-Up in Bonn, is this true?

With a show of hands, however, they clearly demonstrated their “sociability”. The majority of those in the audience had celebrated Karvenal in Rhineland! So, at least that particular hypothesis does not hold water but what about the claim of “risk aversion” and adaptability in our VUCA world?

Keynote speaker Karla Schlaepfer

There is a motto; Nothing ventured, nothing gained

Put to the test, Ms. Schlaepfer asked the lawyers to participate in a little game, a kind of risk-taking experiment attributed to Prof. Bob McKim (Stanford University). The reaction to this exercise was revealing in many ways.

Though there was a lot of laughter and everyone had fun, the interesting thing was, is how people acted and felt afterwards. Lots of participants said “sorry” or giggled, or were embarrassed to show their neighbors their drawing ideas. But what was the point?

We as adults are so conditioned to having results that are standardized, homogeneous, that are perfectly normal, so much so that we are blocked and embarrassed to venture into new territory. Fear is often an obstacle to creativity and to trying new things. It is just this “blocking” feeling that we need to address when trying out new patterns of thinking, different behaviors and innovative methods. These mental blocks or resistance come up often in Design Thinking workshops or projects where we use specific tools to generate, make real and test new solutions. Many people are embarrassed to have a fun idea, something “off the wall”, something a little bizarre.

And this is because as we grow up, we have more and more inhibitions and everybody – not only lawyers – are less willing to take risks.

There are clear advantages for those who dare to learn to risk, who are flexible, who can quickly adapt to new situations and even expand their scope - like an entrepreneur. It is agility in behavior and approach.

Design Thinking integrates agile skills in a structured 6-phase method. Design Thinking is a framework for trying out new things and developing integrative ideas. We actively seek new solutions working together with stakeholders, understanding their needs and applying customer research to solve the real problems for them and us. It is a client-centered process to delivering new value. Plus a Design Sprint delivers actionable results with a team in just 5 days.

According to Dr. Alexander Goertz initiator of the Legal Tech Talks @ FGS and host of this day, his purpose for the Legal Tech meet-up is to inform, increase awareness of which technologies and methods can be used for new digital legal products. He’s also curious about prospects for using Legal Design Thinking for re-designing and visualizing contracts. He sees this Legal Tech forum as a safe-space to reduce fears, to make change processes more transparent and inspire. Bravo!

Here a fitting quote:

“It is not the strongest species that survives, nor the most intelligent, it is the one that is most adaptable to change.”

— Charles Darwin

Thank you, Dr. Alexander Goertz, for the interaction with your open and curious colleagues! Maybe one of my last live events for a while and it was a good one.

Karla Schlaepfer and Alexander Goertz „Wandel in der Rechtswelt mit Design Thinking“

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Karla Schlaepfer

Design Sprint is a superpower. Fast-forwarding you to the future to see finished products and customer reaction before making any expensive commitments.