It was the first day of February 2017 and I was at the clinic workroom expecting the facilitator for a design thinking training for law clinicians. The facilitator was Coach Heal, a peace-making coach and positioning consultant. I and other law clinicians expected a good but typical training experience.

So you can imagine my surprise when instead of a consultant, a tall lanky street boy walked into the clinic workroom with different colours of shoes, one black and the other brown. The black shoes were torn and you could tell that the shoes were probably stolen.

Boyo the Street Kid

The street boy introduced himself as Boyo and he told us his story. He hustled, struggled and lived on the streets. He slept on cartons with his hands as pillows in an uncompleted building with other street kids. He survived on one meal per day and hunger was a close friend of his.

Despite his rugged appearance, we couldn’t ignore the light in his eyes and the colour in his voice as he spoke to potential lawyers he felt could help him and the streets.

He challenged us with powerful questions like:

What did the law provide for people like him?

Were these laws functional?

And if these laws were not functional, what did we as ambassadors of law have in store for him?

Boyo forced all of us to stop in our tracks as we re-examine the purpose of law and lawyers and started asking new questions like:

How can law be more human centred?

How can law embrace a human capacity development purpose?

What possibilities exist for lawyers as human developers?

However, Boyo was not our greatest shock for the day. It turns out that Boyo and our consultant facilitator (Coach Heal) was one and the same person. Mr. Heal came disguised as a street boy to show us the big picture of design thinking in law and what it means to question the status-quo so we can be better.

It was a beautiful experience and we left thinking of a law in a different light and our role in it.