Breaking it down: How legal design uses various design disciplines

For those beginning their legal design journey it’s important to understand that there are several disciplines of design that legal design draws upon — not just design thinking and service design.

Photo by Jess Waters from Unsplash

What do you get when you put Legal and Design together? The answer, a buzz word called Legal Design that is both confusing and exciting the hell out of the legal sector.

When sitting on their own, the words ‘legal’ and the words ‘design’ appear to be somewhat self-explanatory. But join the two together and the concept becomes a little more difficult to grasp.

While there’s still no set definition for legal design, it is mutually agreed amongst thought-leaders that it is a multidisciplinary, human-centred approach to solving legal challenges and legal innovation, which draws upon different design disciplines and mindsets. The ‘design disciplines’ part of this description is where we have noticed confusion arising.

By combining legal expertise with various design disciplines and the designer’s mindset you can change the way you and your team work as well as create better legal products, services and processes.

There’s been an overwhelming temptation by those new to legal design to try and box it as merely ‘visualising law’ or simply ‘service-design’ in the legal sector. This only scratches the surface of what legal design truly encompasses.

We want to ensure that you have a holistic understanding of legal design, which is why Meera Sivanathan and Emma Hertzberg created this fun and useful infographic. It clearly sets out how legal design leverages legal expertise and several design disciplines to create better legal products, services and processes.

How Legal Design uses design disciplines by Meera Sivanathan and Emma Hertzberg.
A practical example: Legal Design for a legal document by Emma Hertzberg and Meera Sivanathan.

For those beginning their legal design journey it’s important to understand that there are several disciplines of design that legal design draws upon — not just design thinking and service design. This set of infographics aims to enhance this understanding.

If you’d like a printable copy, get in touch! We’d love for you print it off, stick it up as a reference and start using legal design to solve legal challenges today.