The principles of design thinking promote collaboration and co-creation, two key aspects of the legal field. Traditional silos within the profession make it difficult to collaborate across disciplines. But design thinking emphasizes cross-pollination among lawyers, non-lawyers, and clients. This cross-pollination has proven to be valuable in delivering a consistent service. So how can a law firm implement design thinking principles?
One law firm that has successfully embraced design thinking is Seyfarth Shaw. Using design thinking, they have developed a prototype for a high-volume litigation solution that incorporates a collaborative approach, a custom playbook for each client, and technology-based task management. A strong focus on quality assurance has also been a hallmark of their process. In addition to improving their technology, they are reimagining their services and their processes.
Another example of a law firm utilizing design thinking to enhance its internal processes is performance reviews. The firm recently discovered that its performance reviews lacked substance. They partnered with IDEO to redesign the process. The firm created individual note cards containing specific questions for each associate to discuss. This method enabled supervisors and associates to focus their feedback sessions. It also facilitated an interactive experience for both sides. And while lawyers are often perfectionists, the process can lead to better, more innovative solutions.
Empathy is a key aspect of the design thinking process, because it is an important factor for profit. The goal of designing a solution with empathy in mind means aiming to create a product or service that will benefit the user. Empathy is a key ingredient for creating a lucrative marketing strategy. But the process itself is not easy. It requires creativity and a commitment to change. For lawyers, it will take a few years before the results begin to show.
A legal firm can implement design thinking to improve its client service by introducing new ideas and solutions. In the meantime, it should take advantage of the benefits of design thinking in everyday practice. It may be a challenging endeavor, but the results are promising. For legal professionals interested in learning more about design thinking, take a design thinking course. The Design Thinking Course is a fast-paced, 12-week course that introduces the principles of design thinking. The course will arm you with foundational knowledge and tools to start your journey.
Design thinking is an effective method for innovation across all industries. Many businesses have adopted it to improve services. Apple, Nestle, Uber, and Bank of America have all adopted the process. In the legal field, it has been used by some of the world’s most innovative law firms to enhance their value proposition. When applied properly, design thinking can transform a law firm into an innovative business partner. A legal team can even create a better service for their clients.
Prototyping is a critical step in the design thinking process. The prototype allows you to test your ideas and gather feedback from real users. A low-fidelity version is often the first iteration, and then improved over time with feedback. A paper prototype can be quickly and easily built and tested, which allows you to learn quickly and without a lot of investment. A high-fidelity prototype will reveal significant gaps that require further research.