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April 25, 2014

Diving Into Legal Design

by allisonmwong

This summer, I’ll be diving into an exciting new space: the intersection between design and the legal system.  I’m working with the NuLawLab, Northeastern University School of Law’s resident innovation hub, to look at how design can be used to create a legal system that works better for people.  What if we could use human-centered design to build a legal landscape more responsive to community needs, more engaging, and more empowering – where everyone has access to justice?

I know you’re likely wondering – well, what does that look like?  While the design x law space is emerging, there are a bunch of projects that show the potential for new approaches to transform how we interact with the law.  Take in a preview of the NuLawLab’s first project, led by socially engaged art studio REV-, which uses mobile technology to connect with domestic workers:


Margaret Hagan, a fellow at Stanford’s and creator of the new Program for Legal Tech + Design, has illustrated a clear breakdown of how different types of design can interact with the law:


My summer will be spent exploring the possibilities for what legal design could look like in the context of Rhode Island.  While learning from the NuLawLab’s design-oriented approach, I will be working to support the current efforts by the law firm DeLuca and Weizenbaum to create a new center for public interest law in the state, in coordination with Roger Williams University School of Law.  It’s exciting to be joining this work at such a formative time in the development of the new law center.  My work will be based in immersive local research and will involve 1) using design to communicate legal needs, and 2) exploring what kinds of solutions could meet those needs.  More to come!

-Allison Wong

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