Some history, some terminology, and finally, some practice tips.
Q. In recent years, design thinking has become more popular in legal, partially as a buzzword but also, in some quarters, as an actual practice. Why is this happening?
More so than in years and decades past, business leaders are pushing legal departments and law firms to drastically improve or expand client service. Naturally, this requires turning the spotlight on the client to deeply understand their business problems and experience in working with legal. The confluence of the demand for more human-centered services and solutions, the need for creativity to break through boundaries, and lawyers’ tendency towards discomfort with ambiguity have pushed the profession to seek refuge in design thinking.
Developing ways to do things differently can get messy and feel uncomfortable, especially for a risk-averse population. With the structure of the methodology, design thinking provides lawyers with a handy “checklist to innovate” that can help put them at ease and guide them to an outcome.
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