Design Thinking and the Law

July 18, 2017

It has been exciting to see design thinking gaining ground in a growing range of industries over the last few years, but even I have been surprised by the enthusiasm with which some in the legal field have embraced the concept.

The law is not exactly known for creative problem solving. But it turns out that the industry is facing the same set of challenges as everyone else as disruptive technology forces regulators and policymakers to think differently. This is a moment of rich opportunity for design thinkers, and we now have evidence that the world at large is taking notice.

IDEO’s Chief Counsel, Rochael Soper Adranly, has just been recognized by the Financial Times as one of the Top 20 global General Counsels of 2017 sitting alongside General Counsels of some of the largest companies in the world.

Rochael boldly applies creative problem solving in corporate legal departments and legal firms and that has set her apart from the pack. Her approach is based on the fundamentals of design thinking, as the Financial Times explains: “Today’s general counsel need to be both business-minded and human-centered. This means . . . having a clear awareness that legal problems are human problems.”

I truly hope that many more in the legal field take up Rochael’s message of human-centered design thinking.

Illustration by Anuja Shukla