My hand-picked top tips on legal design publications, products and tools to help you on your legal design journey.
These are tools I love and work with every day, book authors who inspired me, and publications from legal design professionals that contribute to the development of our profession.
Create Contracts Clients Love
A hands-on approach to user-friendly, pragmatic contracts. Verity’s informal writing style combined with in-depth knowledge of how to draft and design effective contracts make it a joy to read. Make sure to get the book and the workbook.
You can get it here.
Marcelo Corrales Compagnucci, Helena Haapio, Margaret Hagan, and Michael Doherty Integrating business, design and legal thinking with technology.
The authors of this book were among the founders of the concept of legal design. Their experience, continuous research, and publications make this a must-have.
Find it here.
Yes, her work deserves its own category!
Law by Design – Margaret Hagan – One of the initiators of legal design at Stanford University. Margaret’s work is considered one of the founders of the legal design practice.
Design patterns for privacy – Helena Haapio, Margaret Hagan, Monica Palmirani, Arianna Rossi
Publications by the Simplification Centre – features publications on contract design patterns, terms and conditions and design of legislation.
Legal Design Patterns – Towards a new language for legal information design – Arianna Rossi, Rossana Ducato, Helena Haapio, Stefania Passera, Monica Palmirani – The Contract Design Pattern Library (see here) has inspired many legal design professionals and new enthusiasts. The authors take stock of existing legal design patterns and pattern libraries and present the idea of a legal design pattern language intended to lead to documenting and sharing good practices across disciplines and to more actionable pattern libraries.
Legal Design for practice, activism, policy, and research – Amanda Perry-Kessaris
The Behavioral Insights Team – Improving consumer understanding of contractual terms and privacy policies: evidence-based actions for businesses.
A new role for the court – Activating, informing and guiding defendants for an accessible and understandable subdistrict judge, Rens de Graaf, master thesis – A fascinating perspective on the defendant’s experience of going to court.
Stefania Passera’s publications on contract design – Stefania’s works are leading in contract design. She explains design patterns, contract design research and real-life examples.
Research Handbook on Contract Design – Marcelo Corrales Compagnucci
Visual Contracts Whitepaper – Visual Employment Contracts – Deep dive in employment contract design
Legal Design: Visual Law, Design Thinking, Metodologias Ágeis, Experiências Práticas, among others (Portuguese) – by Alexandre Zavaglia Coelho, Aline Rodrigues e Steinwascher, André Medeiros (Authors), and 35 more
Legal Design – Teoria e Prática (Portuguese) – by
Legal Design La clave para disrumpir en el sector legal, empresarial y el sector publico (Spanish) – Karin Tafur and Mauro Martins
Legal Design (Italian) –
Design in Legal Education – Emily Allbon, Amanda Perry-Kessaris
Legal Design Perspectives – Theoretical and Practical Insights from the Field- Rossana Ducato, Alain Strowel – The authors’ work contributes to the development of academic standards of legal design. The volume brings together critical essays on the nature and methods of legal design and illustrations from the practice.
IP Reports – Shaping Choices in the Digital World – From dark patterns to data protection: the influence of UX/UI design on user empowerment.
The Legal Design Database – A gem! The collection of legal design agencies, individuals and training options on a well-designed website.
Legal Design Podcast
Henna Tolvanen and Nina Toivonen
Henna and Nina discuss how to make law better for (real) humans. With episodes published every two weeks, featuring leading legal designers and experts in neighbouring areas like behavioural design, this is my favourite way to stay up-to-date and dive deeper.
You can find all episodes here.
And find the one where I’m featured here.
Legal Creatives Podcast
A show that empowers legal professionals to break free from the traditional mould, think outside the box and build better brands that serve more customers, better.
Led by trailblazer Tessa Manuello, each episode is crafted to equip you with practical insights that will ignite your creativity in delivering legal services. With actionable insights and strategies to unleash your inner creativity, this podcast is your go-to source for all things legal innovation.
In English and Portuguese – find the podcast here.
Sh!t they don’t teach you at law school
Sarah-Elke Kraal, sarahelke.com
The most hotly anticipated new legal podcast is launching soon 🚀
The eye-popping, subversive, and honest podcast that helps you deal with all the SH!T they don’t teach you at law school (Turns out it’s pretty much everything.)
Hosted by Australian lawyer, cartoonist, and podcaster, Sarah-Elke Kraal.
Find it here.
Creative Confidence – Tom Kelley and David Kelley
Shows the power of creative thinking, its business value and how to foster creative skills. I believe we all have creativity, but some train these muscles more than others. This book will encourage you to tone those muscles.
Change By Design – Tim Brown
The definitive book on design thinking. It helps understand how design differs from design thinking. It’s filled with examples of how a design approach helps solve societal and business challenges.
Matthew Syed – Rebel Ideas
Working collaboratively is essential to legal design, and this books highlights all advantages of working in cognitive diverse teams. Case studies illustrate the benefits of cognitive diversity, drawing from psychology, economics and anthropology research. Should be mandatory reading for all lawyers. I read this from start to finish in just days.
Good services – Lou Downe – My favourite, insightful book on service design, broken down into clear steps for any service improvement.
User Friendly – Cliff Kuang with Robert Fabricant – What is user-friendly design? Dive into their stories to discover why user-friendly products and services are needed.
Blah blah blah, What to do when words don’t work – Dan Roam – If you want to learn how to create visual notes and why the helicopter view that visualisations give helps improve communication, this fun, illustrated, no-nonsense book is your best bet.
Laws of UX – Jon Yablonski – Discover some of the most common heuristic laws. These psychological, research-backed laws make clear why certain things do and don’t work in terms of UX. It’s also a helpful guide to use to explain design decisions.
Design is storytelling – Ellen Lupton – Storytelling is one of the most powerful tools to convey complex information. This book explains how to apply storytelling in design and why.
Graphic design, the new basics – Ellen Lupton & Jennifer Cole Phillips – A must-have if you want to learn graphic design basics. It was one of my ‘bibles’ when I first started doing visual design.
Thinking with type – Ellen Lupton – Everything typography you can dream of. For the type-loving. As graphic design is 80% typography, learning about typography is a must.
Visual Doing – Willemien Brand – Learn to think (and express yourself) in visual structures, pictograms, and icons. For the doodler who wants to use their visual skills to achieve more efficient meetings and better note-taking.
Favourite platform for learning legal design
Legal Creatives – Learning platform for creativity and legal design. Immersive programs to empower legal professionals to think creatively about the law and build their business. Learn from leading legal design experts and join the community of legal innovators.
My #1 recommended platform to get started with legal design; I love their approach and applaud how Legal Creatives trains new legal design professionals.
Join the Legal Creatives Academy to start your legal design learning journey! Get access to all videos, course materials and community events. Network and learn legal design skills to upscale your role as a legal professional. Visit the Academy to learn more!
Toolbox for design-curious legal rebels
Legal Design Sandbox – the start of your legal design project workflow.
We’re a group of legal designers and legal design aficionados passionate about helping others create effective and enjoyable legal design workflows.
Learn from experts in UI and UX
Interaction Design Foundation – Learn from experts in UI and UX.
Gain industry-recognized certificates with Interaction Design Foundation courses. These courses suit whatever your proficiency in UX. They feature courses on UX/UI design, design thinking, emotional design, usability testing and many more. Plus, they have regular masterclasses by industry experts. My favourite course so far was UX Research Methods and Best Practices.
Use this link to get 2 months off your yearly membership!
Favourite creative skills learning platfom
Skillshare – Online learning community where you can explore thousands of classes in design, photography, business, and more. Learn illustration techniques, share your work with the community and develop creative skills. My favourite creative online learning platform.
Visit Skillshare and be amazed about the creativity and versatile skills you can learn, all from the comfort of your own home.
I’ve learned about drawing techniques and creative business ownership, but love to indulge in plant care or candy making too..
Use this coupon code to get 1 month free and 40% off: coupon=aff30d40dtp23
Study guides by world-leading UX experts
Nielsen Norman Group – Loads of free resources by the famous UX experts Nielsen Norman Group: free study guides on everything UX you can imagine. Really thorough and in-depth for the intermediate or advanced UXer. Take your pick:
Context Methods: https://lnkd.in/eT4YvZ-S Design Pattern Guidelines: https://lnkd.in/eQGTG474 Design Thinking: https://lnkd.in/evq_c6t6 DesignOps: https://lnkd.in/e3ZQ7-jp Facilitation: https://lnkd.in/eFnZxEZb Information Architecture: https://lnkd.in/eS2N5hf3 Intranet & Enterprise Design: https://lnkd.in/eK6F5ANS Lean & Agile: https://lnkd.in/eA6ASgCn Mobile UX: https://lnkd.in/eZbS6cvV Omnichannel & Customer Experience: https://lnkd.in/eWGeWRqV Personas: https://lnkd.in/efJK8X-z Psychology for UX: https://lnkd.in/ehnHs6Cf ResearchOps: https://lnkd.in/eyvZg3AH Remote Usability Testing: https://lnkd.in/egAfTv8X Service Design: https://lnkd.in/eF5sj8x6 UX Basics: https://lnkd.in/ejQQ4cn4 UX Careers: https://lnkd.in/e2sn3GRq UX Mapping Methods: https://lnkd.in/eJujn3Nt UX Stakeholders: https://lnkd.in/eEf9Hmv6 UX Writing: https://lnkd.in/eM_gxwR7 Qualitative Usability Testing: https://lnkd.in/e_JpBA-i Quantitative Research: https://lnkd.in/eGb6nWWW Visual Design in UX: https://lnkd.in/e4pcJ8YJ
Legal Creatives community – Participate in creative challenges, get feedback on your legal design projects and more in this learning community
Creative Mornings – the world’s largest face-to-face creative community. Not related to law but I’ve included it because it’s a wonderful creative community. A great place to meet other creatives and be inspired.
Figma – Figma is a collaborative web application for interface design, with additional offline features enabled by desktop applications for macOS and Windows. The feature set of Figma focuses on user interface and user experience design, with an emphasis on real-time collaboration, utilising a variety of vector graphics editor and prototyping tools.
Adobe – Where would I be without Adobe? My day-to-day design work is all done in Adobe Illustrator and InDesign. These are vector software products, perfect for any kind of detailed design (Illustrator) or publishing design (InDesign). They’re the industry standard for non-interactive design. With a full subscription, you get 50 different multimedia and creativity software products, from Photoshop to XD and tools for video, social media content creation, you name it.
Canva – the visual design tool for non-designers, perfect for creating content. I use it for scheduling my social media posts and making easy animations. You can make anything with Canva: from presentations to resumes, business cards, infographic elements and workbooks. Get the Pro version and set up your brand materials (logo, colours, images) so you’re never off-brand.
Miro – online visual collaboration and whiteboarding tool. A total gamechanger – use it for workshops, client meetings and live designing. Mural and Miro are alike, I prefer Miro’s mindmapping tool though.
Mural – online visual collaboration and whiteboarding tool, like Miro. The templates and canvases are endless and provide a best starting point for an interactive online meeting. Get the Pro version to enjoy all functionalities.
Creative Market – ready-to-use design products like templates, illustrations, fonts and print designs. Some require design software (like Photoshop), some are usable for everyone. Best for those who have a bit of design experience.
Loom – my favourite video messaging tool for work: Loom helps me make videos that show me and my screen at the same time, so I can explain the design, give instructions or ask questions. Game changer.
The Noun Project – my go-to place for icons. They literally have millions. A great place to start collecting icons to use in your content. Download in image file to use as-is, or download editable as svg file.
Wacom Tablet – a pen tablet in my view is essential for any visual work, but can easily replace your mouse altogether. Wacom is top notch. Start with a basic model, no need to buy pro devices. I use the Wacom Intuos.
PowerPoint templates for making timelines, process lines, project planning or charts.
Help your clients understand better what they can expect in litigation.
Improve your legal communication with easy-to-use icons.