Embracing the Modular Approach to Legal Design: A Path to Success!

contract design legal design Jun 26, 2024

By Tessa Manuello, Founder & CEO of Legal Creatives | The Legal Designers

In the legal design and innovation space, the need for efficiency, transparency, and customization has never been greater. These elements are crucial for delivering high-quality, client-centered legal services and products. However, in this rapidly evolving industry powered by technologies, delivering outcomes in a transparent and highly customizable way is not an easy endeavor. 

In this article, I will explain why the Legal Design and Visualization modular approach is invaluable. I will be presenting some foundational elements you can use to deliver impactful value-based client-centric legal design outcomes, today. And I will take examples to demystify the approach and make it more tangible for you. 

Why A Legal Design Modular Approach?

When it comes to the legal design process, clients are often unsure of how it works, what benefits it offers, and the associated costs. This tends to slow down adoption of client-centricity in the legal service delivery when in fact, it should actually be the first blocks to use in any legal innovation strategy.

Client centricity in legal practice involves prioritizing and aligning services with the needs, preferences, and expectations of clients. This approach enhances client satisfaction, fosters trust and loyalty, improves service delivery efficiency. It ultimately contributes to better outcomes and relationships between clients and legal professionals.

The easiest, quickest and cheapest way to enhance client-centricity is to apply it to legal documents - whether it's client advice, issuing a report, drafting policy or sharing general legal information. Clients are no longer needing legalistic documents to reduce legal risks and increase legal protection but want usable legal advice and information that can effectively help them effectively support the business.

The legal design methodology offers a structured client-centric process to achieve that. It helps enhance clarity, accessibility, and user-friendliness, while making legal information more understandable and easier to use for clients and other stakeholders. This is why redesigning legal documents is becoming increasingly popular, especially in-house. 

But one question remains: How we make legal design efficient, transparent and customizable? In other words how to we apply legal design to legal design. Yes I know it's a bit meta. But we need to ensure that legal design processes are also truly client centric and not just expert-driven. And this is how I designed a modular approach to the legal design process. 

This is one of the most powerful strategies that solve this problem and address market demands. This ground-breaking approach, which I champion and teach in our Visual Lawyer Bootcamp, offers a structured yet flexible framework for redesigning legal documents. It took me years to come up with this concept and only got to systematize it when launching The Legal Designers this year. it will almost look too simple. But simple is good. After all, isn't it what legal design is about? Turning complexity into clarity with a focus on usability! βœ” 

One thing is sure, this approach presents undeniable advantages for both clients and legal designers. Let me explain everything in this piece:

Advantage no1: Increased Transparency and Predictability for Legal Design Clients

Transparency and predictability are cornerstones of this modular approach. By breaking down the legal design process into distinct, manageable phases, both you and your clients gain a clear understanding of the steps involved and the expected outcomes for each project. This clarity eliminates uncertainties and fosters trust, as clients can see the pathway to their desired results from the outset.

To establish a clearly accessible and understandable legal design process focused on enhancing document clarity and usability, I recommend following a structured and modular approach as follows:

  1. Document Layout Strategy

  2. Language Optimization

  3. Creation of Visuals

  4. Document Navigation

  5. Process Mapping for Workflows 

By sequentially addressing these phases, from layout document strategy to process mapping, you can easily and systematically enhance transparency of the legal design process while driving efficiencies in legal document design and workflow management.

In our Visual Lawyer Bootcamp, it's the same process I use when it comes to teaching legal design and visualization. I emphasize this transparency by providing core training modules based on this workflow, starting with the document layout strategy and finishing with process mapping strategy. These modules outline the essential components of the legal design process applied to documents, ensuring that participants know exactly what to expect and what to do at each stage. This structured learning path not only demystifies the process but also builds confidence in applying these techniques in real-world scenarios.

Advantage no2: Enhanced Efficiency and Accountability for Legal Designers & Agencies

The modular approach is designed to enhance efficiency and accountability in legal design work. By dividing the process into smaller, focused tasks, it becomes easier to track progress, manage time, and ensure that every aspect of the project receives the attention it deserves. This structured approach helps in delivering high-quality results more quickly, providing excellent value to clients without compromising on quality.

This is why anyone getting started in the legal design space should have clear workflows. Visualizing these processes and workflows can yield tangible benefits: 

  • Streamlined Operations: Identify inefficiencies and bottlenecks in workflows, allowing for smoother and more efficient operations.
  • Consistency and Quality: Create Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) ti make it easier to train new employees or onboard external service providers, providing them with step-by-step guides to speed up the induction process.
  • Scalability: Well-documented processes make it easier to scale operations without losing quality or efficiency. 

To boost efficiency and accountability, you can use process mapping together with service design as follows:

  1. Mapping The User Journey: Visualizing and understanding the client's experience to improve service delivery and satisfaction.
  2. Blueprinting Your Service Map: Creating a clear, step-by-step outline of your services to optimize efficiency and client communication.
  3. Picking the Right Metrics and KPIs: Using measurable indicators to track success and ensure continuous improvement.
  4. Setting SMART Goals: Establishing specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound objectives to guide progress.
  5. Pitching Using Storytelling: Communicating proposals and solutions effectively through narratives that resonate with stakeholders.

Doing so, it is also important to gather feedback from clients and other stakeholders. Feedback is an important component of the methodology and learning how to give and receive feedback is an art and a science. Inside our Visual Lawyer Bootcamp, I not only teach the skills and techniques for process mapping, but also provide personalized feedback, ensuring that each participant can improve continuously and hone their legal design skills. We need reinforce the importance of learning how to give and receive feedback through practical exercises are crucial in demonstrating how the modular approach with feedback loops leads to better outcomes. 

Advantage no3: Customized Legal Design Solutions that are Win-Win For Everyone Involved

No two legal documents are alike, and each may vary in complexity, length, and specific requirements. The modular approach allows for a high degree of customization, enabling legal design professionals to tailor their design and visualization strategies to the unique needs of each client and document while empowering the client to pick and choose the outcomes they want. It's win-win. This flexibility ensures that the solutions provided are not just generic but specifically crafted to deliver the greatest value.

This tailored approach not only enhances the quality of the legal documents produced but also maximizes client satisfaction by addressing their specific concerns and objectives. The modular approach to legal design offers a clear, efficient, and customizable pathway to producing high-quality legal documents. By embracing this method, anyone can ensure transparency, enhance efficiency, and provide tailored solutions that meet the unique needs of their clients.

This is exactly what I have been teaching when it comes to using legal design and visualization. I follow a hands-on approach which condenses years of research and experiments into easy-to-use methods and techniques. It includes core modules with pre-recorded videos lessons, hands-on sessions to practice, and personalized feedback on all pieces produced within the course. With, you are guaranteed to succeed. 

I hope you join me on this journey and learn a structured and repeatable way to redesign your legal design documents with the power of modularity! And thanks for reading this piece until the end. πŸ™Œ


Subscribe to the Legal Creatives Newsletter πŸ“¬ to stay informed when the next articles and podcast interviews are released. Be sure to check our Bootcamp curriculum and to join the next cohort! βœ…