The Rapid Embrace of Legal Design and the Use of Co-Design to Avoid Enshrining Systemic Bias
Design Issues, Vol. 36, No. 3, pp. 16-30 (2020)
Northeastern University School of Law Research Paper No. 382-2020
Posted: 8 Jul 2020
Date Written: June 24, 2020
After decades of delay, the U.S. legal profession is finally embracing digital technology in the delivery of civil justice. Much more rapidly, design methods are being embraced by legal institutions as a means reforming everything from commercial legal product lines to civil court forms. What explains the rapid embrace of legal design when digital legal technology took decades to break through? We think that a deliberately human-centered approach to law helps explain the sudden advantageousness of legal design. But what must be done about the bias and inequity that is embedded within the legal systems we seek to redesign, and within the legal design movement itself? We propose that a radical iterative and collaborative effort that is deliberately structured to address systemic bias has the strongest potential to deliver on the promise of both design and justice.
Keywords: legal technology, design, access to justice
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