Dottir, a "human-centric tech-law firm" was founded in Finland in 2015. The firm has since established offices in Berlin and San Francisco, and been awarded one of the most prestigeous design competitions in its home country. Dottir is now spinning off its innovation lab Dot., establishing a new legal design and legal tech consultancy with Dottir founder Antti Innanen at the helm.
- Dot. was always the weird child of Dottir, kind of our innovation lab. Setting up a genuinely multidisciplinary legal firm is challenging. We sometimes struggled between the business model, bar restrictions, and creating a culture that would fit both designers and lawyers, says Innanen, who will work full-time on the new venture.
What is the most urgent "UX problem" in law?
- The most urgent thing, in my opinion, is to educate lawyers to focus also on the front-end of a legal end-product. The analogy with legal designers being the front-end developers of law is a powerful one.
- One of the challenges of legal design is creating a company culture where these cross-functional teams can generate value for the client and the whole company. Legal work can be very hierarchic. It is not always bad, as hierarchies create a sense of accountability and responsibility for the company. But hierarchies also mean that the big picture – and the customer – can get lost. For the same reason, hierarchies and silos do not foster innovation.
- Legal design aims to break these barriers and create cross-functional teams across organizations and create a unified vision of these professionals through collaboration.
The Legal Design Summit in Helsinki has been well-attended - is interest in legal design on the rise?
- I think that awareness has increased massively. India, Russia, Brazil, and Australia are just some areas where I see possibilities for this movement to snowball. I am glad to see that shift happening.
What are some of your favourite real-world examples of applied legal design?
- We are responsible for ensuring that legal design focuses on real problems and delivers solutions that will impact society – and not just visually pleasing end-products. Of course, it can be useful to start small. Sometimes these small changes can also spark an internal revolution, and people start believing that we can change things. This kind of example can also be very inspiring.
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