Design in Legal Education

A visually rich, experience-led collection
exploring what design can do for legal education.

A visually rich, experience-led collection exploring what design can do for legal education.

In recent decades design has increasingly come to be understood as a resource to improve other fields of public, private and civil society practice. Today legal design – that is, the application of design-based methods to legal practice – is increasingly embedded in lawyering across the world.

This new publication brings together experts from multiple disciplines, professions and jurisdictions to reflect upon how designerly mindsets, processes and strategies can enhance teaching and learning across higher education, public legal information and legal practice. It will be of interest and use to those teaching and learning in any and all of those fields.

A conversation between the editors

Emily Allbon

Emily Allbon

Associate Professor of Law
City Law School
Amanda Perry-Kessaris

Amanda Perry-Kessaris

Professor of Law
Kent Law School

Explore the chapters

What can design do for legal education?

by Emily Allbon, Amanda Perry-Kessaris

In this chapter we introduce some key characteristics of design, and suggest how they might support core objectives in legal education. We emphasise two designerly ‘ways’ — visual and material communication strategies, and experimental processes; and we focus in particular on how designerly ways might support the development of legal education ecosystems that promote practical-critical-imaginative thinking, as well as being inclusive. We draw on our own experiences, as well as the experiences reported in the contributions to this volume, and by others working at the intersection of design and law; and we take care to attend not only to the potential rewards of drawing on designerly ways, but also to some of the risks.

Emily Allbon is an Associate Professor at the City Law School (City, University of London), moving into academia academia from legal librarianship in 2014. She is known for developing the award-winning Lawbore – a website to support and engage those studying law, as well as for her work in the field of Legal Design. She was proud to launch TL;DR – the less textual legal gallery in late 2019 – which showcases ways of making law more accessible to all.

Emily's work has been recognised in various ways: Wildy/BIALL Law Librarian of the Year 2012, Best Paper in Legal Education and Technology at BILETA 2012 and the Routledge/ALT Teaching Law with Technology Prize (2013). Named one of 55 prestigious senior National Teaching Fellows at awards for excellence in higher education and learning support (2013).

Her academic background includes degrees in English literature, law, information science and academic practice. Her interests lie in legal education, research and information literacy, student engagement, legal design and visualisation, and the use of technology in learning. She runs regular design sprints for students and enjoys working with legal charities and advice agencies (such as Leducate and Liberty)

Amanda Perry-Kessaris is Professor of Law at Kent Law School where she specialises in empirically grounded, theoretically informed, cross-disciplinary approaches to law and to the economic life of law in particular. She has qualifications in law (LLB and LLM Southampton; PhD LSE), economics (PGCert Birkbeck), visual communication and graphic design (PGCert and MA London College of Communication) and is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

One question running through Amanda’s current research is: What can design do for law? With the support of a Leverhulme Research Fellowship, she recently completed a short monograph on Doing Sociolegal Research in Design Mode (Routledge, 2021). A second question is: How might we enhance our ability to understand and influence the actual and potential economic lives of law?

She is currently working on a monograph on the theme of approaching econo-legal futures in designerly ways, underpinned by a study of the roles of law in island-wide economic life on the divided island of Cyprus, supported by a Socio-Legal Studies Association small grant. She blogs at Approaching Law, tweets @aperrykessaris and publishes videos on Vimeo.

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