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

Judging by appearances

by Isobel Williams

We're jammin', we're jammin'
And I hope you like jammin' too
Ain't no rules, ain't no vow
You can do it anyhow…

With Covid-19 British justice enters its Bob Marley era. The courts are improvising. And signal jams mean a frozen screen.

This is a kaleidoscopic take on the visual side of courts during the onset of the pandemic, contrasted with some pre-virus experiences. I write as an occasional unofficial sketcher having mildly hallucinatory courtroom sensations for my blog about drawing in different places. I see what the public sees but am free to present it in an idiosyncratic way, paying attention to the negative space, the bits in between.

After Covid closes the courts, the public sees precious little, so to set the scene for this chapter I invite four people on the legal front line to share their experiences: a campaigner, a judge, a barrister and an official court artist. Then I report on the illegality of courtroom drawing, rifle through artists’ travelling kit and peer (legally) at the UK Supreme Court from the public seats.

I end with a pre-pandemic meditation on a visually unique courtroom experience: the Naked Rambler in the dock, and what that exposes about the justice system. A constant underlying theme: when you look at an image, believing your eyes is never the best policy.

This video presentation by the author includes sketched nudity:

Isobel Williams has written and illustrated two books. In The Supreme Court: a Guide for Bears (2017), the souvenir teddies show you around their London home. Catullus: Shibari Carmina (Carcanet Press, 2021) contains her versions of the Roman poet’s works set in the context of Japanese rope bondage performance. She has had exhibitions in London and Oslo, and has written articles for publications from The Amorist to the International Journal for the Semiotics of Law. She gives talks about her work, illustrates book covers and articles, and writes two blogs about live drawing. Her website is

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