BBI of Chicago
July 2021

The Humanization of the Law

 

By: Laura Fernandez Suárez

Getting to know and deepen my knowledge in agile methodologies has changed my life, transformed my behavior and perspectives, my world view, work, and relationships. 

 

What sparked the change was The Agile Manifest. Going further than just the technologies, values such as: “people and interactions over processes and tools” and “client collaboration over contract negotiation” are very striking. In truth, I noticed that I propagated agile culture even before formally getting to know it. 


By discovering agile tools and structures (Kanban, Scrum, Design Thinking, Design Sprint, Lean Startup, Product Sprint Design) I felt as if I were putting together five thousand puzzle pieces. Pieces that were already there but scrambled, and only then they came together to form a clear meaning. What was just an intuition before became something concrete, a methodology. 
 

In love with innovation, I’ve expanded on my reading, increased networking, talked a lot with a lot of people. I’ve thought about changing fields to be closer to all this when I stumbled upon Legal Design and Visual Law and found myself once again. Translated to Portuguese as “Design Thinking do Direito (Law)”, it is a methodology that seeks creative solutions focused on the human being in legal issues. 
 

Professor Margareth Hagan the director of the Legal Design Lab and a lecturer at Stanford Institute of Design, is one of the pioneers on the theme. According to her, new communication techniques can help both in increasing accessibility to one’s rights and in educating professionals. 
 

Cases showing how that happens have been multiplying all over the world, but let’s use a Brazilian example: imagine receiving an Asset Purchase Writ, with a flux gram explaining step by step what to do, information about the deadline, installments, and a relationship center that can be accessed by phone, Zoom, Whatsapp or e-mail. And how about adding a video of the Judge himself explaining everything in an accessible, clear, and objective way in four minutes? 
 

There are severe critiques about the initiative claiming that the Law cannot be simplified. Honestly, I ask myself why not. In New York, for instance, a worker from the Street Vendor Project decoded the city regulations in a way that over ten thousand street vendors could effectively understand the rules. 
 

Democracy demands transparency and inclusion. The truth is that understanding rights and obligations in an accessible, clear, and objective way, empowers and engages. It is not about simplifying the subject, but humanizing it and amplifying its use. 

BIBLIOGRAPHIC REFERENCES

 

ALMEIDA. Marcos. Melhorando a eficiência do acompanhamento legislativo – um estudo de caso de UX. Available in (https://brasil.uxdesign.cc/melhorando-aefici%C3%AAncia-do-acompanhamentolegislativo-ux-case-study-316d33a9f2a)  


AZEVEDO. Bernardo. Visual Law: O que você precisa saber. Available in (https://bernardodeazevedo.com)  


BROWN. Tim. Design Thinking: Uma metodologia ponderosa para decretar o fim das velhas ideias / Tim Brown com Barry Katz: translated by Cristina Yamagami – Rio de Janeiro: Elsevier, 2010 DWECK, Carol S.;  


DUARTE, Sérgio. Mindset: a nova psicologia do sucesso. Rio de Janeiro: Objetiva, 2017. HAGAN, Margaret. Law by Design. Available in (https://www.lawbydesign.co/)  


MCLUHAN, Marshall. The means of communication as extensions of men (Understanding media). 4ª ed. São Paulo: Cultrix, 1974.  


PRATT, Judith. Visual Law: o que os advogados precisam aprender com os designer de informações. Available in (https://blog.law.cornell.edu/voxpop/2013/05/15/visual-lawwhat-lawyers-needto-learn-from-information-designers)  


The Legal Design Lab. University of Stanford, California. Available in (https://law.stanford.edu/organizations/pages/legal-design-lab/) Vendor Power. 
 

The Center for Urban Pedagogy. (http://welcometocup.org/Projects/MakingPolicyPublic/VendorPower) 

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