Law By Design

Why use Design Thinking?

Design thinking for law is a process of experiencing knowledge and exploring the human mind’s ‘playground of ideas'.

Design thinking helps us to change the law for the better by…

  • Asking participants to take on a beginner’s mindset
  • Looking beyond the borders of the “law” as currently defined
  • Stripping away the fear of making mistakes
  • Teaching creativity and prototyping as core skill sets

Read more on Medium

Listen to the Evolve the Law Podcast


Workshops from Duke Law By Design

Students and faculty have engaged in human-centered design processes with stakeholders, other service professionals, and partner organizations from the community.

Friday, March 28, 2018

Facilitated by Duke Law alum Keith Porcaro, Using Technology in Legal Practice brought together Professors Charles Holton and Jesse McCoy of the Civil Justice Clinic, Jeff Ward of the Duke Center on Law & Technology and members from the Mayor's Office of Durham for a hands-on, interactive workshop on design thinking applied to eviction procedures in Durham.

Friday, October 5, 2018

Director Jeff Ward hosted "Big Ideas: Designing Creative Legal Solutions." This design thinking workshop sought to imagine measurements of project and attorney success beyond the billable hour. Participants included professionals from banks and law firms, legal tech companies, law students, in-house counsel, and the NCBA Future of Law Committee.

Friday, October 29, 2018

Reference Librarian and Lecturing Fellow Casandra Laskowski hosted Camillo Sassan and Kevin L. Schultz from IBM's Design Thinking Studio for a session titled Design Thinking and the Law.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Director Jeff Ward led a design thinking workshop for the North Carolina Bar Association's Future of Law Committee around increasing access to justice. Read about the meeting in the Salisbury Post.

Stay tuned for Spring 2019 workshop offerings!

Jeff Ward and students

Students at design thinking workshop



Courses using Design Thinking at Duke Law

Designing Creative Legal Solutions


Alumni Profile

Rochael Soper Adranly, L ’97/98 is Partner, General Counsel + Legal Design Lead for the international design firm IDEO. She has been representing creative and innovative individuals and organizations, while pursuing her own creative projects, for close to 20 years. In her role as Legal Design Lead, Adranly walks the fine line between the rules-based world of law and the nonrules-based world of innovation, seeing to ensure that legal processes, tools, roles, and assets fit the needs of users as well as the human-centered culture of the firm. In 2015, she worked closely with her IDEO colleagues to create IDEO's Legal Design + Innovation practice to help law firms, in-house legal teams, law schools, public sector clients, and criminal justice reform advocates across the globe embrace human centered design against a rigid legal landscape.

Before joining IDEO, she worked in law firms in Houston, New York, and Silicon Valley and taught client counseling and negotiation at the UC Hastings and UC Berkeley Schools of Law. In 2017, Adranly co-developed and co-taught the Wintersession course, Designing Creative Legal Solutions, at Duke Law with Professor Jeff Ward. Adranly earned her JD and LLM from Duke Law School in 1997/98 respectively.