Legal Design Jams: 9x more productive than Jack Bauer

Legal Design Jams: 9x more productive than Jack Bauer

designjamIn May 2016, Janders Dean ran their 'Horizons 2016' event at the Andaz hotel in London. Those that were lucky enough to attend will know that Janders Dean don't do 'stuffy' or 'traditional'!  

The composition of the speaking faculty, the eclectic mix of people in the (invitation only) audience, and the pacing of the presentations - as well as, of course, the topics themselves - all came together to deliver an event that was fresh, fast and fun.

So, when we were invited to be one of event's main sponsors, we were excited by the opportunity to 'do something different' and to actually harness - and amplify - the energy and the ideas behind the event. Working together with Janders Dean and The BIO Agency, we decided to 'go big' and actually run an 'event within an event'! We wanted to add a new dimension to the conference by inspiring and enabling people to go beyond just sharing and discussing challenges and ideas to actually working on workable solutions to real problems right then and there.

This led us to running a 'legal service design jam', alongside the speaker event.

speedoQuick guide: What is a legal service design jam?

You can read more about the mechanics of a 'service design jam' here but these were the key features of ours:

  • 20 participants (or 'jammers') with a varied range of backgrounds and skillsets including legal and non-legal, technical and non-technical, including specialists in design thinking and service design well as those with a diverse range of roles within the legal industry such as Legal Knowledge Engineers, Enterprise Architects & Senior Associates.
  • 3 teams, each assigned a headline topic to focus on: people process and technology
  • 3 main stages: 'wide lens' (brainstorming to identify potential issues to work on); 'focus' (identifying which ideas to take forward; and 'creating concepts' (actually starting to map out potential solutions to the issues identified).
  • 8 hours to spend on the jam.
The time for change is now

If any delegates entered the conference with lingering doubts about this, they will certainly have consigned those doubts to the dustbin of history by the time they left.

The unequivocal nature of the wake-up call being issued to the legal industry was starkly summed-up by one of the keynote speakers, Mike Rebeiro, who - quoting Viktor Mayer Schonberger and Kenneth Cukier - said that:

If we are not brave enough to disrupt our business model, others will

Bravery? That's our jam!

The good news is that, elsewhere in the building  - even as this very challenge was being thrown out to the audience - some of the industry's best and boldest thinkers were already rising to meet it.

I'm talking, of course, about the 'legal service design jam' which LexisNexis had the privilege of hosting in collaboration with Janders Dean and The BIO agency. The design jam participants (or 'jammers') were divided into three groups, each focusing on one of the following key areas:

  • People
  • Process
  • Technology

Fearlessly hunting down and tackling challenges which, in some cases, would have made Houston's 'problem' seem like a walk in the park, the Jammers were nothing if not brave.

Productivity: step aside Jack Bauer

But even more impressively, they were also hugely productive.

Here is some perspective for anybody over the age of 25:

  • Jack Bauer from the TV series '24': tackled 1 issue in 24 hours;
  • Legal Service Design Jam: tackled 3 issues in just 8 hours.

Three times as many issues, one-third of the time. 

Janders Dean Converse2Armed only with copious brightly-coloured post-it notes for agile brainstorming, and LexisNexis-inspired red Converse for equally agile movement, our jammers were 9x more productive than Jack Bauer at his best.


In fact, together with input from the other delegates at the conference , the three teams identified so many
challenges - and proposed so many potential solutions and/or next steps - that they are quite literally too numerous to list here.

Nonetheless, as the day progressed, it was clear that many of the questions, challenges and ideas could in fact be grouped into more general themes or sub-categories.

In each case, the jammers considered questions such as:

  • What are the problems?
  • What needs to change?
  • How could this be done?
  • What are the barriers to these changes and how can these be overcome?
If Jammers designed a law would probably the best law firm in the world...

To demonstrate that fact, we have put together three reports on the individual ‘jamming’ sessions and these can be accessed here:

Report 1: People

Report 2: Process

Report 3: Technology

Or, to read more about the actual process of running a design jam, read this article by Alex Smith (Senior Product Lead - Platform Innovation at LexisNexis).


Related Articles:
Latest Articles: