“Legal industry must focus on solving end-user problems,” Art Shaikh, founder and CEO of DigitalWill.com, passionately declared over dinner, bringing attention to a crucial perspective often overlooked in discussions about legal innovation. While the legal field tends to revolve around lawyers, documents, regulations, and filings, an equally important parallel world of personal problems is intertwined with legal issues. Similarly, within the business realm, a symbiotic relationship exists between business problems and legal problems. Art firmly believes that true legal innovation should start by addressing the human experience within these interconnected worlds.
To ensure legal innovation stays true to its purpose of solving human problems, Art recommends several other key considerations that must be kept in mind:
Understanding the human context surrounding the legal issue at hand is absolutely crucial. This is especially important when considering the challenges individuals and businesses face when using complex legal tools. Taking the time to empathize with the end-users affected by these tools provides invaluable insights into their unique needs, the difficulties they encounter, and their aspirations.
Notably, the adoption rates of essential legal tools, such as wills, remain alarmingly low, with 68% of Americans currently without a will. Recognizing the barriers and frustrations experienced by end-users in accessing and utilizing these tools, legal innovators can craft intuitive, user-friendly, and highly effective solutions, ultimately making a meaningful impact in the lives of those they serve.
Adopting a user-centered approach is of the utmost importance in legal innovation. Placing the end-user at the heart of the process allows innovators to identify pain points and create solutions that directly address the unique needs and challenges individuals and businesses face. Engaging stakeholders throughout the design process, actively seeking their feedback, and involving them in decision-making fosters a collaborative environment that leads to iterative refinement and better outcomes.
Moreover, paying careful attention to the user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) is crucial. A well-designed UI/UX enhances the usability and accessibility of legal solutions, enabling users to navigate the complexities of the legal landscape with ease, and promoting efficiency and satisfaction. By creating intuitive interfaces and seamless interactions, legal innovators can empower end-users and deliver transformative experiences that align with their evolving needs.
Workable AI technology plays a pivotal role in legal tech innovation, offering transformative possibilities for the legal community. By harnessing AI technologies like natural language processing, machine learning algorithms, and workflow automation, the application of Workable AI presents a transformative solution to these challenges. Through user-friendly AI-guided applications, individuals can easily navigate the complexities of will and estate panning.
Embracing these advancements streamlines processes optimizes efficiency, and enhances the accessibility and affordability of legal services. Online dispute-resolution platforms and AI-powered legal research tools are examples of Workable AI solutions that bridge the gap between human problems and legal solutions, revolutionizing how legal professionals serve clients.
Furthermore, simplifying complex legal processes, language, and procedures cannot be overstated. The legal system often appears intimidating and overwhelming, posing significant challenges for individuals and businesses seeking legal guidance. However, by simplifying these complexities, legal innovators can create a more user-friendly environment that eliminates unnecessary jargon and fosters confidence in navigating the legal landscape.
Clear and concise communication, plain language, and intuitive interfaces play a crucial role in empowering individuals to understand their legal rights and obligations. By breaking down barriers and demystifying legal concepts, innovators bridge the gap between legal expertise and everyday users, enabling them to navigate the legal system with ease and certainty. This focus on simplification enhances accessibility, promotes transparency.
Data privacy, security, and ethical considerations must always take center stage in legal innovation. Upholding ethical standards and prioritizing the protection of individuals’ rights and privacy are of the utmost importance. Innovators should be proactive in addressing potential ethical implications throughout the development and implementation stages, ensuring transparency and fostering trust with users.
Legal innovation must prioritize solving human problems. Legal innovators can create transformative solutions by understanding the human context, adopting a user-centered approach, embracing technology, simplifying complex processes, enhancing access to justice, fostering collaboration, and emphasizing ethical considerations.
It is essential to remember that law exists to serve humanity, and legal innovation should never lose sight of that fundamental truth. Art’s realization highlights the inherent interconnectedness between personal life, business operations, and the law, emphasizing the need for legal innovation to address human experiences effectively.
Olga V. Mack is the VP at LexisNexis and CEO of Parley Pro, a next-generation contract management company that has pioneered online negotiation technology. Olga embraces legal innovation and had dedicated her career to improving and shaping the future of law. She is convinced that the legal profession will emerge even stronger, more resilient, and more inclusive than before by embracing technology. Olga is also an award-winning general counsel, operations professional, startup advisor, public speaker, adjunct professor, and entrepreneur. She founded the Women Serve on Boards movement that advocates for women to participate on corporate boards of Fortune 500 companies. She authored Get on Board: Earning Your Ticket to a Corporate Board Seat, Fundamentals of Smart Contract Security, and Blockchain Value: Transforming Business Models, Society, and Communities. She is working on Visual IQ for Lawyers, her next book (ABA 2023). You can follow Olga on Twitter @olgavmack.