Class Blog Design Research

User situations in Self Help Centers

As we have been researching the status quo situation of the Self Help Centers, we’ve identified some common types of users. They are as follows.

People with their kids, stressed and overwhelmed. They either can’t get child care, or brought them hoping to use court child care, but couldn’t because of the age/potty-training requirements

People who are stressed, anxious, and overfilled with emotion because of the life problem they’re in.

People with mental health problems that affect their ability to focus and navigate in the court setting.

People with very limited English proficiency, who don’t feel comfortable with legal English procedures and paperwork.

People, especially children and youth, who are serving as navigators for an adult, who have a language issue or mental capacity issue, that keeps them from being able to navigate themselves.

These are not all the user types, but some of the ones with the most pressing needs that we saw at various Self Help Centers.

Class Blog

Our big guiding design briefs

After our first two classes, we began to identify some of the big questions that characterize how the court needs to improve. We decided to segment based on where the person is in their journey through the system. Each brief focuses on a different moment.

We are going to use these design briefs to frame our new Winter Quarter class. Each of the briefs correspond to a particular stage of the typical user’s journey through the civil legal system. The teams will work to craft new interventions for each of these points, but then also coordinate with each other so their new solutions will provide for a cohesive experience.

Ideabook System Evaluation

100% Justice Brigade

100% Justice Brigade

What if we had a new Legal Organization — the 100% Justice Brigade — that was all about using design skills to create better services for laypeople. Clearer signage, maps, guides, communications — and full blown new services too!

100% Justice Brigade

Ideabook Work Product Tool

All-in-one Client-Attorney Collaboration Platform

What would an all-in-one collaboration platform look like, for clients & lawyers to work together? If there could be one place that coordinates a person’s journey from having a legal problem, to seeking help, to actually carrying through resolution of the problem — it could help reduce so many of the barriers to getting legal things done, and increase a person’s sense of control and empowerment.

Current Projects Integration into Community

Project Nanny Van: a legal service design

Open Law Lab - Project Nanny Van

Project Nanny Van is an excellent new example of creative legal service design.  Dan Jackson from Northeastern Law’s NuLawLab clued me in about it. The NuLawLab & its law students have been working with Rev Tank & Marisa Jahn in creating this mobile van that comes to locations where nannies might be congregating, and provides them with resources about their legal rights — as well as other resources to empower them.

The van is staffed with people with knowledge of workers’ rights & the local laws, as well as resources and tips to help the nannies act on their rights.

Open Law Lab - Project Nanny Van3

It’s aimed also at other stakeholders, including employers — giving resources to help them ensure they’re legally compliant & also following best practices.

Open Law Lab - Project Nanny Van 5

The van has traveled across the country since it started operations in Spring 2014, with trips to different states that have laws that protect domestic workers’ rights.

Open Law Lab - Project Nanny Van 8

Here is a write-up from the New York Times’ City Room. via New York Today: The Nanny Van –

An artist named Marisa Jahn bought a 1976 Chevy van on Craigslist last year for a couple of thousand dollars.

Today, it will begin touring the East Coast.

It’s the Nanny Van.

Project Nanny Van aims to teach domestic workers about their rights.

There are an estimated 200,000 domestic workers — nannies and house cleaners — working in the New York City metropolitan region.

Under a New York State law passed in 2010, these workers have rights and protections that few of them know about, said Ms. Jahn, who uses art to advocate for low-wage workers.

“Most of them work in isolation,” she said.

The van will be stationed outside parks, libraries and elsewhere in the city starting next week: Flushing, Queens, is their first stop.

It will distribute literature “with superhero Pop Art graphics with local flavor — one character wears a head wrap from Trinidad and Tobago,” Ms. Jahn said.

And a phone number.

Calling (347) WORK-500, domestic workers can listen to more than a dozen episodes about issues in domestic work, recorded by domestic workers, in English and Spanish.

Already, 300 to 1,200 people call the line each month.

In one of Ms. Jahn’s favorite episodes, “there are two lungs, talking to the domestic worker,” she said.

One lung says, in a deep voice, “You’ve got to stop using that harsh oven cleaner.”

The workers’ reaction?

“They think it’s hilarious,” she said.

Here is some more of their awesome graphic designs about their project.

Open Law Lab - Project Nanny Van 2Open Law Lab - Project Nanny Van 4Open Law Lab - Project Nanny Van 7Open Law Lab - Project Nanny Van 10


A Legal Design Manifesto

Legal Design Manifesto - by Margaret Hagan 1 Legal Design Manifesto - margaret hagan 2 Legal Design Manifesto - by Margaret Hagan 4 Legal Design Manifesto - by Margaret Hagan 5