Legal design could and should be more sociolegal

This presentation was prepared for the ‘What legal design could be’ theme of the 2022 Design Research Society biennial conference in Bilbao. Thanks to Sankalp Bhatnagar and Dan Jackson for organsing and the Leverhulme Trust for funding.

In this presentation I argue that legal design could be more sociolegal—that is, it could systematically and explicitly acknowleged the social nature and potential of legal design.

Furthermore, I argue that legal design should be more sociolegal firstly, because legal design would benefit from sociolegal conceptual frameworks, empirical methods and data, as well as normative direction; and secondly, because legal designers would then be better placed to contribute interdisciplinary research, and to enhancing its impact in the wider world.

I draw on the contract design work of Rob Waller, Jenny Waller, Helena Haapio, Gary Crag and Sandi Morrisseau (about which you can hear more on this episode of the Legal Design Podcast) and of the Doughnut Economics Action Lab.

You can read the full paper here.

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