Peer to Peer Magazine

Summer 2016

The quarterly publication of the International Legal Technology Association

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Page 44 of 83

46 PEER TO PEER: THE QUARTERLY MAGAZINE OF ILTA | SUMMER 2016 clients questions outside the context of specific legal maers? Have we become so focused on task codes and billable time that we have lost sight of the importance of taking time to understand the pressures clients face? What we need to be asking clients is: what feels harder than it should? What are your pain points? What would make your life easier? It is only through asking these questions that we can begin to empathize with our clients; and developing empathy is the first step in using design thinking to improve client service. Empathy is a natural fit for many lawyers; aer all, compassion and the desire to serve others led many a lawyer to the profession in the first place. Despite this, empathy doesn't get much aention in CLE programs and practice group meetings. That is a mistake. Clients want their lawyers to understand their real needs; they don't want legal services that are not informed by the broader context of their business. Design thinking can help us reach this understanding. What Is Design Thinking? How can design thinking help lawyers improve the way we serve clients? As John Alber explains in his article (on page 42), design thinking is: A human-centered approach to innovation that draws from the designer's toolkit to integrate the needs of people, the possibilities of technology and the requirements for business success. For lawyers intent on improving service, this process begins by thinking about what clients really want, need and value, and then deliberately building service delivery around that input. What Questions Should We Be Asking? It isn't rocket science, it's not even advanced algebra, and yet this approach is rarely employed by lawyers in a thoughtful, disciplined and consistent way. Why? Why don't we engage in human-centered design conversations with clients? Why don't we ask our Design thinking has long been touted as a framework for product innovation, and rightly so; however, its use extends beyond product innovation — it is a valuable framework for lawyers to improve client service. JAY HULL Jay is a Partner at Davis Wright Tremaine LLP and leads DWT's innovation initiative, DWT De Novo. He focuses on deploying new and better approaches to the delivery of legal services to create greater value for clients. Having served as assistant general counsel for a public company, Jay understands the pressures faced by in-house legal teams. It's with this understanding and many years of transactional experience that Jay looks for creative solutions to clients' business and legal challenges. Contact him at THE FUTURE OF PRIORITIZING PEOPLE IN THE PROCESS by Jay Hull

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