Case Study: Design Thinking for Legal Training for a Fortune 50 Legal Team


The legal department of a global Fortune 50 company with more than 600 lawyers and staff around the world engaged Leadership for Lawyers, llc to design and deliver a training program on Design Thinking for Legal for every lawyer and staff in the department.  

As part of the department’s effort to improve client service, reduce cost, and increase efficiency,  the VP for Legal launched a department – wide training program in legal innovation.  Originally the plan was to offer live training sessions, but the Covid-19 pandemic led to a hybrid learning approach.

Scope of Work

Leadership for Lawyers developed a 12-module asynchronous online training program that covered:

  • Why legal departments need to innovate
  • What is design thinking for legal?
  • The design thinking for legal process 
  • Design thinking mindsets
  • Tools and tips for design thinking projects
  • Change leadership – implementing innovation projects in a legal environment

Each module contained one to seven lessons.  Each lesson consisted of:

  • A brief video about the concept, practice or skill
  • Articles and additional reading on the topic
  • Additional optional resources for learners to ‘dig deep’ if they were so inclined

Video case studies of successful innovation projects that used design thinking were curated and integrated into the program design so participants can “see” the process being used to solve real world problems in other legal departments and law firms.  

“Drip” email content was developed to remind people to complete the course, and to give them additional, practical information related to design thinking.

The program pre-launched with a live zoom session with departmental leadership, who were engaged to build support and give feedback.  The program was launched globally with two live zoom sessions, featuring the VP for Legal, an overview of Design Thinking for Legal, and a live interview with a GC from another global company who uses design thinking to solve legal operations problems.

In Phase II (Q3/Q4 2021), lawyers and staff will participate in a series of hackathon exercises so that they can put their learning of the design thinking process to practice to solve real “wicked” problems.