Legal design thinking – your winning formula for success

Coffee with Hannele Korhonen: Happy customers and happy lawyers. Episode six.

Apple and Google use design thinking. It’s why their stuff is so easy to use and why you love their products.

And you’re probably thinking “design” is for interior designers or graphic designers. What does design thinking have to do with your law firm? 


Design thinking is the winning formula behind building a successful law firm.  The best thing is it’s not about who has the biggest wallet because it’s a mindset. 

Design is not just about designing physical objects. And it’s not about aesthetics or styling or making things look nice. You can use design for your services and business. 

We talk about “design thinking” when we talk about the process generally but when we take the thinking and apply it to lawyers and law firms we are using legal design. 

But we won’t go down a rabbit hole of words. Design is about action not theory. 

Read on to learn how legal design can propel your law firm to where you want it to be.

Coffee with Hannele Korhonen: Happy customers and happy lawyers

Here’s your invitation to join me each week for my Instagram Live session for law firm owners. We cover client experience and client-centricity in law and how you to take your law practice to the next level with confidence and ease with the help of legal design thinking. 

 You can catch a replay of Episode six here or join me live and ask questions.

Coffee with Hannele Korhonen: Happy customers and happy lawyers episode 6. The Simple Formula for Success with Legal Design Thinking

Legal design is best summarized in three ways:

  • It’s a mindset that forms a foundation for concrete actions for applying the design in your own business and work. I have a four-part blog post to explain the essential mindset shifts related to legal design thinking.
  • Legal design thinking is a formula, a process with different steps that guide your way. It helps you clarify the path, focus on the right things at the right time and prevent you from the overwhelm that comes when you try to do everything and be everywhere at the same time. 
  • And finally, legal design thinking means the practical tools that you can use for each step in the design process. This is what I love in legal design thinking. When you’re faced with complicated and multi-faceted and abstract challenges, you need actionable and practical tools to work through them. The world of design is all about getting your hands dirty and taking action no matter how complex the problem.

Interested? Great. I’ve got more information on legal design for you.

Why should you care about all this? You have a busy life and a business to run. Why should you be interested in yet another approach or formula? 

The design process is a strategic tool you can use to build a wildly successful law firm and along the way, you’ll

  • Cure your overwhelm, and
  • Escape your guesswork

Cure your overwhelm

Let’s face it. Running a law firm can feel pretty overwhelming, especially if you try to grow your business. 

With so much information in your face, it’s hard to know what to do and how to do it and make progress with your business and get results.

Usually, it’s because there’s no clear framework to apply the information. You may be doing the right things but in the wrong order. Or try to do everything at the same time and it gets impossible. 

You end up being overwhelmed and stuck.

If you’re like most business owners, the problem is not that you’re not trying. You’re jumping from one thing to another, trying this and trying that. Then getting frustrated when something doesn’t work and wondering why you don’t see results. 

“Legal design thinking is the cure to this overwhelm. It’s a formula that gives you a blueprint, a path to follow and the tools to use. You will get the exact process, the exact steps to get more business and build your client experience for growth.”

Sounds pretty good, right? The end of overwhelm and the start of focus and clarity.

This is what I teach at Lawyers Design School and I walk you through each step of the design thinking process and give you the practical tools to apply everything to your own business and work in a very concrete and effective way. 

This has worked for me in building successful businesses and it can work for you too.

Escape the guesswork

While entrepreneurship is exciting, it’s also scary. I get it. 

The minute you start thinking about taking your business to the next level, exploring new ideas, all those questions start creeping in. 

What if I make a mistake? 

What if I don’t get any clients for my new product idea? 

What if I fail?

Many law firm partners don’t pursue new ideas because of these fears.  

The problem is developing new ideas in law is often based on guesswork. We hope our clients want it. We take a huge risk on something that may or may not work. We build it and then start marketing. Only then do you learn if your clients are interested in it. 

That is scary!

Believe me, I’ve been there and done that. Created legal products that no one bought and lost a lot of money in the process. 

What legal design thinking does as a strategy is that it helps you to turn this path backwards. You do not start with investments and big risks and then see if you get clients interested. 

The process starts with understanding your clients’ needs and creating relationships with them before you decide on your new product or service. 

The beauty of this formula is that your clients will tell you what they want and how they want to buy it from you, so you don’t have to wonder. It’s the end of your guesswork!!

Using this formula eliminates the mystery of your business development and it significantly reduces the risks too. If something does not work, it doesn’t mean that you’re out of business, it just means that you need to try something else. 

In Lawyers Design School’s workshops, we always start with the client. We do not start with the idea or a solution but find easy ways to understand the client better first. 

And we involve clients in the work as well because without real data there’s nothing but assumptions and guesswork – even if you followed the process to the T. 

It’s so rewarding to see the transformation happening for lawyers. When they start seeing the value of the design process and the steps to get client understanding for your business development. It’s priceless. 

And it makes money.

And you don’t have to do it alone.

Imagine if you were able to take a strategic look at your client feedback and business processes and find the holes – and plug them – with solutions that delight and surprise your customers.

So delighted they can’t help but tell their friends about your incredibly user-friendly, intuitive law firm. What if those small chats result in phone calls or enquiries on your website? What if clients from other firms moved across to you?

You might think it’s pie in the sky. It’s not. Law firm clients don’t have a lot of choices when it comes to legal services because lawyers do the same thing as the competition.  Clients are looking for a better way, a way that serves their needs rather than the lawyer. And once they find a lawyer who delivers, be ready for the stampede. I’ve seen it happen. 

Legal design thinking is the missing piece in the winning strategy for law firms that thrive

If you want to chat more, please drop over to Lawyers Design School to see how I can help you. If you’re looking for something else (or want to ask a question) drop me a line at [email protected]. I’d love to hear from you.

Want more on how to grow your successful law firm?

In the coming Live episodes, you can catch more practical tips on where to invest your business development efforts, finding new clients and finding happiness as a boutique law firm owner.

 Want to join me? Every Wednesday at 8 am ET you can find me at @lawyersdesignschool

on Instagram, where you can ask any questions you have.

 Would you like to chat? Drop me an email at [email protected] While you’re here, take a peek at the Lawyers Design School and discover other ways to use

customer-centric thinking to grow your law firm and thrive in your business.

Catch the replay: Coffee with Hannele Korhonen: Happy customers and happy lawyers

Watch all the Happy customer and happy lawyers episodes.

Are you ready to end the guesswork and overwhelm and build your business?