Call for abstracts for workshop on ‘Legal Design: Concepts, methods, norms and examples’

A call for abstracts has been issued for a two-day workshop that will explore ‘Legal Design: Concepts, methods, norms and examples.’

The workshop, organised by Kent Law School Professor Amanda Perry-Kessaris and Emily Allbon, (City University of London), is supported by an award of £1527 from the Socio-Legal Studies Association (SLSA) Seminar Competition. It is co-sponsored by the Centre for Law and Society (Cardiff), the Journal of Law and Society, Kent Law School and City Law School and will be held in London on 11/12 June 2020.

Potential contributors with an interest in critically exploring legal design are invited to submit their titles plus abstracts (no more than 500 words) to or by 5pm on Friday 14 February 2020.

The workshop will highlight the diversity of possible and actual legal design across legal practice, activism, policy-making, teaching and research by drawing together practitioners and academics from architecture, art, design, innovation and law.

Organisers say: ‘Being a designer involves using, changing and creating artefacts, images, sounds, experiences and systems. It is best understood as a practice – a combination of mindsets, tools and processes, all shaped by distinctly ‘designerly’ skills, knowledge and attitudes. Among these designerly ways are a commitment to communication, an emphasis on experimentation, and an ability to make things visible and tangible.

‘Being a lawyer involves using, changing and creating legal ideas. At the heart of lawyering lies a tension between, on the one hand, protecting the structural coherence or unity of law and, on the other hand, ensuring that law accommodates and actively nurtures diversity or freedom. In navigating this tension, lawyers must be at once practical, critical and imaginative.

‘Across the world, evidence is emerging in support of the proposition that designerly ways can not only directly improve legal communications; but also generate new ‘structured-yet-free’ spaces that facilitate this lawyerly need to be simultaneously practical, critical and imaginative.’

Further details, including a list of confirmed contributors, are available on the SLSA website.

Professor Perry-Kessaris specialises in empirically grounded, theoretically informed, cross-disciplinary approaches to law; and to the economic life of law in particular. She has qualifications in law, economics, visual communication and graphic design. She blogs at Approaching Law, tweets @aperrykessaris and publishes videos on Vimeo. She teaches undergraduates in the field of International Economic Law and postgraduates in Research Methodology. She is happy to supervise research that takes sociologically, ethnographically and/or visually attuned approaches to law; especially to the economic life of law.