SLSA award for UK’s first workshop on Legal Design

Kent Law School Professor Amanda Perry-Kessaris and Emily Allbon from City University Law School have been awarded £1527 by the Socio-Legal Studies Association to hold the UK’s first workshop on legal design.

The two-day workshop, to be held at City Law School in 2020, is also the first workshop globally to cover the full spectrum of legal design, including legal practice, activism, policy-making, research and teaching. Professor Perry-Kessaris said: ‘It’s a capacity-building opportunity for legal researchers to understand and engage, intellectually and physically, with legal design; so that they are better able to use, critique and support it.’

Legal design is a nascent field of thinking and practice which seeks to discover what design can do for law. Professor Perry-Kessaris says there is growing evidence to support the proposition that “designerly ways” can directly improve legal communications.

A recent example was Professor Perry-Kessaris’s Socio-Legal Model-Making project which saw over 100 legal researchers experimenting with individual and collaborative model-making in relation to their ongoing research projects.

Professor Perry-Kessaris said: ‘Legal design is quietly becoming a standard feature of lawyering, and it is important that members of the legal community are able to meet on their own, sociologically-informed and critical, terms.’

Professor Perry-Kessaris specialises in empirically grounded, theoretically informed, cross-disciplinary approaches to law. In addition to qualifications in law, she has an MA in Visual Communication and Graphic Design. She blogs at, tweets @aperrykessaris and publishes videos on Vimeo. She has previously co-organised a range of Kent Law School events around the theme of legal design – including the Pop-up Museum of Legal Objects in 2017 and a workshop on ‘Making Sociolegal Research Visible and Tangible’ in 2018. Her article ‘Legal Design for Practice, Activism, Policy and Research‘ is forthcoming in the Journal of Law and Society.

Emily Allbon is a Senior Lecturer and Director of Mooting at City Law School. She is the creator of the award-winning lawbore website and hosted the first Legal Design Sprint in the UK in 2018, a review of which is posted on her blog.