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Complex legal information
in a clear and user-friendly way

Better legal documents mean better business.
The Visual Lawyer uses legal design to help you create human-friendly documents that are easy to read and understand — by combining legal expertise with information design, hands-on visual thinking, design thinking and behavioural economics.

Contact us to learn more

Walls and bridges

What does a typical legal document look like? A wall of text full of legal jargon. There’s asterisks, clauses, Latin, and don’t forget the small print. A regular person would need a manual to get their head around it all. This helps no one: the end user finds it tedious and confusing, which leads to misunderstandings, slows down negotiations, and maintains the reputation of law as an alienating, impenetrable fortress populated by people who speak legalese and probably wear a nightcap in bed. 

Legal information design blows up those walls of text and rebuilds them into something much better: a bridge that connects the legal profession to everyone who ever has to deal with legal documents. It’s a bridge between complexity and simplicity, between a message and its recipient. After seeing what legal design can do, no one wants to go back to walls of text.

Who needs legal design?

Everyone who wants to communicate legal information in the most user-friendly way.

Legal design is a must for game changers and innovators. Our clients include in-house legal departments from the private and public sector, law firms, alternative legal service providers and entrepreneurs.

Meet The Visual Lawyer

The person behind The Visual Lawyer is Dominique Meert. Dominique’s academic background is in economics and law, but after 15+ years in Belgian and international law firms her love of combining separate disciplines led her to an unconventional path: she became an independent consultant. Her experience of working in financial and legal organisations and her extensive training in visual strategy, innovation and design thinking have given her a pretty unique combination of skills — one that helps her solve her clients’ business problems through innovation. As The Visual Lawyer, Dominique often teams up with her trusted strategy and design partners to produce outstanding work on each specific project.

Curious by nature, Dominique has always been an early adopter who likes to stay ahead of the curve and helps others do the same. Luckily, she loves teaching as much as she does learning. As a trainer and consultant, she never gets tired of seeing how legal design improves communication and collaboration between legal professionals, their business partners and their clients.

She is also the founder of 2KnowHow2, which helps legal service providers optimise the use of their knowledge to deliver smarter services and products to internal and external clients.

When she’s not working, Dominique can be found dancing flamenco or learning a new language (currently Arabic, with Italian and Hebrew up next). The top item on her bucket list is to experience the Mille Miglia from the driver’s seat.

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What we can help you with

More and more players in the legal landscape are getting on board with legal design. It’s not some passing trend: it’s an evolution — so the earlier you start, the better for your business. We are here to humanise your legal and regulatory documents of all kinds: contracts, general terms & conditions, compliance policies (data privacy, anti-corruption, anti-money laundering), legal and regulatory newsletters, training materials, and any other kinds of documents.

Contract design

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Policy design

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Litigation design

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Client communications

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Training design

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Miscellaneous

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Our training programmes

Remember the proverb about teaching a man how to fish? Learning how to apply design thinking to your own work gives you autonomy to drive your business forward faster.

We organise both open training and tailor-made training programmes — with interactive workshops as our signature event. We’re not into endless theoretical explanations: instead, expect hands-on lessons to help you use design thinking methods and visual tools. And you really don’t need to be a tech whiz, accomplished writer or a design genius to do this. So long as your team is willing to connect, share, and learn, we can promise you’ll enjoy it: our past clients certainly have.

Is our training right for you? 
A big ‘yes’ if you’re ready to…

  • rethink how you communicate complex legal information to your clients.
  • take a big but totally non-scary step towards innovation.
  • see what this ‘legal design’ thing really looks like (spoiler alert: it’s way more simple than it may sound at first).
  • create better client relationships.

Discover

Get familiar with legal design
Online or in person
In-house training

Legal design is becoming a popular subject in the legal industry, but it can seem too complicated. So how about exploring it beyond the buzz? Sign up for our "Discover" session and get to know the basics of legal design.

Get Inspired

Legal design applied in your own legal context
Online or in person
In-house training

Not yet convinced that legal design can also be applied in your legal context? Sign up for our "Get inspired" session and challenge us with your concrete cases. We will show you our legal design alternatives and advise you on how legal design can be used in your specific situation. 

Do It Yourself

Become a pro
Your office
In-house training

Legal design is best learned by doing. Our DIY training programme is all about sharpening your legal design skills. We know how to get you out of your comfort zone and bring your legal design skills to a new level. Our approach is structured, hands-on and action based. Besides learning new things and having fun, you will walk away with your own stunning legal designs.

What participants say about our trainings

Innovative. Interactive. Thought provoking. Excellent content. Fun. Great presentation style. Thank you for this great training session! 

Senior legal advisor, Financial services company

Zeer interessant en leerrijk. De opleiding maakt je enthousiast om aan de slag te gaan. 

Legal counsel, Healthcare company

Thanks again for the great training! It was really insightful.

Marketing executive, International law firm

Super interessant,  zeer toegankelijk, praktisch en toepasselijk op de dagelijkse praktijk. 

Legal counsel, Local government

Very interesting and useful. Very concrete tips for redesigning our legal documents. A really informative and enjoyable workshop. 

Legal counsel, Autonomous government company

Zeer interessant, een echte eyeopener. De opleiding is in mijn ogen zeker innovatief. Het gaf een nieuwe, frisse kijk op juridische teksten (contracten). Ook heel praktisch opgevat. 

Lawyer, Belgian law firm

Merci pour cette formation très intéressante, claire et structurée avec une coach joviale, dynamique et compétente ! J’ai découvert un nouvel univers, visuel et coloré, que j’utiliserai dorénavant dans mon job, au day-to-day.

Senior legal counsel, Financial services company

Merci très intéressant pour travailler quotidiennement avec le business.

Legal counsel, Autonomous government company

Merci pour cette session d'informations. Elle est très intéressante, inspirante et utile pour écrire ou lire, c'est-à-dire pour tout un chacun! Elle nous apprend l'existence des méthodes afin de mieux structurer les informations et nous donne quelques tuyaux simples en la matière, ce qui est d'autant plus utile de nos jours. Je recommande vivement! 

Regulations expert, Financial services company

Thank you very much for the valuable knowledge you shared with us in the University of Antwerp Legal Tech Summer School last week - your lecture was incredibly helpful. 

Master's student International and Comparative Law, University of Zurich

Inspiring and refreshing. Hands-on. Very useful tips and tricks for making our documents more client-friendly and visually appealing. 

Legal advisor, Financial services company

Questions answered

Why should I invest in legal design? I don’t need my documents to look pretty.

Design isn’t really about looks: it’s about problem-solving. Designers, including legal ones, place the human in the centre of the process and apply a whole bunch of tools (not just visual ones) to build or rebuild products, systems, services, and experiences. And by focusing on the end users — your clients – this approach improves your business, from relationships to the bottom line.

My team doesn’t know legal design, and we can’t use our budget every time we need to update our documents.

We do think law deserves to look amazing, but we get it: you’re not going to install design software on everyone’s machine or get your marketing department involved every time you have a small tweak to make. We create documents in Microsoft Word and PowerPoint — so your team can edit all the files themselves. We also make sure that our redesigned documents can easily integrate with your existing contract automation, CRM, or other systems. Already familiar with graphic design software? Great, we can also create documents in Adobe Indesign.

What does a typical design process look like?

Our design process is based on the so-called "double diamond framework" which means: 

  1. "Designing the right thing." Here we focus on gathering insights and defining the main challenges and project outcomes. In other words, we will ask you lots of questions to make sure we are on the same page and are solving the right problems.
  2. "Designing the thing right." Here the focus is on brainstorming, prototyping, testing and finally delivering design concepts. From making sketches to organising feedback sessions, we won’t rest until we are all happy with the final design.

We combine different methods and tools from various disciplines to move the project through all the steps. The specific process, tools and methods will depend on the context of the information being designed or redesigned.

The bottom line is, our approach is flexible, tailor-made and depends on your situation and budget. We would never offer you something you don’t need.

How much does a typical legal design project cost?

It depends. Probably not the answer you wanted to hear, we know - but there's a good reason for it. First of all, there is no such thing as "a typical legal design project". Every assignment is tailor-made to your needs and has its own specifications (like the type of user research, number of prototypes and feedback rounds). But the important thing - and probably something you WOULD like to hear - is that there won't be any surprises, because we always work with a fixed fee, instead of hourly or daily rates. 

I’m on board, but not everyone in my company is. What’s the best way to convince our stakeholders that we need legal design?

Just talk to us. We’ve got a system that works, and will be happy to help you create the perfect pitch for anyone you’d like to get on board.

Why is visual communication so powerful?

Humans are visual beings. A lot has changed since our cave-dwelling, mammoth-chasing, petroglyph-scrawling days, and we have learned to read and write pretty well — but this hasn’t changed our strong natural response to images. Any kind of visualisation increases our chances of successful communication: that’s a fact, and yes, we have stats:

  • our brain processes visuals 60 000 times faster than text.
  • use of colour visuals increases a person’s willingness to read by 80%.
  • after three days, participants who viewed only text remembered just 10% of what they read, while those who viewed text in combination with relevant visuals remembered 65% of the information.

But, while legal design does call for visuals, it’s not just visuals. You have to consider every aspect of how your message is presented to the reader: does it speak their language? Is it easy to scan? Is there enough breathing space for all the elements? Is it well-structured and split into sections to help guide the eye? Legal design helps you answer all of these with a big ‘yes’ by building or rebuilding your documents with the audience in mind.

Can legal design be applied to all areas of law and in all jurisdictions?

Yes. We use a universal legal design methodology that can be applied to all areas of law and in all jurisdictions. 

Do you have a particular area of specialisation?

Given Dominique's additional background in economics, tax and finance, she mainly works on legal and regulatory documents related to banking, finance, capital markets and insurance. Rewriting legal texts into plain language is often an important part of the design process. Her background allows her to work on this type of content without much explanation needed from your side. In addition, as a former litigator she has a special interest in everything that has to do with litigation. 

How about a test drive?

Changing how you do things can feel weird, especially in a profession as well-established as law. For many of us, applying legal design thinking for the first time means getting way out of our comfort zone.

It doesn’t have to be like that. We think it should feel easy and fun (not a word people usually associate with law) — so we have designed a workshop format that does exactly that. It’s designed to fill even the most risk-averse and analytical legal professional with enthusiasm for legal design. Just sign up below, and we will introduce you to this exciting new approach to legal documents in a totally stress-free, hands-on way.

And if you need to get your key stakeholders on board, we are happy to help you create the perfect pitch which brings the right story to the right stakeholder.

How it works
Sign up for our "Get Inspired" workshop and challenge us with a concrete case. We will show you how legal design could be used in this case and in your legal context, and share the basic principles of legal design thinking. Email dominique@thevisuallawyer.be for more information or to sign up.

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The Visual Lawyer

Uitbreidingstraat 66

2600 Antwerpen

Belgium

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VAT: BE 0820.223.585

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