Back to the classroom (as a teacher)

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In the midst of the pandemic, using any of the existing tools for virtual meetings -many free-, among other resources that can be a headache at the beginning but with all the attitude and illusion in the world. 🤩

I have always been and will always be an eternal student, although I am a law school graduate, I have always liked to learn as much as I can, free, paying or on scholarship, I always use to joke with my parents about “I must be the cheapest daughter ever” haha, because having some artistic talents I relied on them to finance my studies added to the fact that I like to read and I retain ideas well (no, I am not nerdy 🤓).

I was missing teaching classes again and in the middle of the pandemic, great people like Giancarlo Renán Chávez Suárez, Ángel Sumano, the IE team, the UCSP, Sarah Rodríguez, Santiago Cenizo, and my friend and mentor Chusa invited me to teach different masterclasses, workshops, among others, for which I am and will be extremely grateful since some of those projects are still going on and others are coming 😎.

At the end of last year, my colleague and friend Mayra Ariñez invited me to develop training in legal design, and that’s what we did, although I particularly suggested calling it: “Innovating in Law with Design Thinking” because I consider that it is possible to develop training in legal design. because I believe that it is possible to innovate in law not only with this methodology but with many others.

  1. Break the ice:
    For our sessions we decided to do a cool dynamic where students could take off their lawyer glasses, put on superheroes -spoiler alert, but another thing is to live the experience- and identify themselves with some value they found similar, it was great because that dynamic really allowed us to break the ice and turn on the creativity receiver.

Also, far from leaving them a series of law to watch and internalize, we told them to watch a series of design -I won’t make a spoiler- to awaken the designer in them and be critical of the profession and role they play.

2. A good attitude is contagious:
I always try to smile, those who know me know it, but if to those nerves that appear a little before speaking in public, you add the pressure of being a perfectionist, that you just woke up -yes just as you read it-, having a different schedule and having students you know -which are the ones that most embarrass me- without a doubt, you have the perfect cocktail to feel overwhelmed or overwhelmed and there is of you if your students notice it.

I know I have described an adverse scenario, but what works for me, Luis and the team I usually teach with is to say “fuck” like the actors before the session, to encourage us and literally get into character and perspective, ready to shake off the bad of the day and to give the best of us as well as to share work and visionary experiences with our students.

The important and most beautiful thing is that perhaps they also arrived tired to the class, thirsty, hungry, and also with some worries, but as the good attitude is contagious, they manage to focus on the class and focus on getting the most out of it, so much so that one of my mentees Andrea -a legal and judicious Padawan-, got a scholarship for the next part of the course in the exercise and final exam. As we say in Peru, que lechera o que suertuda!

3. Many great examples:
I think the important thing is not only to cite examples but to talk about the people who did it, the leaders and cracks who dared and who set the pace so that others are encouraged and for being “early adopters” is that we name them, just to name a few: HÁPTICA— of whom I have been a big fan since long ago-, Jose Fernando Torres, Lieke Beelen, Astrid Kohlmeier, Hello Divorce -my favorite platform, full-service design from the heart-, Anna Posthumus, among others.

That’s just to cite examples within the legal world because clearly in the course we talked a lot about design and the pioneers in the subject such as IDEO and its founders among others.

I can’t talk about everything here, but it is true that I also share a couple of projects that I am currently working on oriented to facilitate access to information on immigration issues “AMIGRA” and for entrepreneurship “Pocket Law”.

Nothing would be complete and perfect if Luis did not bring his perspective of technology and process management that enriches the perspective and the great support of Mayra and her team of SDT (Society of Law and Technology) who always make us all feel at home and also inspire us to start each session with a playlist to innovate.

4. Learning by doing:
We developed a case throughout the sessions and that is very good because students can observe how in each of the phases of design thinking they are articulating the artifact to be intervened — which is a legal document, with an interesting dynamic behind it — and then they can experience for themselves all phases of the methodology with the document to be intervened.

The most valuable thing has been that they have been able to learn different tools of graphic facilitation and remote teamwork to be able to carry out their project successfully, it was not an easy task, there was some resistance to change, but finally, the objectives were achieved and now everyone can say that they better manage the platforms and apps that are used in the most innovative and multidisciplinary teams. All this applied to a real case whose product seeks to improve a real document that is part of the justice or legal system of different organizations, where the students work.

5. Creative assignments:
I already mentioned the assignment that consisted of watching a series on TV which is not what you would expect to see in a law-oriented course. But there are others such as answering some forums without lawyer bias and thinking like a designer, putting together a lego before drafting a new contract, sentence, act, manual or other.

Use gamification to answer exams, offering incentives, it is not bad to play a little and apply some behavioral science to it, since the idea is that students have fun, have a good time but above all that they relate and learn. Reading yes, of course, but with a graphic summary afterward — it doesn’t matter if you don’t draw and only know how to make sticks and balls — we value the effort. Mini surveys or mini-interviews with fellow lawyers or other disciplines to know how they look at what we have done, feedback is key and we do not do one round but up to three to ensure that feedback is a practice that permeates the trainees and that they do it tactfully and respectfully, within the time limits set. We are very respectful of the clock.

6. Reinforcement content:
Lots of additional valuable content to review and deepen from authors (from the legal innovation sector and innovation in general) that we admire and whose sources are free to use and that we have collected, stored, and tagged for each stage of the course. Papers, infographics, banners, among others, are part of this virtual trunk of resources. We are also developing other elements that we will be incorporating little by little and a great second part is coming, with service design and behavioral science components.

7. Takeaways and Feedback:

-Design Thinking is focused on people
-We are creative, and in groups even more so (there are no bad ideas).
-Design Thinking is not a linear process and neither is it an island.
-Make mistakes, but make them quickly and cheaply.
-Fall in love with the problem and not with the solution
-Innovation and technology are not a marriage
-Everything is designed and everything can be improved (redesign)

The whys and wherefores of each of these takeaways are explained during the course and we also learn a lot from what you share with us, in terms of feedback “A PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS”.

We are waiting for you in the next editions and learning experiments 100% , international and multidisciplinary that we will continue to do. A hug and as I like to say we e-see you soon in class!😉.

Footnotes:
📌You can register to the course here: https://cutt.ly/KxKAK2n

📌Ask me for the English version of the course: send a mail to karol@karolvalencia.com ✉️
📌And check my linktree for more courses and content in English and Spanish: https://linktr.ee/KarolValencia

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