E26: NewLaw, Innovation, Design Thinking and what it all means in practice - Melissa Lyon, Associate Principal at Hive Legal and 2020 Innovator of The Year


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The legal industry is full of buzzwords, including New Law, Innovation and Design Thinking. But what does it all mean in practice?
This week, I had the pleasure of exploring the realities of legal innovation with Melissa Lyon.
Melissa is a Design Thinker, Innovation and Business Development specialist working at Hive Legal, one of Australia's New Law Firms.

Melissa assists clients, law firms and professional services providers develop and utilise client focussed skills and innovation programs. I consult on Design Thinking, Innovation, NewLaw business models and value pricing.

In this episode we discuss:

Show notes

  • What lead to Melissa being awarded Innovator of the Year at The Australian Law Awards;
  • What is Design Thinking and why is it important for lawyers?
  • The Hive Legal Design Thinking Framework: HiveThinkP;
  • The problem with lawyers who are too ‘solutionist’ risk averse and serious;
  • Concrete examples of Design Thinking in practice, including this visual Privacy Policy;
  • How firms can encourage diversity and inclusion through business model innovations;
  • The impacts of the pandemic on the future of legal work;
  • What a day in the life of a legal innovator in a New Law firm actually looks like;
  • What success means to Melissa.

Some of my favourite quotes

  • “For many years I’ve seen many missed opportunities within law firms to develop broader skillsets…know-how, BD, technology skills - these skills can be brought to the fore to help lawyers produce better results”
  • “The way we’ve been trained is that we know the law and the law must be the answer to all problems..but that’s not always the case.”
  • “Lawyers are solutionists, which means we quickly jump to the solution without taking into account what’s on the periphery.”

Learn more about Melissa


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  • Connect with me on LinkedIn
  • Have an idea for the podcast or a guest you'd love to hear from? Drop me a line here: burrett.sam@gmail.com

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