The tagline for the event is “Legal contracts, licenses and policies are now long, dull, difficult and boring documents. Come change that!” Here’s how the event is described:
A Legal Design Jam is a design-driven hackathon to reimagine how we visualize and communicate legal information. It brings together motivated individuals from different fields (law, design, education, journalism, computer science & beyond). Together, we give an extreme, user-centric, visual makeover to a legal document.
During an intensive hands-on workshop, the group will brainstorm and prototype a new version of a legal document, creating visualizations in order to further clarify the trickiest parts of the text.
It sounds like a worthwhile event. I have just one suggestion:
I’m used to Johnny-come-latelies who think that they’re the only people who have had occasion to consider, say, contract automation. When it comes to business contracts, I suspect that no one has given as much airtime to issues of document design as I have. So for purely selfish reasons, I’d be interested to have those behind the Legal Design Jam take my analysis into account, particularly if they have different ideas.
The most up-to-date statement of my views is in chapters 4 and 16 of the third edition of A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting, but here are some relevant blog posts:
- Can Visualizations Make It Easier to Understand Defined Terms? (August 19, 2013)
- Get Rid of First-Line Indents in Paragraphs Without Enumeration? (September 23, 2012)
- Ellen Lupton Weighs In on Document Design for Contracts (June 26, 2012)
- The MSCD Enumeration Scheme: A Manifesto (February 27, 2012)
- Revisiting the Layout of Australian Contracts (February 12, 2012)
- Adding Document-Design Bling to Contracts? (December 1, 2011)
- Using “Visualizations” in Contracts (November 7, 2011)
- Typography: Revisiting My Choice of Calibri (April 21, 2010)