Fit for the Future of Law?@ Legal ®Evolution at the Darmstadtium. Workshops and Coachings.

How can the Legal profession design new ways to embrace technology in a digital world? What are the prerequisites for using Legal Tech in a user-centered manner? How can the legal community become different and offer their clients more unique services? And use this volatile market of our VUKA world as a chance to create real value?

What exciting questions! Nothing like a little disruption to get things moving.

Founder of the Legal ®Evolution Congress and Expo Dr. Jochen Brandhoff asked me to offer personalized coaching on topics like legal design thinking, mind set change, leadership and team culture. Lucky me – I was honored that he had read my co-authored book, “Das dynamische Unternehmen.Wie Wertewandel, Digitalisierung und Innovation zum Erfolg führen” and decided that I might add value to the Expo in 2018 by offering individual coachings and workshops. This was in December 2017.

Fast forward to November 2018. My e-book “Design Thinking? Frag mich was!” was just published and we had a blast celebrating the new book and design thinking at the New Yorker Hotel with guests from all different walks of life. Just before the party, the Legal ®Evolution workshop and coaching registration lists starting coming and they kept pouring in. Before the Expo started on Dec. 4th over 60 people registered for one of the free sessions! An overwhelming response. I was fortunate to get two experienced coaches (Jens Dreßler + Vera Verhey) to offer their agile expertise.

Too much talk and too little doing! Many of the workshop participants and coachees wanted to act, learn and were curious about the concrete benefits of Design Thinking for their legal needs. They wanted to know how to leverage the method and mindset to develop their offices and departments. They wanted to know how to get their team or boss on board, to improve communication and motivation, activate strengths, and for example, how to change workflows for the future.

In the workshop sessions, the benefits of working with Interdisciplinary teams and collaboration were experienced first-hand during the “Live Design Thinking” Exercise. Most quickly understood the importance of perspective shift to a clear empathy-based client centricity. My big points:


Setting? The Titanium room was a beautiful, sun-light space where we created a Design Thinking atmosphere with lots of visuals, post-its and sketched flip charts. The coachings took place in lounge chairs before and after the workshops. Here some comments from the participants:

“I’m really surprised; I didn’t think this would work in such a short time”

“my partner understood my needs better than me—genial”

“I feel relieved that I can do this, I mean that I can change, and find new solutions that are really more user-focussed”

“Thank you for an inspiring workshop”

And from Philipp von Bülow, Legal Tech Entrepreneur:

“I really enjoyed the legal design thinking workshop and learned a lot. It was great to experience the complete workflow of design thinking and even ending up with a solid prototype. I would definitely recommend it.”


The short workshops and coaching were for most a step forward. Legal professionals working in firms and organizations have to reevaluate the basics of their business model, their value proposition and the operating model, in order to capture the opportunities presented by legal technologies. These opportunities can only be successful when they are crafted to meet the affective and functional needs of their clients. Such innovative, surprising solutions help the client solve the job that needs to be done, create unexpected value and/ or delight with ease of use and clear understanding. And these are the things that drive change in the legal world.

Karla Schlaepfer