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Legal By Design Official Logo

LEGAL BY DESIGN | Legal & Design Consultancy

LEGAL BY DESIGN | Legal & Design Consultancy

WHAT WE DO

LEGAL DESIGN

Our legal design practice helps clients navigate the regulatory landscape in an ever-changing world. We have expertise anticipating pitfalls, identifying risk and finding solutions to business problems. 

 

Research is our specialty. We diligently stay on top of legislative changes, industry developments and evolving design practices and tools. 

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PROJECTS

We use elements from the design world such as user research, empathy, and experimentation to push past the obvious and get to breakthrough ideas. Legal training and proficiency in design methodologies allow us to work with multi-disciplinary teams to design systems and processes that reveal innovative solutions to legal and business problems. Some of our awards and accolades include:

 

  • Hult Prize, Regional Summit Finalist  – 2020
  • St. George’s Society of Toronto Bursary in Art & Design in Honour of Rosalie Sharp  – 2020
  • George Brown College Ignite Fund Award, Applied Research and Innovation Grant – 2019
  • Insurance Application Bounty (Prize Winner), CryptoChicks Hackathon – 2018
  • 3rd Place, Ontario Securities Commission RegHackTO – 2016 
  • 2nd Place, Blockchain Canada Inaugural Summer Hackathon – 2016

SPEAKING

We thrive on collaborating and learning from others. Through lectures and public speaking we are able to share knowledge and nurture innovation. Presentations focus on how change happens at the intersection of law, technology, and policy. We strive to articulate the challenges and opportunities from a systemic legal perspective. Some past events include:

 

  • Presented Synthesis Map on Instagram and Mental Health – Systems Thinking Ontario, June 2020.
  • Presented on Ethics in Cryptocurrency – Canadian Centre for Ethics and Corporate Policy, February 2020.
  • Presented on Crypto Wills and Estate Planning – Bitcoin Bay Meetup Toronto, October 2019.
  • Guest Lecturer at the University of Toronto’s Masters in Mathematical Finance Department – Facebook’s Libra: Implications for International Finance and the Data Economy, July & August 2019.
  • Panelist speaking on Women in Tech – Bitcoin Bay Meetup Toronto, July 2019.
  • Panel moderator at BlockHackTo: Blockchain Hackathon and Conference held at George Brown College, April 2019.
  • Panelist speaking on Legal Innovation – Disruption in Legal Services Delivery: What Students and New Lawyers Need to Know, held at York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School, March 2019.
  • Presented at University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law – Legal Entrepreneurship, January 2019.
  • Presented at BlockHackTO: Hackathon and Conference, held at The DMZ at Ryerson University – Start-up Law 101, November 2018.
  • Panelist speaking on digital currency regulation – Women in Crypto, held at Shopify Toronto, June 2018.
  • Panel moderator at BlockHackTO: Blockchain Hackathon and Conference, held at York University – Blockchain Regulation & Compliance, April 2018.
  • Presented at OCAD University’s Inclusive Design Research Centre – Critical Perspectives on the Blockchain, March 2018.
  • Presented at York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School – Legal Issues in Blockchain, March 2018.
  • Delivered keynote on Blockchain Technology at Intrepid Law Conference, May 2017.

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LBDSpeaking&Workshop

WORKSHOPS

We facilitate legal design thinking workshops, showcasing how incorporating design methodologies into legal practice can aid in finding desirable solutions for clients.

WHAT WE DO

LBDLegalPracticeIcon

LEGAL DESIGN

Our legal design practice helps clients navigate the regulatory landscape in an ever-changing world. We have expertise anticipating pitfalls, identifying risk and finding solutions to business problems. 

Research is our specialty. We diligently stay on top of legislative changes, industry developments and evolving design practices and tools.

LBDDesignProjectsIcon

PROJECTS

We use elements from the design world such as user research, empathy, and experimentation to push past the obvious and get to breakthrough ideas. Legal training and proficiency in design methodologies allow us to work with multi-disciplinary teams to design systems and processes that reveal innovative solutions to legal and business problems. Some of our awards and accolades include:

 

  • Hult Prize, Regional Summit Finalist  – 2020
  • St. George’s Society of Toronto Bursary in Art & Design in Honour of Rosalie Sharp  – 2020
  • George Brown College Ignite Fund Award, Applied Research and Innovation Grant – 2019
  • Insurance Application Bounty (Prize Winner), CryptoChicks Hackathon – 2018
  • 3rd Place, Ontario Securities Commission RegHackTO – 2016 
  • 2nd Place, Blockchain Canada Inaugural Summer Hackathon – 2016
lecture

SPEAKING

We thrive on collaborating and learning from others. Through lectures and public speaking we are able to share knowledge and nurture innovation. Presentations focus on how change happens at the intersection of law, technology, and policy. We strive to articulate the challenges and opportunities from a systemic legal perspective. Some past events include:

 

  • Presented Synthesis Map on Instagram and Mental Health – Systems Thinking Ontario, June 2020.
  • Presented on Ethics in Cryptocurrency – Canadian Centre for Ethics and Corporate Policy, February 2020.
  • Presented on Crypto Wills and Estate Planning – Bitcoin Bay Meetup Toronto, October 2019.
  • Guest Lecturer at the University of Toronto’s Masters in Mathematical Finance Department – Facebook’s Libra: Implications for International Finance and the Data Economy, July & August 2019.
  • Panelist speaking on Women in Tech – Bitcoin Bay Meetup Toronto, July 2019.
  • Panel moderator at BlockHackTo: Blockchain Hackathon and Conference held at George Brown College, April 2019.
  • Panelist speaking on Legal Innovation – Disruption in Legal Services Delivery: What Students and New Lawyers Need to Know, held at York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School, March 2019.
  • Presented at University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law – Legal Entrepreneurship, January 2019.
  • Presented at BlockHackTO: Hackathon and Conference, held at The DMZ at Ryerson University – Start-up Law 101, November 2018.
  • Panelist speaking on digital currency regulation – Women in Crypto, held at Shopify Toronto, June 2018.
  • Panel moderator at BlockHackTO: Blockchain Hackathon and Conference, held at York University – Blockchain Regulation & Compliance, April 2018.
  • Presented at OCAD University’s Inclusive Design Research Centre – Critical Perspectives on the Blockchain, March 2018.
  • Presented at York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School – Legal Issues in Blockchain, March 2018.
  • Delivered keynote on Blockchain Technology at Intrepid Law Conference, May 2017.

LBDSpeaking&Workshop

WORKSHOPS

We facilitate legal design thinking workshops, showcasing how incorporating design methodologies into legal practice can aid in finding desirable solutions for clients.

team

PRESS

I was awarded the Ignite Fund Grant by George Brown College to conduct a research and innovation project on the applicability and intersection of blockchain technology and Will and Estates Planning Law. As part of the project I produced a research paper which was published in the Estates, Trusts, and Pensions Journal. 

WORK

FEATURED PROJECTS

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LEGAL CO-DESIGN PROJECT

Legal by Design led a collaborative eight-week co-design project with students from Queen’s University Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law and Schulich School of Business. The project involved the research and development of online learning content for legal professionals in the area of legal design as well as ideation and validation of an online platform solution in the area of Landlord & Tenant law.

The project applied iterative and exploratory learning pedegogy that incorporated agile methodology, systems thinking, business model generation, and prototyping workshops. Emphasis was placed on developing a design thinking mindset and how it can be applied to legal problem solving in a rapidly changing world. Students co-designed and provided feedback throughout the collaborative work integrated learning process, as well as conducted independent research and development of the platform. The project was executed remotely and participants used online design and project management tools, such as Slack, Goggle Jamboards, and Mural, to collaborate.

Synthesis_Map_Display

SYNTHESIS MAP

The ubiquity of technology is changing not only what we do, but also changing who we are. We created a Synthesis Map to investigate the relationship between the social media platform Instagram and mental health. The model allowed us to evaluate and visually showcase the many factors that influence the system from three interconnected perspectives: socio-psychological, socio-technical, and socio-ecological. 

The interrelationships of various parts and wholes, as well as patterns of change were identified. Our map was informed by various innovation research methods, including user surveys and image sorting. Through this process we were able to design several interventions that could serve to ameliorate deleterious effects using a system thinking approach. The Synthesis Map was presented at a session of Systems Thinking Ontario.

CoLab W2W

CoLab: Water to Women

As part of our submission to the Hult Prize, an international business competition which seeks to solve the world’s most pressing challenges, our team sought to leverage resources in a way that empowers women in Mexico City. Our goal was to create a sustainable solution that increases access to water through a lens of collaboration.

Using a systemic design approach to problem solving, our collaborative team created the ‘Water To Women’ initiative, which combines product design for the North American market with strategic brand partnerships, and a solution that has both a profitable business model and delivers meaningful impact. Our team was selected as finalists for the Hult Regional Summit in Toronto.

OM

Principal Legal Designer, Nélia Teixeira, co-founded a legal-tech start-up called Om Company; an online wills and estate planning platform. As Head of Legal she helped create, launch, and brought to market an application that allowed users to create up-to-date, and legally valid Will and Power of Attorney documents. During her time at Om her mission was to make the process of drafting wills and other legal documents simple for an affordable price. Thus, making legal services more accessible.

Through her efforts Om received an Ontario Centre of Excellence grant and was accepted as a member of the Legal Innovation Zone (LIZ), a tech incubator that focuses on building better legal solutions for consumers of legal services. LIZ is part of the Digital Media Zone (DMZ) at Ryerson University, which is Canada’s top business incubator and the number one university-based incubator in the world.

StartProud

START PROUD

Start Proud facilitates the professional development of LGBTQA+ students as they transition from school to career. We had the pleasure of facilitating a Legal Design Thinking workshop on creativity in the legal profession at their Out On Bay Street Conference in Toronto. Participants were given an overview of the Design Thinking process and were asked to create user personas and empathy maps to develop creative solutions to a traditional Wills and Estates legal problems.

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JUNIPER: LONG ON LIFE

Juniper Life Insurance sponsored a bounty prize for an innovative blockchain life insurance application at the CryptoChicks Hackathon. Our winning all-female team built a blockchain based web application as an extension to Juniper’s onboarding platform. We were able to automate the creation of an approved policy and record the details on an easily auditable blockchain. Our application also allows for beneficiaries of insurers to submit claims via the Juniper platform, which would automatically begin the verification process and payout.

Tokenizing individual casualty insurance policies and pooling risk assets facilitates transfers to reinsurers and eliminates insurance arbitrage. Disrupting the insurance model with a blockchain application that seamlessly transfers risk and disintermediates the insurance industry. Potentially creating a new asset class that could later be tranched. For details including links to the codebase visit the Devpost project site for Juniper: Long On Life.

Illustration_by_Mark Smith

DRAW UP A CONTRACT

For a Legal Design Challenge, we revised the Terms and Conditions of software and service contracts to make them more transparent and clear. The contracts were  designed to be consistent with the open-source ethic, which is principled on peer production, with products such as source code, blueprints, and documentation freely available to the public

 

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OSC REGHACK

The Ontario Securities Commission held #RegHackTO, Canada’s first regulatory hackathon. Our team placed third with a RegTech portal that validates initial coin offerings (ICOs). The solution provides standardized data for comparing investment products in key areas such as returns and fees. It would also allow for real-time oversight by the regulators, including early detection of products that raise investor protection concerns. Participants were judged on creativity, product, and execution. The OSC produced a Whitepaper on insights on DLT that they gleaned from the event, in part from our solution.

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DIGIDEATH

Our team placed second, building a digital Will for the Blockchain Canada  Summer hackathon. The product, which we named digideath, was built with Ethereum Smart Contracts. When the appropriate input is sent, the Smart Contract is able to distribute your digital assets in a predetermined manner upon your death. The digideath codebase can be found in this GitHub repository.

WORK

FEATURED PROJECTS

0 3

LEGAL CO-DESIGN PROJECT

Legal by Design led a collaborative eight-week co-design project with students from Queen’s University Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law and Schulich School of Business. The project involved the research and development of online learning content for legal professionals in the area of legal design as well as ideation and validation of an online platform solution in the area of Landlord & Tenant law.

The project applied iterative and exploratory learning pedegogy that incorporated agile methodology, systems thinking, business model generation, and prototyping workshops. Emphasis was placed on developing a design thinking mindset and how it can be applied to legal problem solving in a rapidly changing world. Students co-designed and provided feedback throughout the collaborative work integrated learning process, as well as conducted independent research and development of the platform. The project was executed remotely and participants used online design and project management tools, such as Slack, Goggle Jamboards, and Mural, to collaborate.

Synthesis_Map_Display

SYNTHESIS MAP

The ubiquity of technology is changing not only what we do, but also changing who we are. We created a Synthesis Map to investigate the relationship between the social media platform Instagram and mental health. The model allowed us to evaluate and visually showcase the many factors that influence the system from three interconnected perspectives: socio-psychological, socio-technical, and socio-ecological. 

The interrelationships of various parts and wholes, as well as patterns of change were identified. Our map was informed by various innovation research methods, including user surveys and image sorting. Through this process we were able to design several interventions that could serve to ameliorate deleterious effects using a system thinking approach. The Synthesis Map was presented at a session of Systems Thinking  Ontario.

CoLab W2W 1

CoLab: Water to Women

As part of our submission to the Hult Prize, an international business competition which seeks to solve the world’s most pressing challenges, our team sought to leverage resources in a way that empowers women in Mexico City. Our goal was to create a sustainable solution that increases access to water through a lens of collaboration. Using a systemic design approach to problem solving, our collaborative team created the ‘Water To Women’ initiative, which combines product design for the North American market with strategic brand partnerships, and a solution that has both a profitable business model and delivers meaningful impact. Our team was selected as finalists for the Hult Regional Summit in Toronto.

OM

Principal Legal Designer, Nélia Teixeira, co-founded a legal-tech start-up called Om Company; an online wills and estate planning platform. As Head of Legal she helped create, launch, and brought to market an application that allowed users to create up-to-date, and legally valid Will and Power of Attorney documents. During her time at Om her mission was to make the process of drafting wills and other legal documents simple for an affordable price. Thus, making legal services more accessible.

Through her efforts Om received an Ontario Centre of Excellence grant and was accepted as a member of the Legal Innovation Zone (LIZ), a tech incubator that focuses on building better legal solutions for consumers of legal services. LIZ is part of the Digital Media Zone (DMZ) at Ryerson University, which is Canada’s top business incubator and the number one university-based incubator in the world.

StartProud

START PROUD

Start Proud facilitates the professional development of LGBTQA+ students as they transition from school to career. We had the pleasure of facilitating a Legal Design Thinking workshop on creativity in the legal profession at their Out On Bay Street Conference in Toronto. Participants were given an overview of the Design Thinking process and were asked to create user personas and empathy maps to develop creative solutions to a traditional Wills and Estates legal problems.

Juniper Mockup1 1

JUNIPER: LONG ON LIFE

Juniper Life Insurance sponsored a bounty prize for an innovative blockchain life insurance application at the CryptoChicks Hackathon. Our winning all-female team built a blockchain based web application as an extension to Juniper’s onboarding platform. We were able to automate the creation of an approved policy and record the details on an easily auditable blockchain. Our application also allows for beneficiaries of insurers to submit claims via the Juniper platform, which would automatically begin the verification process and payout.

Tokenizing individual casualty insurance policies and pooling risk assets facilitates transfers to reinsurers and eliminates insurance arbitrage. Disrupting the insurance model with a blockchain application that seamlessly transfers risk and disintermediates the insurance industry. Potentially creating a new asset class that could later be tranched. For details including links to the codebase visit the Devpost project site for Juniper: Long On Life.

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WHO WE ARE

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Headshot

NÉLIA TEIXEIRA, JD

PRINCIPAL

 

 

 

NÉLIA TEIXEIRA, JD

PRINCIPAL

 

Designer. Educator. Lawyer

I am a legal strategist and interdisciplinary designer who is passionate about nurturing innovation and sharing knowledge. I am an Adjunct Professor at George Brown College’s School of Computer Technology, where I teach Laws and Regulations as part of the Blockchain Development Program. It is Canada’s first college accredited program in blockchain technology, and I also sit on the Program Advisory Board. Additionally, I am currently a Master’s of Design Candidate in Strategic Foresight and Innovation at OCAD University. 

My legal practice areas include Regulatory Compliance and Wills and Estate Planning, and I am a member in good standing of the Law Society of Ontario. My key competencies include commercial awareness, business acumen, and analytical research skills. I am very interested in the application of futures thinking to the law, including expanding access to legal services through the use of technology. My design consultancy applies to a wide range of practice areas. However, I have a special interest in blockchain, AI, fin-tech, and legal-tech. I am fascinated by complex systems, and understanding how change happens. I am an avid proponent of interdisciplinary research and teamwork, and I use this approach to understand opportunities and challenges from a systemic perspective. 

Prior to being called to the bar in 2016, I was a Student-at-Law with  Tangerine Bank. I received my Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law, and a Bachelor of Arts with honours in International Studies from York University’s bilingual Glendon College. I worked in the nonprofit sector in Canada and abroad before attending law school. 

I am also an accomplished visual artist, and I occasionally display my work in galleries and exhibitions.

Designer. Educator. Lawyer

I am a legal strategist and interdisciplinary designer who is passionate about nurturing innovation and sharing knowledge. I am an Adjunct Professor at George Brown College’s School of Computer Technology, where I teach Laws and Regulations as part of the Blockchain Development Program. It is Canada’s first college accredited program in blockchain technology, and I also sit on the Program Advisory Board. Additionally, I am currently a Master’s of Design Candidate in Strategic Foresight and Innovation at OCAD University. 

My legal practice areas include Regulatory Compliance and Wills and Estate Planning, and I am a member in good standing of the Law Society of Ontario. My key competencies include commercial awareness, business acumen, and analytical research skills. I am very interested in the application of futures thinking to the law, including expanding access to legal services through the use of technology. My design consultancy applies to a wide range of practice areas. However, I have a special interest in blockchain, AI, fin-tech, and legal-tech. I am fascinated by complex systems, and understanding how change happens. I am an avid proponent of interdisciplinary research and teamwork, and I use this approach to understand opportunities and challenges from a systemic perspective. 

Prior to being called to the bar in 2016, I was a Student-at-Law with  Tangerine Bank. I received my Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law, and a Bachelor of Arts with honours in International Studies from York University’s bilingual Glendon College. I worked in the nonprofit sector in Canada and abroad before attending law school. 

I am also an accomplished visual artist, and I occasionally display my work in galleries and exhibitions.

CONTACT

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