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NCBP 2019 Design Thinking Webinar
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Leadership by Design Follow-Up Webinar


Watch the follow-up video to the 2019 NCBP Annual Meeting Saturday Plenary session with Dan Linna, Jr. on Leadership by Design. Dan hosted a follow-up webinar on Sept. 9, to find out what bar leaders have been doing to implement design thinking for themselves and their bar. Watch the video here.


Here's what some of the attendees had to say:


In the last quarter of 2018, we used a multi-day process to revamp the Strategic Plan of the Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program, which administers our legal aid program in Dallas County.  It was the first time I had been involved in a process like this one, and it was fascinating to see what a room full of smart people who all had a stake in the program could devise.  

In San Francisco our topic was attorney wellness.  Using a similar process, but with only a very short period of time, we were able to come up with a number of ideas.  After San Francisco, I met with Alicia Hernandez, our Dallas Bar Executive Director, to discuss how we can use the same process to solve any number of problems facing bar associations and the legal profession in general.  The key is having the right people participate in the process and giving the process sufficient time to work.

For taking the design thinking learned at the NCBP Annual Meeting back to his bar, creating new ideas, and including new voices in the decision-making process, Robert was awarded a free registration to the 2020 NCBP Midyear Meeting.


I found the iteration aspect of design thinking to be the most helpful. Our topic in San Francisco was access to legal services. Back in Tennessee, I was serving as the chair of an ad-hoc committee on pro-se divorce lawyers:  access to justice meets the difficulty of practicing law in small and solo firms in changing legal markets. The group found it difficult – there was push back against the bar for going along with supreme court in designing forms that pro-se litigants have to use. Instead creating a study to find out how the forms were being used, we did a retrospective on what’s worked, and what hasn’t. And then we brainstormed at the state judicial conference on how to help solo and small firms, as well as pro se litigants.  We found the most helpful thing was to do different iterations of solutions. Jonathan Steen won a $50 gift certificate to an Austin restaurant to use at the 2020 NCBP Midyear Meeting for continuing his design thinking ideas back home in Tennessee.


It was amazing how our table was able to come up with similar ideas even though we are from all over the country, and Canada – using Dan’s rule of “no wrong ideas.” Even though we were all attacking the problem from different angles, we came up with similar solutions. If we focus on the why, we can fill in the what and the how. At my bar, we are now doing different things at board meetings- opening them up to guest speakers who are not part of our organization to get some fresh thoughts; and adding membership for all judges in our county (free membership for one year). For her efforts, Ann was awarded a free copy of Lean Impact, by Ann Mei Cheng, referenced in Dan Linna, Jr.’s presentation.


The State Bar of Michigan folks created a persona during the session – it was super helpful in coming up with ideas because they created a whole person to look at legal services in a larger picture.


See more about NCBP 21st Century Lawyer webinars here.