Wednesday, September 25, 2019|12:30PM-6:30PM

U of C Downtown Campus: 906-8 Avenue SW, Calgary

Founding Partner


Gold Sponsor


Strategic Partners



As part of the wider Canadian Legal Innovation Forum - in association with the Canadian Bar Association and the University of Calgary Faculty of Law - ADB Insights is organizing a series of design thinking workshops across Canada. The inaugural workshop will be held in Calgary, September 25th with future workshops being held in Toronto (November) and Vancouver (January, 2020).

The purpose of the workshops is to build a local and national network of innovators collaborating to solve challenges faced by the legal sector. Participants will learn and employ design thinking frameworks to address them. Participants will be a mix from law firms, in-house counsel, academia and vendors.

Why attend the workshop?

  • The legal sector faces disruptive challenges to its existing model. These challenges centre around technological change, increased competitive/client pressure on traditional legal service delivery models and engaging and retaining talent. Design thinking offers a toolkit to help address these challenges.

  • Learn and use design thinking methodology to create a foundation for a structured, methodological approach to challenges you are facing in your legal practice

  • Develop a innovation strategy for your law firm/law department that is structured, sustainable and persuasive

  • Create a toolkit to help you collaborate better with clients, stakeholders and partners

  • Build a network of like minded legal innovators from across the Alberta legal sector

Key Information

  • Launch workshop is in Calgary, Alberta on September 25, 2019: 12.30pm - 6.30pm

  • Half-Day, afternoon timing: 5 hour session (followed by networking drinks)

  • Facilitation partner is Keren Perla (Design Specialist) who is a highly experienced facilitator in design-thinking methodology. Co-facilitators are key innovators in the Alberta legal market: Kyla Sandwith, Martine Boucher and Kyle Myck.

  • 60 attendees maximum. Participants split between: law firms, in-house counsel, academics and legal sector service providers. All levels of career experience encouraged to join as well as non-lawyers.

  • Registration Details:

    - LAW FIRMS - $399
    - IN-HOUSE COUNSEL - $24

    CBA members are entitled to a 25% discount off of the registration fee. To access the registration code please contact:

    Travel subsidies may be available for CBA Alberta members
    outside of Calgary.
    Please complete the subsidy request form or for more information,



The collaboration workshops will focus on challenges faced by the legal sector using design-thinking and other methodologies to address them. The three themes concentrate on common challenges by those in the legal sector. They are:

  • Improving the user experience. For lawyers, providing legal expertise is a given. The key area for lawyers to differentiate themselves is through service delivery. How can the customer journey (client, business) be re-imagined? Some example scenarios: new file/client intake, managing difficult client conversations and client management.

  • Talent – the recruitment, retention and purpose puzzle. Talent is the core asset of the legal sector. Yet, there are many dynamics at play when it comes to engaging, retaining and developing lawyers. How can the recruitment, retention and purpose puzzle be better mapped? Some example scenarios: developing a talent intake, recruitment and retention strategy; evolving and sustaining corporate/firm culture in the face of change.

  • Enhancing processes. Delivering legal services efficiently is a challenge. How can enhanced internal processes drive improved service delivery from private practice and in-house counsel? How can a law department shift from cost-centre to value-creator? How can proven process management techniques used by other sectors apply to private practice? Some example scenarios: re-designing legal service delivery to be more impactful (billing, contract management, NDAs).



  • Attendees briefed on the themes that will be covered in the workshops approximately 2 weeks in advance. They will be given reading materials outlining themes and design thinking methodologies for application during the workshop.

During the Workshop

  • 3 x presentations from sector participants on challenges they are facing in their day to day work providing real-world context. The challenges will be related to the defined themes of the workshop.

  • Facilitation. The facilitation partner – Keren Perla (Design Specialist) -  for the workshop will outline and review the key tenets of design thinking. She define the challenges for each group to tackle during the collaboration exercise which will be supported from three other facilitators from the legal sector with design thinking experience.

  • Collaboration Exercise. The attendees will be broken into working groups of 6-8 people. Each group will be a blend of practitioners from in-house, law firms and legal sector service providers at different points in their career. Each group will be assigned one of the 3 challenges and then will collaborate to apply the design thinking framework to them. Facilitators will circulate amongst the group to assist. Team leaders will be appointed for each group.

  • Presentations. Groups will then present the first iteration of their proposed solutions to the wider group. The focus will be on the process of collaboration, not necessarily outcomes - both success and failure will be actively encouraged.


  • Collaboration Teams will be encouraged to continue discuss their learnings after the workshops or other connections they make in the workshops.