Students looking for blue sky ideas

Students looking for blue sky ideas

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Photo of a student putting post-it notes on the wall, mapping the client experience through the duty lawyer service
Students mapping the duty lawyer service experience from a client perspective. Photo credit: Joandita Centika

A group of 12 RMIT design students are exploring the legal assistance sector using human-centred design tools and methodologies.

As part of the 14-week course, the students are looking to identify and respond to challenges in the legal assistance sector—in particular, Victoria Legal Aid’s Prisoner Legal Help telephone service and the Criminal Law Duty Lawyer Service.

Jess Bird, Service Designer at Victoria Legal Aid also lectures in the industrial design program at RMIT University. She is working with Dr Juliette Anich to guide the students through the semester.

Jess says the benefit of working with the students is that they can look at ‘blue sky ideas’.

‘The students have the opportunity to approach challenges in a way that the legal assistance sector usually doesn’t have the time or resources to,’ she said.

‘It’s an opportunity to look at problems from a different perspective and to challenge the status quo, it also gives us the chance to strive for better services and experiences for staff, clients and other stakeholders.’

As Jess explains, the learning is beneficial both ways.

‘VLA has learnt to look at different ways of approaching problems and the value of using design tools to create better outcomes for all involved, while the students (who have all learnt a lot) have a better understanding of the justice system and legal assistance services, how government works, and how they can apply their design skills to improve services.’

Share your feedback  

On Wednesday 13 September, the students are hosting a workshop to test their prototypes and concepts, while gathering instant feedback as participants play with and review their ideas.

Interested in attending the workshop?

If you are interested in attending the workshop, email Jessica.Bird@vla.vic.gov.au for more information.