The Legal Designer – Rae Digby-Morgan
Wilson Fletcher is a business and service innovation consultancy designing digital-first strategies, services and experiences that help our clients to accelerate service innovation and modernise their businesses. We work across a wide range of industries, sectors and organisations including legal. My role is focussed on driving habitual innovation within firms, establishing opportunities, developing digital-first strategies and drawing out those big ideas. My experience lends itself well to leading on programmes in the legal sector or those with a heavier product development angle.
One of the aspects I enjoy most about my job is working across different industries and applying that insight and experience into a completely different sector. It gives us an edge as an organisation and much better outcomes for our clients. I really enjoy future visioning a service or experience, it’s the most effective way of leaving the legacy experience behind and stripping off the perceived constraints holding you back. Watching that shift in mindset across a team is really rewarding, especially when they realise that some of the best ideas won’t come out in that room, but over the next few days or weeks whilst they are sitting on the bus, having a shower or talking to someone about something completely unrelated.
How I got my role
My experience is varied and I have amassed skills in a variety of different and complementary disciplines. That has meant I can take responsibility for a wide range of projects, which expands your experience faster and broadens your perspective.
I have a law degree but quickly decided that my interest in law didn’t extend to becoming a solicitor or barrister. I joined LexisNexis (as it was then Butterworths) and held roles in online product support and adoption before moving into digital product development, creating and managing products for the legal sector.
Over the course of one large and difficult project I realised I could have delivered a whole quarter earlier if my project management skills had been better. I moved to the project management function to upskill in large scale project delivery and my first experiences of agile delivery mechanisms.
My heart really lay in product development and so I returned to portfolio product management for the Pacific region and then a senior lead role in the UK Product team. Latterly I was running concept development and service design innovation for Lexis in the UK legal market.
I left Lexis to set up my own innovation and service design house specialising in legal and public sectors. I was a client of Wilson Fletcher whilst at Lexis, and the engagement was so good for both of us that we stayed in contact. I had been running my own company for a while when the opportunity came up at Wilson Fletcher and I was invited to join. I now work in the strategy, digital design and innovation space helping firms and companies thrive in the digital market place, monetise their assets, and shift their thinking and activities from modernisation to innovation. Recently, we’ve been designing and implementing flexible innovation processes which is having a big impact and we’re starting to see the first fruits of that mindset shift coming through.
Advice to pursue a job like this
You need to take on roles that will give you a broad experience and varied perspective. The legal sector is often insular and so experience outside of a law firm is critical for effective innovation in my view. Legal experience is useful in understanding the market but can hold you back if you assume that user behaviour or problems mimic your own. I have taken courses in user experience which will not make me a UX professional (as that would take years more experience) but helped me to understand the design process, how best to feed that process and how to form and lead successful teams around it. That can be a great way to extend your understanding whilst in your current role and pave the way to shift to another.
A job like mine requires you to be great at listening and it’s a skill that many people lose over the course of their careers. Be open, collaborative, respectful of other disciplines and willing to learn from anyone regardless of their seniority. It really is immense fun when you do.