What will I learn?


How can we make the justice system more equal, dignified, and fair?

Three out of four people with cases in state court have no lawyer, but are often navigating issues with profound importance to their lives. At the same time, the courts are trying to manage a massive volume of cases, with particularly large numbers of cases concerning debt collection and housing.

How can we make courts that help people resolve their problems, avoid a poverty crisis, and still operate efficiently?

This class will have students partnered directly with a court that is interested in reimagining how 2 types of court cases -- eviction and debt collection -- could be more human-centered. We will work on site at court, with observations, interviews, ride-alongs, and workshops to understand how these 2 types of cases work and what outcomes they result in. And students will map out key user types, opportunities for change, and a vision of what a several year redesign process might look like.

This class will be the first part of a multi-year partnership to carry out a human-centered design process in the civil justice system. The students will learn how to do design research, facilitate multi-stakeholder system redesign, and envision a government innovation process. Their work will directly feed into future classes, pilots, and studies into how to make housing and debt court more fair, accessible, and just.

Note: This is a 20-week course. Students interested in applying to the class should plan to enroll in both fall and winter quarters.


Learn with

Teaching Team

Margaret Hagan
Director, Stanford Legal Design Lab

Deborah Rhode
Director, Stanford Center on the Legal Profession
Professor of Law, Stanford Law School

Jason Solomon
Executive Director, Stanford Center on the Legal Profession
Lecturer in Law, Stanford Law School

Glenn Fajardo
Technologist, Designer, Social Innovator


Any questions?

How do I get in touch with the teaching team?

Email Margaret at mdhagan@stanford.edu


  • LAW 806Y

  • M + W, 9:30a - 12:20p

  • 4 Units

  • Credit/No Credit; Honors/Pass/Fail

  • Studio 2

  • 20 Weeks: Fall-Winter Quarters


Admission by application. Due 11:59p, Friday, September 13th.

Apply Here!

Accepting 30 Graduate Students, Undergraduate Students, Fellows, and Post-Docs.