Campbell Law, N.C. State partner to train law students in design thinking

Photo of students looking at sticky notes on a clear glass wall

RALEIGH — Campbell Law School and N.C. State University are again partnering to offer a unique course aimed at training 21st-century lawyers to be more innovative and empathetic, and ultimately more successful.

The intention and philosophy of the course, “Design Thinking in Law,” are described in the syllabi as:

“People with design thinking skills are more innovative, productive, and human-centered, thanks to the design process of empathizing, visualizing, prototyping, and iterating. Lawyers who are more client-centered and more empathetic would be more successful in their professional career. This course will introduce the concept and process of design thinking. Students will have the opportunity to practice and develop the design thinking skills through hands-on exercises and projects.”

The course will be taught jointly by Campbell Law Professor Kevin P. Lee, who couples his long-standing interest in the phenomenon of human religiousness with his interest in the emerging networked, globalized society, and N.C. State College of Design’s head of the Department of Graphic Design and Industrial Design and Professor Tsai Lu Liu to law  students at Campbell University’s Downtown Raleigh campus.

“Law is a system that has evolved by and for the needs of lawyers and the legal profession,” Lee says. “What human-centered design seeks is to rethink the law from the view of the citizen who it is intended to serve.”

The partnership with N.C. State’s College of Design gives Campbell Law students access to one of the most acclaimed and highly respected design programs in the world.

“We are engaged in figuring out what massive changes in technology will require of the future lawyers we are training, and Professor Lee is leading the way,” explains Campbell Law’s Dean J. Rich Leonard.

Students taking “Design Thinking in Law,” which will be offered beginning spring 2019, will apply the instruction via both individual and group projects intended to challenge and strengthen their grasp of:

  • design thinking mentality and its value;
  • the design process by practicing;
  • deep understanding of human/client/stakeholder experience by conducting empathic and ethnographic researches;
  • technologies in both the discovery and development phases of their innovation endeavors to enhance their client experience;
  • and prototyping and testing in developing solutions.

The partnership deepens the relationship between the institutions that includes four dual degree programs: The Juris Doctor and Master of Business Administration Program, The Juris Doctor and Master of Accounting Program, The Juris Doctor and Master of Public Administration Program and The Juris Doctor & Master of Social Work Program.


Since its founding in 1976, Campbell Law has developed lawyers who possess moral conviction, social compassion and professional competence, and who view the law as a calling to serve others. Among its accolades, the school has been recognized by the American Bar Association (ABA) as having the nation’s top Professionalism Program and by the American Academy of Trial Lawyers for having the nation’s best Trial Advocacy Program. Campbell Law boasts more than 4,200 alumni, who make their home in nearly all 50 states and beyond. In 2019, Campbell Law will celebrate 40 years of graduating legal leaders and 10 years of being located in a state-of-the-art facility in the heart of North Carolina’s Capital City. For more information, visit