Associate Professor of Business Law, University of Vaasa; Contract Strategist, Lexpert Ltd

Helena Haapio


A lawyer on a mission to change the way contracts and law are perceived, presented, and taught.


Helena is a lawyer and contract strategist by day and a researcher, author, and editor by night. She has had the good fortune of working with information designers and plain language experts who have taught her a lot. She is a co-founder and co-creator of the WorldCC Contract Design Pattern Library and currently co-editing two books for Edward Elgar, one on Contract Design and the other on Legal Design.


Helena is an Associate Professor of Business Law at the University of Vaasa, Finland, and a Contract Strategist at Lexpert Ltd. In addition to her doctorate and LLM, she is proud to hold a Master of Quality degree. Like engineers, Helena wants everything she does to be functional, useful, and usable.

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When text met design... Making legal documents functional and user-friendly by design


Much has been said about the challenges legal texts present for their readers. The problems have many causes and names, including wall of text, legalese, fine print, scattered information, and TL; DR (too long; didn't read). Less has been said and done about possible solutions beyond plain language. This session shows examples of visual and other design patterns that have been successfully used as companions to plain text, for the benefit of readers and writers alike.


Join this presentation to:

  • see the difference small design changes can make to complex texts 

  • discover design patterns, where to find them, and how to use them

  • learn about layering and how it has been successfully used in legal information design

  • see how Open AI’s GPT-3 and GitHub can help writers and designers with first drafts


Two useful resources: