Using visualizations to represent structural legal data in transactions

When people think of lawyers, they generally think of lawyers using words on a page or words spoken in court. Unless they have worked with lawyers through the planning and strategizing stages of a case, most people do not think of lawyers as visual creatures. The lucky few who have worked with lawyers extensively may know that, contrary to popular opinion, lawyers rely heavily on visualizations, like flowcharts and structure diagrams.

Diagrams and illustrations are inherently powerful tools for conveying ideas, and so we reached out to Tim Follett, CEO of StructureFlow (https://www.structureflow.co/), to talk about this. Tim is one of the leaders in legaltech for visualizing and modelling structures of transactions.

Tim was kind enough to talk with us about what they are doing at StructureFlow and what they have planned for the future.

“… I think in all lawyers’ minds, when they are dealing with something, there is a mental image forming in their mind. And that mental image is what guides them and provides a framework for their understanding. Even in these complex transactions, even if there is no diagram, there is a understanding, a mental model that has been built up by a person…”

(timestamp 9:10)

Tim took us through a few of his stories in our 20 minute conversation:

  • how did he come up with StructureFlow as an idea
  • what it was like to draw structure diagrams at law firms before he created StructureFlow
  • the reasons why visualizations are so powerful and so useful for the work lawyers are doing
  • how visualizations align with the way people think
  • how StructureFlow is more than a 2D diagram, but is a data model for transactions
  • using “time as a vector” in StructureFlow
  • how visualizations cross language barriers and enable global collaboration

You can watch the video of our conversation here:

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