In an apparent bid to connect with youth culture, magic circle firm Linklaters has re-designed the offer letter it sends out to future trainees. Gone are the days when a monochrome typed document was enough – successful recruits will now receive a purple-themed, eco-friendly letter devoid of legalese.
During a two-week series of workshops, students and trainees were asked to re-imagine the offer letter and revealed they would prefer it to be ‘more upbeat’, ‘more welcoming’ and – somewhat alarmingly for a group of thrusting young lawyers – ‘less legal sounding’.
The initiative is part of a broader programme to apply ‘legal design’ to the firm, with client documents also coming under scrutiny. ‘We chose the training contract offer letter because it was a relatively short document and we could therefore experiment and execute quickly,’ said innovation head Shilpa Bhandarkar. ‘It is market-facing. There are identifiable metrics against which we can measure success and get honest feedback, often in real time.’
Bhandarkar worked with legal design agency Observ to produce a digital offer letter which ‘riffs’ on Linklaters’ purple logo. The document promises to be less bureaucratic, less wordy and more environmentally-friendly. It is also supposed to differentiate the Linklaters brand on campus.
Whether it will contain emojis and text speak is yet to be revealed, but Obiter lives in hope.