Our Chief of Staff, who is a website designer in her own right, took a look at every ABA-approved law school website. Here are her top 10.
Harvard’s site is a great example of a well-executed, traditional design that works. Thoughtful details abound on the site without making it feel busy (for instance, the prominently displayed “overview” links in each dropdown from the main menu), and the color scheme and typeface choices are consistent and visually appealing. Let’s be honest: Harvard probably could have slacked on their website design without losing any applicants — but they didn’t.
Liberty is another good example of traditional design held to a high standard. Liberty also makes the list for managing to pull off a red-blue-gold color scheme. Overall, the site does an effective job of conveying the information it’s meant to in a visually compelling package.
Loyola LA treads a fine line between gimmicky and pleasantly striking — and it comes out on the right side. The full-screen front page displays views of the campus and LA in beautiful high-resolution cinematography while also managing not to take away from the simple, intuitive navigation system. Venturing further into the site, you find useful information in a well-organized, cohesive design scheme that never gets too busy.
MC Law’s website strikes an impressive balance between understated and eye-catching, old-school and modern — while the color scheme of muted blues and browns has a calming effect, they also effectively use large, high-resolution photos to draw the viewer in. Likewise, while the use of serif typefaces and paper background textures hints at an old-world feel, the images and modern “MC | Law” logo feel fresh. MC Law makes effective use of photos, white space, and expanding menus to create a site that is both visually appealing and user-friendly.
Stanford Law makes our list primarily for its compelling design and visual interest. With its unique and eye-catching design, Stanford Law’s website is colorful and engaging, displaying numerous large, high-resolution photos and other media. With several different ways of navigating the site, making your way to your desired information may at first seem daunting, but once you start clicking, the navigation becomes fairly intuitive.
Berkeley Law’s website made this list because, in addition to its intuitive navigation and pleasant visuals, the site feels very… well, very Berkeley. It’s bright and colorful, and it feels modern. It makes an excellent use of white space, and the top navigation bar gives the site a unique, playful aesthetic along with a few other stylistic details. It’s an overall memorable site with a fun, lighthearted style.
Idaho Law’s website is cohesive with its parent university’s main site, and the result is a pleasant, professional color scheme and a thoughtful way of displaying the information the site has to offer. With its use of gray and gold plus a good amount of white space, the site feels compelling and clean despite a high density of links and menus.
Texas Law’s website does orange right — that is, minimally. Where other sites go full force into an orange-heavy color scheme, that choice can often feel garish and distracting. Texas Law embraces the orange in more subtle ways, using a dark, muted shade for buttons and titles. In addition to its color choices, UT also displays a wide variety of compelling, high-resolution photos that draw the viewer in.
Vanderbilt’s site conveys a lot of options and information without feeling too busy. Its color scheme and general style are well-executed and consistent, and its use of photos brings the site some life. Overall, the site is visually appealing while also conveying a good deal of information on every page.
William & Mary’s website is clean, elegant, and easily navigated with a simple, prominent top menu bar and a beautiful, consistent color scheme. For the most part, W&M’s site is just an excellent example of well-executed generic web design, although the front page center alignment gives it a bit of unique interest that fits the overall classic, refined aesthetic.