Ever year we get to know law school applicants who have extensive web development experience, who have just been through the admissions process, and who incredibly generously agree to look at all ABA law school websites to pick us their collective top 10. Here are this year's rankings per one such applicant years!
Boston University Law School’s website is one of my favorites. The sans serif font is fun and fresh, especially compared to the more traditional, all capital serif fonts that a lot of law schools use on their site and all their branding. The red, white, and (baby) blue color scheme is fun, fresh, and modern and the rest of the site continues along that track. I also found that the site had a wealth of easily accessible information that’s right at your fingertips once you start clicking around.
Brooklyn Law had everything I wanted from a law school website. I kept trying to put myself in the mindset of someone checking out law school sites for the first time. I did this in part to see what I would notice about usability and functionality and this site is everything a person could want. The design is simple and friendly but still visually appealing. For example, the menu selections drop down and stay down when clicked, which is always helpful when you’re trying to first navigate around a new site, and there are plenty of pictures but they don’t overwhelm the landing page and aren’t so huge and hi-res that they take time to load on a slow internet connection. The site is practical, classic, and feels just right.
Northeastern Law is another example of a school whose overall branding I just really enjoy and the website continues in those footsteps of good clean design. Their logo, font choice, and the website manages to be both engaging and contemporary, and for me, offers just the right amount of photographs and graphics. The site also manages to catch the eye with a few data points shown in a visually pleasing way and makes you want to keep reading.
I thought Delaware Widener’s site was a fun example of classic meets contemporary, with a more traditional law school logo paired with bold sans serif fonts and bright pops of color. It manages to straddle the line of old school and modern quite well and the drop down menus from the navigation bar provide access to a wealth of information that tucks away neatly when you’re not mousing over each link.
San Diego School of Law has a lot of great material to work with - they’re located in one of the most beautiful parts of the country and they’ve done a great job of capitalizing on beauty of their location for the website. Their choice to showcase gorgeous campus photos along with the light blue and white color scheme make the site really pop. They have a lot to work with aesthetically and they did not disappoint - the site transmits a calming, vacation-like feeling, which is not the usual law school website feel. I was also a fan of the choice to have a navigation bar on the main page with some quick links as well as an expandable menu tab that has more indepth links and resources for when you’re ready to take a deeper plunge into the site.
Suffolk Law’s website is everything a classic law school website should be. The blue and gold color scheme, the university coat of arms, and the serif font logo all give the website a very age old look. Despite this, the navigation and functionality of the website manages to be practical and uncluttered and I found the site to be a joy to not only look at but also use.
University of Washington is another example of a campus location that has a lot to work with, from an aesthetic perspective. I appreciate that they put an interesting, eye catching photo on their homepage, and the use of negative space with the main logo was also visually pleasing. The entire site was well thought out and attractive and represented the law school well.
The cohesiveness of the graphic design on Northwestern Pritzker School of Law’s site makes it one of my favorites. Part of the school’s mission is pushing to the forefront of innovation and I think the website reflects that. It looks smart, fresh, and it’s easy to use, unlike other sites which sacrifice usability for appearance in the form of giant photographs and graphics. I’m a huge fan of the overall Northwestern branding and the law school site does not disappoint.
I’m big on color and I really liked the color scheme of St. Thomas Law site. The two shades of purple, the light blue on the clean white background and then the sky blues and the golds of the homepage cover photo were well thought out and yet different from other sites. The site also manages to stay friendly and usable, unlike a lot of others which almost immediately inundate and overwhelm the visitor with information.
Michigan State decided to be different and go with the side navigation bar and I want to applaud them for it. A lot of law school sites showed a lack of creativity and started to blend together as I was looking at them all. This design was fun, simple, and different and I appreciated a break from the monotony. They also had fun infographics on their site which I always appreciate.
You can find last year's Top 10 here.
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** Disclaimer: Spivey Consulting does not play a role in any of the selection or wording of the website rankings. We consult for law schools and thus want to remain entirely removed and impartial from this process.