Northeastern University NuLawLab Web Initiative
Helping change the world of legal education

A user looking at the NuLawMaps website by Cantilever on a tablet

NuLawLab is the innovation laboratory of the law school at Northeastern University. They provide a space for law students and faculty at Northeastern to engage with the hardest challenges facing our legal system: Human rights, housing law, employment discrimination, and more.

They envision and implement unique programs that empower the public to engage successfully with the legal system. Simultaneously, they seek to make waves in legal education by promoting new ways of thinking in the profession.

They approached us a few years into their existence and asked us to design a fresh brand identity and a new website. We brought on our friends at Happy Cog to provide development.

Our design work for the NuLawLab at Northeastern University
We designed two sites that worked in harmony rather than trying to shoehorn all the complex functionality we desired into one project.

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We started by conducting a two-day intensive workshop at their space in Boston. As with all of our discovery processes, we began by diving deep on who they were, and how they fit in to the complicated landscape of legal education. We explored the nature of the legal profession at large, and the trends in how lawyers were being trained and groomed. We made sure that we understood their mission and circumstances 100% before beginning design.

Mind map for Northeastern University NuLawLab Web Initiative
We considered every element of the NuLawLab ecosystem in envisioning the web presence that made the most sense for them.
They helped us discover our identity. They did a remarkably good job of getting to know who we are as an organization and what drives us. We have a bit of a niche audience, but Ty was able to embed himself to understand what we were looking for. That was a great gift that I see as an example of their going above and beyond.

Dan Jackson, Executive Director, NuLawLab

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Verified Review

After gaining a tight understanding of their mission and values, we created a new visual brand identity that communicated those qualities.

Northeastern University NuLawLab Logos and Skittles
We designed a flexible brand system that worked for the Lab itself plus any sub-properties they wanted to develop.
Northeastern University NuLawLab branded collateral journal and letterhead

Embracing the New

We found their team to be incredibly creative and forward-thinking. We decided that a traditional site would not suffice. We decided to suggest a “Web Initiative” – not a website – which spans several individual web properties. Each property has its own unique sub-brand within the overall branding system we created. The first wave was their organization homepage, which features project news and information about the lab within a quirky layout, along with a unique mapping application called NuLawMaps.

NuLawMaps allows for multi-axis storytelling by putting a time slider on an interactive map. Any phenomena you can map for one moment in time can be mapped for unlimited moments instead. The user can drag the slider to transform the map’s data and reveal the story NuLawLab is trying to tell. This application allows the Lab to illustrate legal triumphs and tragedies, from centuries ago to the present day.

🌈 Would you like a unique custom application to represent your brand? Cantilever can envision a bespoke concept just for you.

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This tool was a hit. It was nominated for a Webby Award in 2015. What put the icing on the cake for us was learning that the Lab had used the mapping tool in a classroom setting to illustrate legal justice issues for students. We are a teaching company, and being a part of the education of tomorrow’s legal professionals is a special honor.

The award-nominated design has been lauded by both internal and external users and justifies the significant investment. Their deep engagement in understanding project goals and overall business strategy informs their proactive, curious, and creative work, which is always delivered on time.

Dan Jackson, Executive Director, NuLawLab

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Verified Review

Future Expansion

Soon to follow are NuLawReview, a digital-native take on the scholarly legal journal, and NuLawHub, a meeting place for lawyers, activists, and the public to discuss topics around legal justice. With our modular branding approach, the Lab is poised to grow and change over time.

Client: Northeastern University NuLawLab
Team:
  • Ty Fujimura
  • Payton Biddington
  • Nevan Scott
Year launched: 2014
Roles:
  • UX
  • Branding
  • Design

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