Make a legal help website that people will use.

People are going to the Internet to find help for their life/legal problems.

The Legal Help Dashboard can help you make better legal help websites, to build people’s legal capability.

1

Discovery & Rank

Make it easier for people to find your website online — especially to have higher search engine placement.

2

Tech Performance

Make your website faster, bug-free, mobile-friendly, secure, and less burdensome for people to use.

3

User-Friendly Design

Design your site to be engaging, trustworthy, accessible, and clear.

4

Good Content

Ensure you have info on the right topics, in the right language, in the right format.

The Legal Help Dashboard helps people working for a court, legal aid group, law library, or law help site to improve their websites and online outreach to people facing justice problems.

Use the Legal Help Dashboard website to improve the technical backend, frontend design, and content of your website.

Also apply to join our Legal Help Search cohort, to get direct technical assistance and participate in a network of like-minded colleagues working on improving legal help websites.

The Legal Help Dashboard is a project run by Stanford Legal Design Lab, with support from The Pew Charitable Trusts.

People are put into legal situations all the time. It could be with their housing, money, education, work, or family. When they find themselves in this situation, where can they turn for help?
When they do go online, what’s the best digital experience to empower & support them? What kinds of sites should they be matched with? And what should these sites offer to them?
Many people go online to seek help. They search the Internet, talk to their voice assistants, or pose a question on social media. They’re searching for understanding, options, advice, and services to assist them.

Is your legal help website helping the people that need it?

The Legal Help Dashboard has technical guides, data-driven needs insights, and a community of practice to improve your website’s quality and its search placement.

What makes for a quality legal help website?

A good legal help website is discoverable, accessible, engaging, and actionable.

  • People should be able to easily find it online. Search engines should show it to people in your jurisdiction who are seeking help for life/legal problems.
  • It should load quickly and easily on people’s phone or computer. It should be easy to navigate, click through, and do tasks on. It should impose low burdens on people, when they’re trying to find the right resources and do the right task for their problem.
  • The website should look engaging, trustworthy, and clear. Its language should be direct and readable. It should have images and branding that make complex ideas understandable. It should also communciate authority and trust.
  • It should build people’s legal capability. After using the site, people should be more knowledgeable about their legal situation and options. They should have a clear idea about what step-by-step process to expect. And they should feel more confident about what legal option might be best fit their situation.
  • The website should help people move forward on resolving their problem. It should give them referrals, resources, hand-offs, and tools to help them take the next step. Or it can help them make the strategic choice not to move forward into the legal system. But if a person does want to move forward, the website will give them DIY or service help to increase their ability to do so.

Getting Started

Are you just starting off with SEO and website improvements? Make sure you understand how your website currently is operating, and take some first steps in improving your tech and content.

1. Do a Website Checkup

How many people are coming to your website, and using it to find legal help? Where is your site ranking when people in your service area search online about their problems?

Visit our rankings of US legal help websites to find how your site compares to other legal help websites. Then get started with a detailed website audit to find where exactly you can improve.

2. Get Your Tech in Order

Make sure you have the tech ready to see your site’s performance and where people are coming to visit you – -by using tools like Google Search Console.

Also start with low-hanging technical fixes to problems flagged in your site’s SEO and speed audits.

3. Refresh Your Content & Design

Does your website match what people are searching for? Does it have resources that meet people’s needs, and in plain language and user-friendly interfaces?

Get started with a content refresh by changing your page titles and headings to be plain language, and with phrases that people use to search online.

Join our Legal Help Online Cohort

Apply to join our Legal Help Online Cohort to get technical assistance and a supportive community in making your legal help website better & show up higher on search engines.