The Bar’s website is the chief means of communicating critical information to both our members and the general public. For our members, the website provides the means to obtain CLE credit, to access member benefits and practice support resources, and to post and obtain information about career opportunities through the Job Bank. For the general public, the website provides options for citizens seeking lawyer referrals, information about available “access to justice” resources, information about the Bar’s attorney admissions process and disciplinary system, and information about other Bar activities that are geared to members of the public. With an average of over 14,000 visits to the Bar’s website per month, a well-functioning website is critical to fulfillment of the Bar’s mission to regulate the practice of law, facilitate the provision of quality legal services to the public, and assist attorneys in the professional practice of law. In years since the original site launched, the web has rapidly evolved, and the technical landscape has undergone enormous change. When it became apparent to the Wyoming State Bar that the previous Bar website just wasn’t keeping up with technology, the Bar contacted West Edge Collective in Cheyenne to help update and improve the existing website’s functionality. Given that mobile users now make up roughly 50% of all web traffic, the first step was to make the site “responsive.” This means that it easily adapts from desktop to mobile devices and will deliver the best possible experience on both platforms (see graphic at far right). Next, the Bar and West Edge Collective identified primary user groups (such as the general public and legal professionals) and focused on organizing information on the site in a way that would better serve each group. The new site is less text-heavy, and it also includes top-level navigation pages to help users quickly find the information relevant to them. Since the original site’s launch, search engines have also evolved, and new standards have emerged to enhance the web experience. The new site now complies with best practices for search engines, which will help users land directly on the most relevant page right from a Google (or other search engine) search. Now complete, the website redesign addresses all of the former site’s major technology weaknesses, as well as improves overall content clarity and navigability. This website update represents a key step in building a platform that empowers the Bar to maintain high legal, ethical and professional standards for the practice of law in Wyoming. The site is not just a website; it is a suite of applications that forms the “back end” system used to manage Bar members, accredit CLE courses, and manage the regulatory functions the Bar administers on behalf of the Wyoming Supreme Court. The relaunch of the public website also forms an expandable foundation for the site itself, as well as the update and replacement of all management tools. With the launch of the new site, the Bar’s technology is elevated into the modern web era. The Wyoming State Bar looks forward to continuing to deliver tools that help the public, members, and the Bar staff work together to maintain a strong legal community!
Published by Wyoming State Bar . View All Articles.