OHO Columbia Law School

Always Forward-Looking. Always Relevant.

As one of the top five law schools in the country, Columbia Law School has a prestigious reputation for quality and achievement. Despite this, many notable aspects of the law school experience had been unclear or even unseen. Fueled by comprehensive user research, a thoughtful content strategy, and compelling user experience design, the new Columbia Law School website more effectively showcases the Columbia Law experience in a manner that is intuitive to key audiences and sustainable for content editors, helping reinforce the school’s elite status.

  • Higher Education
  • Website Redesign
  • Content Strategy


  • Strategy
  • User Experience
  • Content Strategy
  • Visual Design
  • Drupal Development
The Columbia Law School homepage displayed on a mobile device
A Venn diagram combining ‘Elevate Brand Prestige’ and ‘Align & Meet User Needs’ leading to the intersection of ‘Increased Engagement

Articulate Excellence. Meet User Needs.

The project strategy involved bringing the messaging into focus, organizing the vast content resources so that they leveled up to the brand, structuring the site around the expressed user needs of prospective students, and then establishing a governance and publishing system to ensure growth and success over the long-term.

Defining the Brand Pillars

We developed a message architecture to align website content to a defined hierarchy of communications goals. Our process was informed by workshops with the client team, insight from the dean’s vision for the school, and our user research.

Columbia Law School Brand Message Pillars - Advancing a longstanding tradition of excellence, Always forward-looking always relevant, International leadership and global perspectives, A welcoming community of engaged legal thinkers, thriving in New York City

Your Campus, Your City

Location, location, location. User and market research revealed that Columbia's location in New York City was the number one decision factor in prospects selecting the school. This research also revealed the necessity of showcasing all New York offers and providing very practical details about housing, dining, and Columbia's Morningside Heights neighborhood.

The Columbia Law School homepage displayed on a mobile device
The Columbia Law School Your Campus, Your City page displayed on a mobile device

Putting the User First

We conducted extensive user research including needs analysis and one-on-one think aloud interviews with users. These sessions revealed the prioritized user needs that informed the information architecture and page design. 

A Columbia Law School interior page displayed on a tablet

Show, Don't Tell

The new site employs a “show, don’t tell” editorial strategy that is more proactive and strategic, showcases a broader range of graduate outcomes, elevates faculty expertise, and demonstrates the school’s relevance to the issues of the day.

Elevating the Student Experience

Students desired to know more about experiential learning opportunities, which were scattered and buried across the old site. We created a new “Experiential Learning” section that captures offerings such as moot court, clinics, simulations, and more. Relevant offerings are pulled onto suitable "area of study" pages.

The Columbia Law School Experiential Learning page displayed on a laptop
A Columbia Law School areas of study page displayed on a mobile device

Providing the Information Prospects Need Most

Comprehensive faculty profiles that encompass not just CV details but also recent news and courses taught provides key audiences the insights they need to make their decision.

  • A Columbia Law School faculty profile page
  • A Columbia Law School faculty profile page
  • A Columbia Law School faculty profile page
  • A Columbia Law School faculty profile page

Every Course. Every Semester.

We designed and developed a comprehensive course catalog that allows prospective and current students to plan their academic experience with great detail. The course catalog allows students to sort every course for every semester by professor, level, area of study and time of day to create a fully customized schedule.

A Columbia Law School interior page displayed on a mobile device