Project story

American Bar Foundation

Research faculty

Research faculty bio

Sometimes referred to as a "university without students," the American Bar Foundation is the nation's leading research institute for the empirical study of law. An independent, nonprofit organization, for more than fifty years the ABF has advanced the understanding and improvement of law through research projects of unmatched scale and quality on the most pressing issues facing the legal system in the United States and the world.

Designed to serve the organization's many and varied constituents, the website is envisioned by ABF leadership as the gateway to the Foundation's scholars, findings, and publications. "The ABF intellectual product is unparalleled," said Robert L. Nelson, Director of the American Bar Foundation, "and we finally have the means to spread the word to our academic colleagues, our supporters, and the world."

Much of the ABF's research is long-term and culminates with formal publication. The website provides a means for research faculty to publish interim updates informing the larger ABF community of ongoing projects and developments.

Webitects conducted ethnographic research by interviewing research faculty and users, set priorities and strategic goals with ABF staff, and created a new information architecture combining two previously separate sites (one supporting ABF Fellows and another for a public audience).

The resulting redesigned site employs Webitects' easy-to-use content management system (CMS) enabling ABF staff and research faculty to maintain site content without knowledge of HTML or other web technologies. CMS users make edits through a WYSIWIG interface and control content publishing via drafts and user-specific permissions. The site also integrates with ABF's internal Raiser's Edge database system.

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