Founded in Austin in 1977, Texas Legal Services Center (TLSC) is a nonprofit organization that provides legal advice, advocacy, representation, and education to underserved people across the state. Targeting remote and rural communities, TLSC also supports those who cannot afford legal assistance through its subsidiary site, TexasLawHelp.org (TLH).

With 5-million-plus visitors and more than 14.7 million page views annually, Texans are heavily reliant on TexasLawHelp.org to obtain free legal forms, guidance, and access to legal aid attorneys—particularly when affordable legal services in their community are limited or nonexistent. As the demand for legal resources and pro se guidance continued to steadily increase—particularly during the pandemic—the TLH website presented a significant opportunity to extend the reach of the organization.

Having existed in multiple iterations for almost 20 years, the site was due for a refresh. The nonprofit’s leadership team expressed the need to draw a clearer connection to TLSC and its recent rebranding initiative. An enhanced user experience could bring TLH’s resources closer to the surface for its audience.

With thousands of pages of legal content, users were highly dependent on the search bar instead of utilizing site navigation. Plus, the layout appeared dense and text-heavy on mobile devices—the primary platform for low-income users and two-thirds of site traffic to TLH. Their legal cohort also spent too much time navigating technical barriers during the publishing process. A simplified backend experience would streamline the organization’s abilities to deliver critical services.

The team at TLH had grown so accustomed to working with their existing site they were skeptical anyone could provide a better solution. We had other ideas.

Challenge: Enhance a nonprofit’s mission with a richer digital experience

The TLH site could do more to serve the organization’s goals and its audience. With a better user interface and a simplified backend, the organization’s digital experience could better represent the breadth of its capabilities.

Solution: Replatforming to streamline the website for site users and its administrators

We reworked the TLH site’s user interface and migrated from Drupal 7 to 9 to improve its front- and backend usability. With a more consistent, intuitive experience, the new site simplifies information-gathering for users and streamlines content updates.

A new platform and reinvented UI for all site users

As part of the replatforming to Drupal 9, we made critical adjustments to the UI and content map. Rather than relying on site search, users can now access resources and services more easily. 

Once the site’s content was migrated to Drupal 9, we created more mobile-friendly navigation and simplified the publishing and editing workflows. The new platform’s content library enables site administrators to create new pages quickly and easily.

With a website that’s easier to navigate, the organization’s attorneys and site administrators are better able to focus on developing and updating critical legal content for their constituents. Consequently, TLSC now assists those reliant on their services much more effectively.

“When we were dreaming up what we thought the site could be, we never could have imagined it would turn out this way. It far exceeded our expectations.”

— Amanda Hill, Director of Development, Texas Legal Services Center

Results: A unified user experience to better serve the organization and its goals

TexasLawHelp.org offers a unified experience that reflects the organization’s services to an audience in urgent need of aid. Overall performance has improved, as has publishing efficiency, which enables the team to better serve site users.

Providing legal aid with flexibility for the future

“I could not imagine tackling a project of this magnitude with anyone except Four Kitchens. They truly became an extension of our TLSC team.”

— Meghan Lee, Communications Manager, Texas Legal Services Center

In addition to improved efficiency, the site’s security, performance, and daily maintenance have become less of an ongoing concern. 

Since its website relaunch, TLSC has transitioned to our Continuous Care program for ongoing website support. More improvements to the navigation are planned for a future development phase. 

“Working with Four Kitchens really set us up to create a roadmap to reach our goals,” said Meghan. “We feel empowered and supported by our partnership with Four Kitchens.” 

If this sounds like the kind of support that would enable your nonprofit to better serve its audience, let’s make it happen.