The website for the Law Office of the Cook County Public Defender was designed and built by Clarity, utilizing our custom “government core” website model built for the main Cook County portal on Drupal 7 and hosted on Amazon Web Services. Clarity worked closely with the Public Defender team to develop an information architecture that was user-friendly and based on best practices, considering the current, but limited, landscape of Public Defender websites. The service-focused and mobile-first site was developed to easily communicate the resources that this office provides to the public. The site provides a directory with lawyers’ email addresses to assist individuals already assigned a public defender to easily find and contact their lawyer, embedded maps to locate offices, and a PDF file management module that allows the office to upload files with an automatically displayed thumbnail. As a dedicated platform to provide valuable information and transparency on the legal process, unique for Public Defender offices to have, the website serves as an easy to use central hub for the team to advertise their resources to the legal community and public, help defendants better prepare for their court dates, and provide a clear set of instructions for those in immediate need of help by linking to “Quick Help” topics (i.e. “Someone’s Been Arrested”) on the homepage and all informational pages.
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