News

A New Look for NCAJ

Tags: NCAJ News
August 12, 2021   |   Hallie Kennedy

Welcome to our completely overhauled NCAJ website!

Your NCAJ staff have been working tirelessly for nearly two years to create this new digital experience for our members and we are excited to finally share it with you all. The primary goal of this project was to provide you with a visually stimulating digital environment where you can easily access all of your member benefits and see the story of NCAJ’s impact told boldly and powerfully.

I think we accomplished that goal with this overhaul and I sincerely hope you’ll agree. Let me take you on a quick tour of a few highlights!

A Fresh Face

Three versions of the NCAJ logo demonstrate the flexibility in styling and design.

The first thing you might have noticed is the total revamp of the NCAJ logo.

Loosely based on logos we’ve deployed slowly over recent years for programs like NCAJ Skills Academy, this renewed design is clean and modern while invoking the spirit and motion of the familiar flag and stripes. The three stripes across the letter “A” represent the core components of NCAJ’s “three-legged stool” — community, education and advocacy. Their upward trajectory is a reminder to us that we are constantly moving onward and upward, while the simplicity of the design — primarily based with an eye towards digital deployment — means it will render beautifully across multiple formats and platforms, not just online, but on swag too (we hope you’re as excited about that prospect as we are!).

Additionally, our palette and fonts are now officially standardized for all NCAJ communication vehicles, from web to social media to print. This visual consistency will imbue the NCAJ brand with a renewed level of professionalism that better reflects the prestige of our organization. Our goal is for someone to look at one of our communications and immediately know that it came from NCAJ. We believe this total brand overhaul will accomplish just that in the coming weeks and months.

A Renewed Digital Home

When you land on our homepage, we hope one of the first things you’ll notice is an emphasis on member stories and perspectives. You are the strength of NCAJ and we hope over time to have the opportunity to put each and every member front and center in explaining the value and influence of NCAJ membership to both potential new members and the public. We’ll achieve this through the deployment of professional photography and videography, clear calls to action about upcoming events and member news, member testimonials about the value of NCAJ membership, highlights of our robust partnerships, and more.

Screenshot of our new NCAJ homepage as of 8/12/2021.

A Focus on the Benefits

The fun doesn’t stop on our homepage.

Each leg of our “three-legged stool” has a dedicated landing page focused on better telling the story of NCAJ’s impact and leadership in the legal profession in North Carolina. To use our Advocacy landing page as an example, we’ll now be able to highlight member leaders and legislators in a renewed way, link to resources, and demonstrate the incredible value of our amicus briefs and moot courts programs. No matter which landing page you visit — Community, Education or Advocacy — our goal is to ensure that member stories are front and center in our consistent demonstration of the overall value of NCAJ.

Over time, we’ll build out complete relationships between content to keep site users engaged and interested in our many offerings. News and events will be tagged by sections, divisions and caucuses and then promoted on landing pages for each. Resources offered will keep users moving around and throughout the site, looking up education opportunities, utilizing member benefits and taking deep dives into content that interests them — whether that’s from Trial Briefs magazine or our incredibly robust, member-only document banks.

An Emphasis on Ease of Use

But this launch is not all colors, logos, fonts and photos! We’re particularly thrilled to offer a renewed user experience for members that streamlines the relationship between our website, our member portal and access to your CLE programs.

Perhaps one of the most exciting additions is the deployment of single-sign-on — meaning you will no longer need multiple logins to manage your NCAJ member features and purchase your NCAJ CLE. Thanks to a new partnership with digital CLE provider Elevate by CommPartners, your NCAJ login is now a “one ring to rule them all,” giving you unencumbered access between ncaj.com, your myNCAJ portal and your CLE purchase history and upcoming programs. We are particularly excited about this new partnership with Elevate as we move into a hybrid presentation model for all future programs when the dangers of COVID have passed. Our goal at that time will be to present as many programs as possible in both in-person and virtual environments.

I would be remiss in not mentioning that for the first time, the entire site is completely responsively designed to allow access across devices in a clean, clear layout. No matter where you are in the world, accessing your NCAJ benefits will always be presented in a lovely, user-friendly way.

A mobile view from an Apple iPhone 11.

Now, when you login with your NCAJ credentials, you’ll land on an improved, customized home for your membership. The completely overhauled myNCAJ page now offers simple, one page access to all of the benefits you may have had to hunt around for a bit in the past, including directories, listservs, document banks, links to member benefit partners and more. Please login and take some time to familiarize yourself with this renewed member experience and explore everything your membership has to offer in one place. Be sure to stay tuned in future issues of our Community View newsletter, where we’ll detail different benefits on your myNCAJ page each week.

A view of the all new myNCAJ portal for members.

A Look Ahead

Coming soon, we’ll be deploying a database of verdicts, settlements and disbursements for the Auto Torts & Premises Liability community, creating a microsite focused on NCAJ’s 60th anniversary in 2022 and working hard with each section, division and caucus to turn landing pages into true resources hubs, replete not only with the benefits you’ve come to expect, but also with newly created digital tools like interest calculators, etc. that are specifically valuable to different practice areas.

If you have ideas of ways we can continue to improve upon NCAJ members’ digital experience, we’re all ears.

A Note of Thanks

This scope of work would not have been possible without the vision of NCAJ leadership, who incorporated this project into the 2019 NCAJ Strategic Plan, the dedication of the entire NCAJ staff and the incredible talent and insight of our vendor partners. We are truly grateful to all for their hard work and vision in accomplishing this major goal for NCAJ.

About the Author

Hallie Kennedy

Director of Marketing & Communications

Hallie Kennedy

Director of Marketing & Communications

Hallie Kennedy has been with NCAJ since 2019. She is a digital marketing and brand expert with over 12 years of both agency and in-house experience representing and consulting with corporations and organizations in the hospitality, non-profit, higher education and legal sectors. Prior to joining NCAJ, Kennedy led marketing and communications strategy at the North Carolina Bar Association and worked closely with a large portfolio of national and regional law firms and international non-profits as a digital project manager at New Media Campaigns in Carrboro. 

In her role as marketing & communications director, Kennedy leads NCAJ’s efforts on all digital brand management, including social media strategy, email marketing, web design and development, search engine optimization and accessibility standards. She also serves as staff liaison to NCAJ’s Auto Torts & Premises Liability Section and Professional Negligence Section.

As a former leader of the Raleigh chapter of the Legal Marketing Association, Kennedy enjoys presenting to attorneys, law students and legal marketing professionals on best practices in digital marketing for the legal profession. She also supports her alma mater, St. Mary’s School of Raleigh, as a member of its alumnae council.

Hallie graduated magna cum laude from Wofford College with a bachelor of arts in English and a concentration in creative writing.

When she’s not working, Hallie can be found with her husband and young daughter enjoying every bit of joy, culture and food that downtown Durham has to offer.