Case study

NZ Law Society Website transformation

How does the New Zealand Law Society better support the public and over 12,000 lawyers and members of the legal profession through an improved website experience?


NZ Law Society


Professional services

Type of work

  • Websites
  • Digital transformation

What we did

  • Information architecture
  • Design
  • Technology and development


  • Silverstripe CMS
NZ Law Society website - different screen sizes
NZ Law Society about us page desktop

The challenge

Lawyers play a pivotal role in a functioning democracy. Through ongoing law reform and the provision of legal services, the legal profession protects and facilitates New Zealanders’ access to justice. The New Zealand Law Society (NZLS) is at the heart and forefront of the profession, leading the way through quality regulation and publishing influential thinking and content every week.

The NZLS's key purposes are the regulation of lawyers to maintain public confidence in the provision of legal services, and for the protection of consumers, leadership and maintenance of integrity and reputation of the legal profession, and delivery of a range of collegial and professional services to maintain and develop the profession's strength and to support its effective development and operation.

The NZLS website is the organisation’s primary communication and engagement channel. It serves the needs of over 12,000 lawyers and members of the legal profession. Also, it publishes and maintains the register of lawyers (aka ‘Registry’) and provides the popular ‘Find a lawyer’ search service to a public audience.

NZLS defined a 'future state' for how NZLS wants to communicate and engage with the public and the profession. This strategy proposed how the Law Society’s website could better support public users and lawyers, how its services could be better delivered, and how its technology infrastructure needs to evolve to support these improvements.

Catch was selected to redesign and build the NZLS website, which included a new information architecture, user experience and visual design that enabled NZLS to take a quantum leap forward from its current website, which was almost ten years old.

Several goals for the new website were identified, including becoming the home of legal news, trust and confidence, ease and transparency, personalisation, content management and a future-proofed technical solution.

NZ Law Society - Get legal help page

The solution

The project was split into two phases: Discovery and Delivery.

Discovery is crucial to a project's success—it's about uniting the entire team around one clear outcome: To gain a shared understanding of the scope and what needs to be done during Delivery. We use this phase to explore the problem space, confirm business objectives and desired outcomes, gain a deep understanding of NZLS, all key stakeholders and customer needs, and clarify scope and requirements before any detailed design and development occurs.

A prioritised roadmap of clear deliverables informed our delivery plan, which included a new information architecture (IA), human-centred user experience (UX) design of core customer journeys, design, development, testing and go-live.

We leveraged the refreshed NZLS brand to design a new digital design system, which matured as the detailed designs were created and tested with real users.

The new website was built on Silverstripe, hosted and supported on Catch's enterprise-grade AWS Managed Platform.

Because the solution was flexible and scalable, we could extend Silverstripe's asset management and on-the-fly image resampling to provide a fully integrated Digital Asset Management Solution (DAMS). The DAMS can store unlimited high-res assets used by the public-facing website and internally by the design team at NZLS.

NZ Law Society common legal issues page

The results

The new website was launched in mid-2020. NZLS's internal communications team can now seamlessly update and manage content across a broad cross-section of content creators and business units within the organisation.

The website is future-proofed for ongoing improvements in how NZLS delivers communications and services.

NZ Law Society - legal news page - desktop & mobile
NZ Law Society - LawTalk page