History of the Law School website

In 2008, the Law School participated in the re.web project -- a redesign of the William & Mary web site. Under the direction of Trotter Hardy and Jaime Welch-Donahue, the new Law School site was redesigned and launched on September 30, 2008. Nearly all law school administrators worked on writing and re-writing (maybe that's why we call it "re.web") these new web pages. We welcome your comments - [[marouette,email us]].

A History of the Law School Website

The 2001 redesign of the William & Mary School of Law website focused on making the site increasingly effective, compelling, and information-rich by providing:

  • useful information organization
  • logical navigation and access throughout the site
  • a visual look emphasizing simplicity and clarity
  • a celebration of the people, spirit, and minds of the School of Law
  • current news, events and content
  • communication of our core missions

The 2003 redesign made very modest changes to web page appearance, but major changes to the underlying HTML code to comply with current web standards.

The 2005 redesign continued the apparently never-ending task of bringing all pages into compliance with web standards in general, and initiated the task of bringing pages into compliance with the XHTML standard in particular. Newly created page templates were built that rely much less on the direct specification of text styles (with typically heavy use of <font> tags), and much more on the use of external CSS style sheets. Several new styles and style sheets were developed. Many special-purpose pages were converted to make use of PHP scripts. A great deal of redundant HTML coding was cleaned up and simplified. Procedures for adding new web site sections were developed and standardized. A previously slender set of web policies was greatly expanded, and related new enforcement mechanisms put into place.

Most of these changes were invisible to web visitors, but the overall effect was that law school pages had smaller file sizes and hence downloaded more quickly.

In 2006, many more pages were altered to work better with CSS styles; the few pages still not based on Dreamweaver templates were edited to make them so; many more pages were taken out of the manual updating process and are were set up to be generated automatically by programs running elsewhere than the web server and copied to the server overnight; more pages were documented with explanations of the steps necessary to update or edit them, especially the faculty biography pages; the process of creating a new section for, say, a new student organization, was formalized and documented; more video files were added and the process for doing so was documented.