Tip of the Week: Are You Using Categories? (client site)

  • 9/28/2007
  • Pro Bono Net

Are you using Categories to organize your public site's resources and organizations? By default, channel content is displayed in alphabetical order. However, the Categories feature of the LawHelp template gives you have the ability to control the order in which individual resources and organizations appear in each of your channels. Descriptive category labels can also increase the usability of channels with a lot of content as it allows users to quickly scan for relevant information.

PALawHelp used categories to help organize their recently enhanced Court Information channel. They have created categories such as Pennsylvania Trial Courts, Pennsylvania Appeals Courts and U.S. Trial Courts to organize the court-specific information. Additionally, there is an "About" category for each type of court that provides general information about the respective court system. These categories make navigating the large amount of court channel resources much more manageable and make it is easy for a user to jump to the relevant section.

LawHelp/NY has also used this functionality to organize resources in their new Internet Fraud: Crimes & Prevention topic. For example, in their Online Safety For Kids subtopic they've grouped resources in the Know Your Rights channel into categories by age group. In the Finding Other Help channel, non-legal resources are divided into Local Courses & Events, Online Interactive Groups & Self-Help, and Videos & Audio.

Has your state used categories to organize your resources in innovative ways? Email the LawHelp listserv and share!

Complete instructions on creating and managing categories are available on in the SWEB library at For assistance, feel free to contact your Circuit Rider or email

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