Legal Services Issues Branding and Creative RFP

To do better for our clients and our community, we are looking to refine our messaging and create a set of communications tools that will help us:

  • Recruit more private funding. Only 2% of our annual budget is raised from individuals and private corporations. Only another 4% is raised from private foundations. We need to do a         better job of reaching and wooing potential donors.
  • Improve our systemic advocacy. CLS looks to improve its clients’ lives and strengthen Connecticut’s communities both through individual representation in civil cases and through   systems-level advocacy to increase fairness in the justice system and build the social supports   that lift people out of poverty. Effectiveness at systems-level advocacy, which often happens at the state legislature, requires conveying our message clearly to policymakers, media, and advocacy partners.
  • Effectively convey our impact through data, images, and narrative. To recruit more private funding and to improve systemic advocacy, we need to better convey our impact for    Connecticut and its most vulnerable communities. We need to be able to tell our clients’ stories,    visually and through compelling narratives, and also to present hard data on our work and its value.
  • Welcome and engage our clients and partners. Frequently, our clients find us through partner  organizations – like domestic violence shelters or senior centers – that refer people in need to our offices. Sometimes, clients find us through the internet and other digital media. Our light is always on for current and potential clients, and as a community-oriented organization we want     our website and other communications tools to be our virtual plate-glass-window – a welcoming     portal for service-providers and clients to find us as partners and advocates.
  • More clearly establish our brand identity. At least three key elements of our brand personality      need to come through more clearly in our branding and all of our communications work:
  • CLS is a law firm of expert advocates who take on difficult cases on behalf of some of   Connecticut’s most vulnerable people. Our work is important, and our clients are in   crisis. We need to convey that fundamental seriousness through our branding: Our clients, and everyone else who comes into contact with us, should appreciate our professionalism. And we want the media and policymakers to see us as serious-minded  experts with experience and integrity.
  • Our seriousness is not dispassionate. We care deeply about our work and our clients.  We are fierce advocates for the things we believe in. We need to convey our passion and the essential warmth and humanity that motivate our work.
  • While serious, our branding cannot be stodgy. We need our branding to speak to our   creativity and drive to innovate – the drive that we believe can make us a national  leader in our field.


Connecticut Legal Services (CLS) is Connecticut’s largest private, nonprofit law firm, dedicated to improving the lives of low-income people in Connecticut by providing access to justice. We provide free civil legal services to low-income people in 122 communities statewide. Our work ranges from protecting the elderly from wrongful evictions to standing with domestic violence victims as they seek restraining orders and divorces to fighting for educational opportunity for children with learning disabilities.

Scope of Work:

Project Deliverable

  • Brand study and marketing consultation to clarify CLS’ audiences, brand positioning, impact     for key stakeholders, and best approaches to branding and messaging. anticipate that the discovery component of this process will be significantly shortened if the designer leverages  information gathered by the consultant who will be facilitating our strategic planning process inthe second half of 2018.
  • Consultation with CLS’ strategic planning consultant to coordinate information   gathering/discovery efforts, minimize redundancy, and ensure that CLS’ strategic plan informs and advances our rebranding work.
  • Logo suite, with the following specifications:

o The logo will work well both in color or black and white;

o The logo will work well both in print and online, whether on CLS’ website or on social  media;

o The logo will work well across a range of application, including as signage in CLS’  offices;

o We may wish to discuss the possibility of at least one logo variation to be used with  CLS’ various projects or departments.

  • Brand standards manual detailing CLS’ logo suite; brand components, including a primary color  palette and a secondary color palette that can be used for data visualizations, and typography;     usage guidelines; identification of interior paint specifications consistent with brand color  palette; and any printer information needed for branded items.
  • Suite of print collateral, including:

o Letterhead, both digital and suitable for printing;

o Envelopes;

o Business cards;

o Program brochure.

  • New website, with the following specifications and functionality:

o Content Management System (CMS) that supports CLS’ staff (non-programmers) in                                   making content-based edits, either WordPress or Drupal;

o Donation/Payment System integrated with Blackbaud, CLS’ Constituent Relationship                                  Management platform, and possible integration with a peer-to-peer fundraising                                                              platform;

o Event calendar with event registration;

o Responsive page layouts;

o Document upload (via CMS) and download (via links);

o Email newsletter signup integration;

o Map integration;

o Tutorial/orientation for CLS staff in the use of the website’s content management                                       system;

o It is important that the website be designed in a way that allows us to convey the                                        impact of our work – both through telling our clients stories and through visually-                                             compelling presentations of data. We seek a design that uses visuals effectively and                                             does not rely too heavily on text.

  • Other materials, including:

o A template for an e-newsletter;

o Email template;

o Facebook cover;

o Twitter page.

  • Consult on a content strategy for CLS’ website and social media accounts.

Due Date:

June 9


PR firms with legal experience includes 5WPR and Rubenstein PR.

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