The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (NAACP LDF) is a leading legal organization fighting for racial justice through litigation, advocacy, and public education. Founded in 1940 by Thurgood Marshall, NAACP LDF also defends the hard-won protections gained over the past 75 years of civil rights struggles and works to improve the quality and diversity of judicial and executive appointments. OTJ seized on the opportunity to accelerate the execution of NAACP LDF’s mission by developing bespoke built solutions that celebrate the storied heritage of this lauded non-profit, while looking resolutely to the future of a premier legal practice.
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In order to address the unique challenges of a workplace that intersects two seemingly disparate industries, OTJ drew on both legal and non-profit sector intelligence acquired through over 30 years of design partnerships with organizations in both fields. OTJ approached this project with a keen aware of the importance of donor, member, and staff optics in developing design recommendations for a project of this visibility. The resulting design balances fiscal responsibility against the requirements of a premier legal practice accustomed to hosting an array of influential organizations and thought leaders.
In order to eschew the shortcoming of dated law firm design tropes, our team proposed a floorplan that, while comprised primarily of private offices, emphasizes access to daylight and informal communal areas. Accordingly, designers elected to locate glass fronted offices along the perimeter of the floorplate while positioning a flexible, hospitality-inspired pantry at the intersection of key circulation paths. Our designers were also called upon to develop brand and graphic gestures that pay homage to NAACP LDF’s history, located at critical locations where these strategic design elements both enhance the space and communicate our client’s brand message with the most impact.
The NAACP LDF’s new workplace celebrates a storied non-profit heritage while looking resolutely to the future of a premier legal practice.