[In the Field December 2012] Member Feature - CLEO


Public Legal Education (PLE) Learning Exchange

The Public Legal Education (PLE) Learning Exchange is a network of community-based organizations in Ontario that produce or deliver public legal education and are interested in sharing their experience and expertise, as well as learning from others.

The PLE Learning Exchange aims to support organizations across Ontario in developing and delivering effective public legal education (PLE) for their communities. The goal is to build a body of expertise and knowledge around the practice of community-based PLE, improve the effectiveness of PLE projects and materials through shared learning and tools, and increase the number of PLE initiatives in Ontario developed through collaborative partnerships.

The PLE Learning Exchange is a resource and tool for your public legal education needs, and provides a space for a sharing of knowledge between agencies that would otherwise not have the opportunity. PLE can take a number of forms. It can be a print publication, online information, an audio recording, or a public service announcement; it can be presented as an article in a community newspaper, a theatre performance, a video, or a workshop. PLE is often used by advocates and community workers in their community development or law reform work, and by lawyers and legal workers to supplement legal advice.

An important part of developing effective PLE is identifying target audiences and providing them with information that is relevant, understandable and accurate. It is also critical to deliver information in formats and through channels that are most likely to reach the identified audiences.

PLE, like other forms of education, is often thought of as a tool or resource to help people gain the knowledge and awareness they need to resolve their problems or know when and where to seek help, thus avoiding costly and complicated legal proceedings.


Membership in the PLE Learning Exchange is open to people working in non-legal and legal community organizations across Ontario that develop or deliver public legal education and information to their communities. Anyone who is interested in participating in this initiative is welcome. Join the website as a member at www.plelearningexchange.ca by clicking on the "Register" tab in the top right corner of the home page. Please fill out the appropriate fields and an account will be set up for you.

The PLE Learning Exchange also convenes occasional forums or symposiums for members to meet to discuss their work and learn from the experience of others.